Fishing Techniques

There are 3 easily accessible locations to fish when visiting Hobbs Resort: Cross Bay, the Saskatchewan River and Footprint Lake

 

Cross Bay

Cross Bay was created in the early 1960’s when the Grand Rapids Hydro Generating Station was built. The surrounding land was flooded and Cross Lake became part of Cedar Lake. This huge bay has absolutely everything that massive pike need and want. Deep cold water, mid lake humps and ledges, islands and reefs, shallow weed and stump filled bays and most importantly a huge abundance of food! These monsters can be caught throughout the season, but the easiest time to target them is early on (late May to mid June) when the water is still cold and they are up in the shallow bays, and then later on (September into October) when the water starts cooling down again. This time of year the big ones are usually caught in 8 -12 feet of water around deeper weed beds. Large spoons, Rat-L-Traps, medium and Magnum Bulldogs, large spinners, and jerk baits are all good producers. Good equipment is very important to successfully land these incredibly big strong fish. We recommend a medium-heavy to heavy, 6-7 ft rod, a larger quality reel with a good drag, quality leaders and minimum 20lb line. There are always far too many heartbreaking stories of the biggest fish of a persons life getting away because their fishing gear failed them!

 

The walleye fishing can be excellent on Cross Bay as well. We are seeing more master angler walleye’s being caught here than people have ever seen! Most of these beauties are being caught deep off the edges of humps in 20 – 35 feet of water. There is so much structure, if you don’t find them in one location you’ll more than likely find them in another. The key to successful walleye fishing is depth. If you pick up a couple of fish at 9 or 14 or 25 feet, stick to that depth! A couple of invaluable tools to help you do this are a depth finder and a GPS as many of the humps are in the middle of the lake and are too far to get any proper reference from the shoreline.

 

The most commonly used technique to catch walleye’s here is slow trolling a bottom bouncer and spinner. Trolling crank baits like Hot-n-tot’s, Shad Raps, Taildancer’s and Reef Runner’s (just to name a few) can also work very well, especially early in the season when the walleye’s are shallow and in mid-summer when the nice keepable size one’s are on top of the humps. However, they are not as versatile when it comes to depth and speed and bottom bouncing tends to work better more often than not. Jigging can work as well but it is best to try jigging after you have targeted the fish by trolling first.

 

The Saskatchewan River

This is a fantastic option for potentially amazing walleye fishing when the weather won’t allow you to fish Cross Bay. Just trailer your boat 20 minutes back to Grand Rapids and launch on the north side of the bridge. Head upstream to the Y in the river and float back downstream, bumping the bottom periodically with a bottom bouncer and spinner, until you get to the bridge. Easy as that! When Hydro is releasing a lot of water (the faster the current the better), the walleyes come into the river off Lake Winnipeg and they are stacked up! It’s not uncommon for boats to limit out in an hour or less! Because of the huge amounts of water coming into Manitoba from Alberta and Saskatchewan the past few years, the walleye fishing on the river has been ridiculously good. ¬†Fishing on the river generally starts getting good towards late June when the water temp has increased enough. ¬†Fishing then starts to decline in early September, when the water starts cooling down again.

 

Footprint Lake

Just a few hundred yards north of the Cross Bay turn off, on Hwy 6, Footprint Lake is right beside the highway. It’s a small lake that is stocked with rainbow trout and it is another excellent option if nasty weather makes fishing on Cross Bay difficult. Fishing out of your boat rather than off shore will increases your chances with these smart, very fickle fish. Trolling small to medium spoons or casting small spinners will work, but fly fishing is the most effective way to catch these trout, more often than not. There are some very nice trophy size rainbows in this little lake and pound for pound you will not get a better fight! Just remember, trout can be very finicky so don’t be afraid to change colours and sizes, and if you hook one…keep your line tight! These fish are famous for doing everything they can to spit your hook right back at ya!