Walleyedan: Fishing going south up north
The annual SnoBear migration to Lake Winnipeg was not spectacular.
My son and I road tripped north seven hours for a day and a half of fishing and I will say that it really wasn't anything to write home about.
Mac and I enjoyed some decent fishing on Friday, but we didn't catch any of the big greenbacks. Last year's fishing wasn't that good either and by the sounds of it, "The Big Windy" may be going in the tank. Commercially overfished. Who would ever think that such a massive lake could be overfished?
Well, when you can string miles of nets and fill them to the gills you're going to have some issues. It's quite unfortunate, but it sure seems that this once incredible fishery is going to need a major overhaul and major cooperation from all sides in order to get back to where it once was. My first trip to Lake Winnipeg about 10 years ago was awesome, and it didn't take much to realize that Manitoba had a special fishery here. But, for five years it sounds like the commercial fishermen have been taking huge walleyes out of the system. Yes, it is their job and we all need to provide, but if Manitoba looks at the "whole picture," they might want to try to get things fixed before it's the Dead Sea!
Looking at this giant lake and the impact of netting, it's no wonder Mille Lacs and Red have seen similar collapses on a smaller scale. And if it can be done on these large bodies of water, I think Gull, Whitefish, North Long and all of our other "little lakes" need to be watched very carefully too.
I'm glad it's not my job to manage, because in years to come it's going to take some work to keep things in check. Time for us anglers to do our part too. Keep some fish to eat, put back the rest and realize that things can go south in a hurry!