On a recent trip (Balsam Lake, late May, water temperature 60 F) we found success fishing for walleye in 14 to 22 feet of water around mid-lake humps. The first evening was calm and allowed for slow back-trolling over these depths while maintaining contact with the bottom using a minnow on a simple hook and split-shot rig. The next day saw strong north winds and unsafe conditions on the main lake. To compensate we took refuge in a navigation channel. This channel runs a flat 10-11 feet from the lake to the boat locks but forks off to the old river channel (at 5-7 feet in depth) that is dammed to maintain constant water levels in the lake. The transition area between the channel and river held a number of smaller walleye as well as a couple 20 inchers. The remainder of the trip continued with north winds from 20 to 30 km/h. Drifting, with a drift sock in use to slow us down, from the top of the hump down its leeward side using minnow or worm tipped worm harnesses on bottom bounces produced reasonably well. When we had enough of battling the wind we anchored off the hump (again on the leeward side) and went back to hook and sinker rigs. This final setup produced the days’ big fish winner for my fishing partner that night – “The Honey Badger”. Tough conditions but a good trip none-the-less.
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