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Thump in the Night

While the weather is still decently nice out and as it sets into fall, I like to fish in the evening followed by night fishing. Normally we will even start fire down by the river to sit by to keep warm some nights or even sit in our vehicle provided it’s the right spot that we can have rods stuck in the ground in front of the headlights. The night bite is usually great for many species including walleye, sturgeon, goldeye, mooneye and sometimes the odd smaller burbot. Personally my favourite fish to target at night is walleye but sturgeon are often rewarding as well. Since walleye are negatively phototactic unlike humans who are positively phototactic, they see better at night time than they do during the day and because other fish they prey on like minnows, crawfish, perch, suckers have a hard time seeing at night it makes them an easier target. So fishing for walleye at night you’re more likely to have more success than fishing for them during the day and if you’re looking big walleye your chances are definitely greater fishing for them at night. Not only is the night bite a great start to catch your big walleye but if you add fall time to that you’ll up your chances even more as the walleye are trying to put on some extra fat to get them through the winter and into spawn. I spend many hours and nights with good friends visiting while we wait for the catch of a lifetime and let me tell you, it doesn’t happen too often that you get walleye over 30 inches but when it happens it’s unforgettable. The night I joined the 30 plus inch club was cool fall night, we were fishing the south Saskatchewan river and even had a pop up ice shack set up on shore with a propane buddy heater inside it to keep warm. We had a decent bite going during daylight hours but the sun was quickly going down, you could hear the coyotes howling across the river and there wasn’t a breeze of wind. It was minutes after the sun tucked away behind the trees when my rod was almost pulled out of its holder, I got up and ran to it, picked it up and set the hook! It felt heavy and I thought it was sturgeon because the weight and because it wasn’t too light out. The poor lighting made me cancel out the chances of it being a big pike and the heavy hit and weight made me cancel out the chances of it being a walleye, so I was left with the thought of it being a sturgeon. I reeled it in and as I reeled it pulled hard, it peeled line at points but I was able to get it near shore where it gave a turn and splash and ran back out, as it did this I noticed the white tip on the tail. My heart started pounding I had just seen a massive fish, one that I thought was a sturgeon but now I had confirmation on what it was after seeing the white tipped tail. I knew it was a walleye and it was a big one. The tension was up as it didn’t want to come in easily, I would bring it to shore and it would swim away peeling line, on the final reel in we were able to get it in the net. Oh my god! This was massive! We screamed and hollered and there were even a few guys down shore that came running over and they were in wow of this fish. Some quick measurements and weights were taken of the fish and it turned out to be 13.1lbs and 33 inches long. This was my personal best walleye, not only did it break my old record by multiple pounds and inches but I had also entered the 30 plus inch club with a 33 inch walleye. After the measurements I put the big walleye back into the river and said goodbye to her. To this day I’ve been chasing my dream of one over 15lbs and 35 inches and I know it’s out there, it’s just a matter of when and where. 

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Wednesday January 12, 2022