Greenbacks

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the bearded angler
the bearded angler's picture
Greenbacks

I know, I know what is a walleye report doing on a fishing forum dedicated to rough fish. Many folks have seen a picture or two of the famous Greenbacks out of the Red River, Pine Falls and Lake Winnipeg I'm sure, but just in case you haven't, here is a short post with some pics from Nov 1st 2015.  If this is inappropriate by all means please remove the post.

 

The weather called for a high of 9 degrees, minimal precipitation and cloudy all day with the wind changing direction a few times but staying under 15kmh. Comfortable enough if you are dressed for it and lucky for us the meteorologist was right. Not ideal conditions but also not horrible. We had lines in the water 30 minutes before sun up and there were surface breaches all around us with many marks on the depth finder. The first few fish landed were Sauger and Goldeye along with two heavy fish lost and the sun hadn't even cracked the horizon.

 

With tons of options and spots to try we agreed that when and if the bite slowed down we would just move a few hundred feet within the general area and anchor again. Most folks just pick their spot and stay put until they are done for the day but we had baseline expectations and were willing to hunt for a better bite if needed. We had varied success at each spot we tried and it was clear on the fish finder screen that there were fish of all sizes on the move. Often I would call out a mark and at what depth on the screen and no sooner than my sentence being finished would there be a fish on the end of someones line.

 

We were there for the Greenbacks and were all able to catch our limits of 14 -18 inch eaters as well as releasing many more with 7 over 20 inches but none over 28. We also had a few bonus large Channel Catfish landed, dozens of Goldeye, a handful of Mooneye and copious amounts of Sauger. An exciting action packed 11 hours on the water saw us go through just over 5 tubs of minnows and despite the success it left me wanting more as the Red River sometimes will.

 

The Walleye made for great eats providing a few good meals to share with friends and family. I prefer to eat fish I catch fresh, only freezing when absolutely necessary.  One was cleaned and kept whole to steam with cooking wine, soy sauce, ginger and green onions and the rest were fileted.  I cooked up the cheeks in butter, salt, pepper and garlic as a tasty chefs treat while frying the majority of the filets in beer batter with friends. We were able to get a good feed of fish tacos and battered collars as well with what was left.

 

drawer.bli
drawer.bli's picture
mmmm... tasty. Fat pigs, too.

mmmm... tasty. Fat pigs, too. 

Divemaster
Divemaster's picture
You've got some nice wet sock

You've got some nice wet socks there! It's amazing that old clothing that's been sitting underwater tastes so good XD. If you're in to walleye fishing then make a trip down to Lake Erie, I figured no one else here fished for them at all. We catch most of 'em at 24-30", they're more like wet boots at that size!

2019 Species Goals:

Burbot (), Longnose Gar (X), Longear Sunfish (X), any Pickerel (X), 2 new Catostomids (), 5 new micros (X)

zippyFX
zippyFX's picture
Nice report! I can see why th

Nice report! I can see why they call the Greenback in Manitoba. 

Corey
Corey's picture
Cool!

Remove the post ... heh, no. I realize we rip on walleye fishing all the time, but, man, it's mainly to make people realize that there is more to catch in the world than just walleye. Nothing wrong with targeting your local species of every stripe, and that includes walleye - and especially cool regional subpopulations like your legendary greenbacks. Nice report and kickass fish.

Graceclaw
Graceclaw's picture
Legit

That channel cat looks old and wise. I don't know why- maybe it's the angle.

Those 'eyes look super cool! Glad you got into a nice pocket of fish. I can't fathom going through 5 buckets of minnows in an outing.....that's amazing.

 

the bearded angler
the bearded angler's picture
A few years back we went thro

A few years back we went through 12 tubs of minnows in one outing for the fall run landing 7 species and over 400 fish between four people. It can be crazy once you find them. Some days can be the exact opposite, miserable fishing conditions and very few bites and hook ups. If anyone else has ever been up for greens fall or winter post your pics and stories here if you want. With all the problems Lake Winnipeg is facing I don't see this fishery lasting forever. Many die hards say it peaked 10 years back. 

krazyk
krazyk's picture
Those are some of the most pa

Those are some of the most pale Walleye I have ever seen. Those are some great sized ones though! So thick compared to what I usually see.

In my parts they range from vibrant green to sometimes almost a black/ bronze in coloration... but they are always way skinnier than that haha. 

I can appreciate a nice Walleye fishing day. I grew up where Largemouth bass are king. Farm pond fishing.

Got any pics of some of the Sauger you guys caught? Thanks for posting a nice report.
 

Chain Pickerel: All the bad assery of a Northern Pike wrapped up in a smaller, prettier package.

Eli
Eli's picture
Walleye fish tacos...I must t

Walleye fish tacos...I must try this. 

That many minnows can't be cheap (unless you trap your own). When the bite is on like that, have you had similar success with plastics? 

How big do the sauger run up there?

Eli

 

 

Dr Flathead
Dr Flathead's picture
I've always thought those eme

I've always thought those emerald green walleyes from the Red drainage were super cool.  They get some real giants up there sometimes too. 

the bearded angler
the bearded angler's picture
Sauger pics are on the the ot

Sauger pics are on the the other PC and will upload at a later date.

 

We trap and fish for some of our bait but also buy some. In certain circumstances soft plastics have produced well but it is really situational. That trip where we used 12 tubs of minnows my wife used plastics all afternoon. The folks that control the locks have finally started a gradual fall draw down as opposed to opening them all at once like previous years and this has led to better water clarity (not by much on the muddy red) and less drastic environmental changes for the fish leading to pottentially better fishing. 

 

These Greenbacks are only in Lake Winnipeg, and use the Winnipeg River and Red River seasonally. All over the rest of the province the walleye are just like anywhere else with the typical black and gold in tanin stained water and dark green in other types.

I've yet to break 28 inches and have come darn close a few times. When and if that happens the goal will be 30, and then 32.

 

One day a fish like this will be mine!

ImageUploadedByTapatalk1446671791.938651.jpg

the bearded angler
the bearded angler's picture
the sauger on the red average

the sauger on the red average 14 inches but bigger ones do get caught. the big problem is poaching and many people keeping bucket loads full of sauger so the odds of growing large are not in their favour.

 

As far as fish tacos go, I've never met a fish that hasn't worked in one way or another. A simple home made quick pickled red onion is killer with it. (Aplle cider vinegar, a bit of water, salt pepper and thinly sliced onion, you can even add a bit of green apple) As well as lots of fresh lime juice and cilantro.

the pyromaniac
the pyromaniac's picture
I'll second the comment about

I'll second the comment about nearly every fish belonging in a taco...  I haven't had walleye tacos, but catfish/pineapple tacos are a staple of my diet, and tilapia, striped bass, & carp work well too if caught from clean water.

 

 

 

Let there be fire!

Mike B
Mike B's picture
I've only done the greenbacks

I've only done the greenbacks once -- on the Winnipeg River years ago. Caught big walleye, catfish, my first white bass -- a lot of fun and a special place. Thanks for the report man.

mike b