FISHING IN MAY
Atikokan - Northwestern Ontario - Canada
CANADIAN FISHING ADVENTURES!
The Seine Chain of Lakes & Atikokan Area Lakes
Although we're open year 'round, May generally signifies the "beginning of the season", and the unofficial date tends to be the walleye opener (the third Saturday in May - Canada's Victoria Day weekend which is the week prior to the American Memorial Day weekend).
But there tends to be a lot of fishing happening in May prior to the walleye opener.
Due to the Seine River flowing through our chain of lakes, we tend to enjoy an earlier ice out than camps on land locked lakes. Over the years, the average ice out tends to be the last few days of April, however we have had some notable exceptions recently. In 2010 & 2012, ice was out and boats in the water at the beginning of April. On the flip side, 2013 saw the latest ice out we have seen - it wasn't until May 11 that we were launching boats and wetting lines.
Pike spawn right after ice out - usually in early May. They tend not to feed during the spawn. Immediately post spawn they are sometimes lethargic, but some anglers are able to combine skill and luck to turn the numerous follow ups into aggressive hits. As they come out of their post spawn funk, the action gets much better. This is a great time of year to go topwater for pike - even fly fishing. Small flies, large furry flies as well as buzz baits and floaters such as various rapalas, dying flutters etc can be very effective. Don't discount traditional spoons - or especially Mepps in May though. It's worth having a full complement of options in your tackle box.
Nearby lake trout lakes are popular in May. Some are drive to / launch lakes, others are walk to a boat cache. The lakers are shallow - not far off the shore. You can often see them swimming around your boat. We like shad raps this time of year for lake trout, but some guys even fly fish for them!
The smallmouth tend to be deeper in the earlier part of the month. As the month progresses and the water warms, the smallies gradually move towards the shallows preparing for a June spawn. There can be some topwater bass action in late May, or at least some shallow smallie fishing.
Once walleye opens the action depends on if the spawn has finished or not. This is the time of year you tend to be able to fish the 'eye's very shallow, and we often see some great numbers and larger fish. We always request to release the larger fish, and this time of year it's vital as the big ones are more common, and especially if the spawn hasn't finished. The narrows with current are usually very productive in the spring (usually just out of the current). Basic stuff works the best - jig and a minnow seems to rule in May.
As with everything, the bugs are dependent on weather. We sometimes get out of May with very little insect activity - the thing is though, those years tend to be cooler. I'll take throwing on a jacket over fighting blackflies any day though.
Be prepared for any weather - we have picture of people with rain gear and thick coats on one day and t shirts and shorts the next. It can be blustery, rainy, snowy or it can be warm and pleasant.
Check out our rates - we do offer some May specials for those willing to brave the elements and come fishing in May.