Welcome to Week XX of 'Fishing Parkland Shorelines'. Like most of us I am a novice fisherman, loving to fish, but far from an expert. In the following weeks I'll attempt to give those anglers who love to fish but just don't have access a boat a look at some of the options in the Yorkton area where you can fish from shore, and hopefully catch some fish for a good summer fry.''
In terms of local area fishing no spot is more popular than Lake of the Prairies, a major waterbody about 45-minutes east of Yorkton.
The lake is large, hugging the Saskatchewan-Manitoba border, and actually straddling it at one point. As a result an angling license issued by either province is acceptable anywhere on the lake.
The lake is a multi species one which is always a good thing because it gives angler's a chance to try different techniques to go after specific species. The most popular are of course walleye, perch and pike.
The most interesting is likely rock bass though.
Rock bass are the only native bass species in Saskatchewan. They are not large, think perch (they are even known as rock perch in some locales), but they are bass and that intrigues most anglers.
Rock bass, is a species of freshwater fish in the sunfish family similar in appearance to smallmouth bass but are usually much smaller. The average rock bass is between 6-10 inches, and they are rarely over a pound. So far they have eluded me, but they are high on my 'want to catch one' list.
In terms of shore fishing Lake of the Prairies, with it being such a large lake there are several options, all that I have tried tied to resort areas, or boat launches.
One of the first trips of the season was a straight shot east on Highway #10 to the Roblin Bridge.
There are a couple of options here. A right hand turn just before the bridge will take you to a boat launch area, and that is where a minnow baited jig caught me a 60-centimetre walleye. It was a beauty, but Lake of the Prairies has size limit restrictions in terms of walleye (pickerel). You are not allowed to keep any walleye between 45 and 70 centimetres. On a Saskatchewan license you are allowed to keep one more than 70-centimetres. You can also not keep any pike over 75-centimetres.
So the big fella went back.
Minnow jigs are certainly the favoured walleye fishing method at the lake, and it will also entice perch and yes even the occasional pike.
As for other spot's to fish you can cross the bridge and hang a right to go into Ricker's Campground. The resort has a fee for fishing access from the shore, but it is another conveniently located option for fishermen heading out of the city.
You can also turn south on Highway #482 just before the bridge and head south which runs somewhat parallel to the west side of the lake.
Along the highway you can turn toward the lake and find spots along the route.
Heading south you will see a sign for Pyott's West Campground. This is an older development on the lake, with a rather large boat launch area. From a late September visit it was obvious the water levels were much higher earlier in the year. With levels lower it exposed a large, flat area, which I suspect would have made successful shore fishing tougher early on. Water would have been rather shallow along the shore.
But if water levels are lower, you can toss hooks at the resort.
Further south is the Dropmore North development. This is a new area, but there is a boat launch area with a good-sized shore fishing area.
In both cases the drives into the spots is picturesque too, especially in the colours of fall.
At the south end of the lake you can cross the dam and hang a left for spots right along the shore on the lake side of the dam. There is a Manitoba Provincial Park there, so when operating, there will be a fee to enter.
There are undoubtedly other spots around the large lake where fisherman have found spots to fish, but the ones mentioned are all easily accessed, even with a car, and for an evening excursion in search of some walleye that is a good thing.
The slot limits will have you lamenting tossing some very nice fish back, so take a camera so you can post it to your favourite social media site to brag to your friends.
And remember the big fish you release back into the lake are the same ones spawning next spring to replenish the supply of a lake which faces a significant fishing pressure each year.