While on vacation in Saskatchewan, I had the opportunity to fish a new lake near my family cabin. My brothers, cousin, and I made an early morning trip to Marean Lake to try our luck for walleye. Marean Lake is a popular lake with many cabins and recreational boating - which is why it was important for us to be there early. We left the cabin at 5 am to beat the boats on the water and to escape the heat wave that was on its way.
As I usually do before a trip to a new lake, I looked at satellite maps, depth maps, and scoured the internet for any lake reports. Fishing reports were pretty few and far between, but the depth maps gave me a good idea of where to start. I also got a bit of intel from some old friends that frequent the lake. Water temps were extremely warm for this time of the year, starting at 76°F when we got on the water and ending up at 84°F when we were leaving. This meant the fish would be deeper than usual, so we had to make some adjustments to find the walleye.
After a beautiful paddle with barely a ripple on the water, we were at our first spot. Luckily we were early enough that we only saw one other fishing boat on the water. The first spot was an underwater hump that came up from 20 feet all the way to about 7 feet. The fish were closer to the 20 feet mark and were not overly active so I knew it would make for a bit of a tough day. We were able to catch a few walleye here right away, which was a good start, but the fish got pickier throughout the day.
We continued to make our way along the shore with a few of the guys targeting pike and being relatively successful, but all were hammer handles. I remained focused on catching walleye to ensure we had a few fish for a fish fry later that day. Each spot yielded me a few walleye so I was able to get my limit of eaters along with a bunch of tiny ones that I released. The walleye were around, and I could see them on my electronics, but didn’t like a lot of the presentations I was giving them. Leeches seemed to be the ticket, but I only had a few left so I had to resort to minnows and swimbaits for the rest of the day.
All in all it was a great day for trying a new lake! The first time at a new lake is always a learning experience and I spend quite a bit of time using my chart plotter mapping to find the right structure. This will help me for the next time I fish this lake since I will already have an area mapped in 1 foot contours (most online maps aren’t detailed enough). Everyone had a great time and was happy we made a detour from our usual lake.
Check out Marean Lake on Paddling Maps for information on where to launch and any other helpful paddling tips.
Wilderness Systems Pro-Staff
Instagram @ saskkayakangler