By Dan Johnson

The relatively infertile yet fish-rich lakes and river systems of the Canadian Shield offer some of the world’s finest walleye fishing. Covering a broad swathe of Canada and the northern Midwest, this amazing chunk of Precambrian rock offers plenty of options for catching mind-numbing numbers of fish all season long.

Veteran Northwoods walleye hunter Ben Beattie, who guides out of Moosehorn Lodge on Ontario’s mighty Lac Seul, offers a timely tactic for early season success across the region.

Once spawning patterns subside on Shield lakes, one of Beattie’s pet presentations is pitching jigs in shallow water. He looks for areas where the water is warmer than the rest of the lake, which attracts both baitfish and predators.

Shallow bays and main-lake shorelines can be equally promising. Beattie narrows it down by focusing on windblown rock-rubble banks that offer a slow taper into deep water. A touch of weedgrowth further sweetens the pot.

Here, hungry walleyes gorge on baitfish, and Beattie matches the hatch by tying on a Lindy Watsit Jig. “There’s no need to tip with minnows for these aggressive fish,” he says. “The soft-plastic Watsit Grub’s undulating tail and legs are all it takes.”

Beattie casts tight to shore, lets the jig fall to bottom, and reels down so the rodtip is pointed at the jig. Then he raises the tip straight up to lift the jig, and holds the tip high while the jig pendulums back to bottom. “If the line goes slack, the jig has landed,” he says. “But if the line twitches so much as an inch to either side, it’s a fish—set the hook!”

Beattie’s pattern holds water on both sides of the border, and is worth keeping in your playbook well into June on classic walleye factories across the Canadian Shield.