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Open Water Netting
By Mark Brumbaugh
Trolling is probably the most universal method for catching walleyes
on Lake Erie. Trolling and covering as much water as is necessary to find
active, biting fish. Far and away the most conventional presentation of
trolling for walleyes is by anglers forward trolling them on handheld rods.
In most conditions it would simply look like the anglers are just towing
their lures behind the boat. As with anything that appears to be so apparently
basic, there are a number of variations that enhance the productivity of
At this time of the year combining spinners and crawlers along with Rapala
Shad Raps will give the angler a variety of baits in the water when fished
in conjunction with snap weights and off-shore planer boards. Boards give
you the option of fishing multiple lines and covering lots of water fast
and with this variance in depths you cover all columns of water for both
suspended and bottom feeding fish.
The first of these is lure selection.
In shallow water presentations anglers will want to run small lipped
floating stickbaits ( Rapalas, Rebels, Storm Lures etc). As they find the
need to work progressively deeper they will move from small sized crankbaits
to larger lures with bigger deeper diving bills.The color of the lures
will often prove a key as well. Under bright, clear water conditions the
natural, lifelike lure finishes are likely to be your top producers. On
dark days, or at night , the brighter
chartreuse, Firetiger, and phosphorescent colors will be the best.
Schooled walleyes roaming open water, either suspending or lying over open
basins, are the reason an angler would switch from a jigging approach to
a bait delivery system that would include planer boards, snap weights,
and crankbaits or spinners.
Drift Control sea anchors aid boat control in two ways. First of all, they
slow your drift in strong winds. Secondly, you can use them to fine-tune
subtle boat maneuvers in rough seas or heavy current.
Drift Control Sea Anchor click
|Trolling is used in covering certain structures and precise trolling
means catching fish. One way that I have solved the problem with boat
control is by using a Drift Control sea anchor. A sea anchor is a
cone-shaped under water windsock, similar to those at airports that
detect changes in wind direction.
A number of years ago I remember reading an article written by Sam
Anderson, the title of the article was; Don't become a Keystone Cop. Sam
is a friend of mine, and every time I am on open water in a Great Lake
or a reservoir I remember this story, I believe that it started out like
this. "Picture this! The lazy summer afternoon has made people in the next
boat a little tired and some are having a snack. Others are looking at
the speeding boat that has just passed by when all of a sudden a limply
held rod bends towards the water and the next few minutes resemble something
out of a Keystone Cops movie. People are jumping to their feet, rods and
sandwiches are set on gunwales of the boat, and
someone yells get the net. Someone is standing in the net but doesn't
realize it as the trophy fish rises to the surface and looks in disbelieve
at the commotion in the boat. With a blink of an eye and a flip of the
tail the trophy walleye frees itself from the hook only to slip away. The
people in the boat now start blaming each other for not paying attention
and all of this would have been averted if only they had been organized".
||A fish thrashing on the surface can also be a problem. Try to keep
the fish underwater until you are ready to net the fish. Most walleye fisherman
know that netting a fish head first is the only way to go. The angler leads
the fish toward the net as the netter scoops it up. If you discuss landing
techniques ahead of time you will have more success. Just as important,
iscommunication. Netting the fish takes teamwork and no one is a mind-reader.
Also, make sure you are familiar with the net itself. Look at
the handle and see if it is extended all the way to make sure that you
can reach the fish during the action
This net has caught many a fish that would have been lost to more
here for more info
|What type of net do you have? You have probably seen the cloth nets
that have large holes in them to land trophy northern pike, but will they
do the job on a 1 1/2 lb. walleye? Probably not! Match your type of net
with the type of fish that you are after. Nothing is more frustrating than
to have a large fish slip through your net or lie in the bottom of the
rubber net like some over active pancake. I prefer a Beckman^(TM) Penn^(TM)
Series net that is
nylon, coated with rubber. This net allows me the tangle free operation
of a rubber net, yet the capacity and the depth of a cloth or nylon net.
conventional nets.When I am open water trolling I might have four or
more lines fanned out from my boat. When a rod gets a fish on it, I don't
stop the boat. I
usually bring the fish in directly behind the boat and I need to get
it in the net as soon as possible. Believe me, it takes practice to get
the hooked fish through the maze of lines that are out and it also takes
practice to get the fish in the net. I don't want it to flounder on top
and miss netting a trophy fish. Again, practice is important, but the Penn
Series net with the extended handle makes it very easy to use.If you are
interested in obtaining more information about Beckman Nets
go online at www.driftcontrol.com and find out all the different lines
of nets that will help you next time you hook into that trophy fish.