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Speed-up for Fast Walleye Action
By Norb Wallock
How many walleye anglers out there have sat through countless
seminars and watched T.V. programs where others have told us that when
we fish for walleyes that we have to fish them very slowly? Sometimes
it is necessary to fish very slowly for walleyes, especially when they're
inactive. But there are other times when you'll catch a lot more
fish by moving the bait quickly. When this happens, I like to change my
methods a little. I've found that these little changes will sometimes
pay big rewards. If walleyes smash my bait as I am looking for them they
signal to me that they want fast moving baits and they will chase anything
that will swim. When walleyes react this way I change to fast
moving baits, like spinner rigs, crankbaits, or jigs. Experiment
until you find which luretype works the best.
Most of the time a jig will be tried first. If the fish are active,
I'll put a plastic grub on the jig. These baits don't rip off easily,
and I don't have to rebait after every walleye. Also, walleyes hit
plastic grub very well, especially when the fish are on a "good bite".Work
the jig quickly through the fish holding area. Hop it or swim it,even
snap the jig and don't pause as you usually would, but instead keep
the bait moving. The theory behind this type of action is, if the
walleye is serious about hitting your bait it will be there when you move
it quickly. Many times when you are starting to snap the jig or swim
it to you the walleye is already hooked. The strike will usually
be quite firm.
Jigs often work best fished quickly along weedbed edges, or over shallow
humps. When the fish are on spots like this, they're frequently active.
Casting is usually the best way to work jigs quickly along
these areas. Crankbaits work well in the same areas as jigs for
active walleyes, and the area over the tops of weeds can be added if crankbaits
are being used. Jigs can be worked over weeds, but depth control
is easier with crankbaits. Therefore, I prefer to use
Shad Raps and Rattlin Fat Raps, because they simulate the minnows many
of these walleyes chase.
Walleyes seem very eager to smash a crankbait that has just been ripped
free from a weed. Don't get too concerned about the lure's color,
but pay attention to lure size. Use the biggest bait that the fish
will hit. When the walleyes are active, the bigger baits will often
take the bigger fish.
Live bait rigs with spinners work well when the walleyes are in dirty
water or down deep. The spinner throws more flash and vibration,
and will lure fish from greater distances. An active fish twenty
feet away from your bait might not notice a straight live bait rig, but
will come over and hit a spinner rig for the sole reason that it's more
visible and therefore attractive. Work quickly with the spinners.
You're looking for active walleyes, and at times you have to cover a lot
of water to find them. Vary spinner size according to water clarity.
In stained situations, go with a larger, brighter spinner. As water
clarity increases, try a smaller, more subtle color blade. Probably
in gold or silver will be a good selection.
Spinner rigs are usually most effective when trolled as they're a little
cumbersome to cast. Usually you can set the hook as soon as the strike
Try fishing fast for walleyes when they're active this year, and I'm
sure you'll find that walleyes do hit fast baits.
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