> Hays: “Some of the best areas have clean hard-bottom structure. Rocks are ideal, but fish will relate to sand and gravel as well.
> “If you can find a bank spot on the south end of the lake, that’s where you want to be. Heavy north winds push bait and fish into these areas.”
> “I like to fish outflow spots, whether it’s a creek mouth, culvert, anything with moving water really. Seems like these push the bait around more and make it easier for the fish to ambush.
> “It doesn’t seem like a steep drop is necessary. I actually like fishing more flat-type areas because the fish are cruising at night looking for an easy meal.”
> “Longer spinning rods generally work best — I’m bombing casts so some extra tip helps. A 7′ 6” medium, fast-action is perfect.
> “I fish a variance of a basic bottom rig: 20-lb braid mainline to a 3-5′ 12-lb mono leader with a 1/0 octopus hook. For my sliding dropper, I use a 2′ piece of 12-lb mono to a 2-oz cannon ball weight…allows the weight to slide up and down the line — that way when a fish picks up a bait they can run with it freely.”
> “After making a cast and getting the line tight, I set the rod up in the rod holder. Budget-friendly spiral rod holders [like Berkley Spiral Rod Holders] work just fine. As long as it holds the rod steady and doesn’t let it get pulled in, it’ll work.
> “I tape a glow stick to the tip of the rod so I can visually see if the tip moves. I dial the drag as loose as I can get away with. When I do get a bite, I try to get to the rod quickly and open the bail to feed line.
> “I fish big chubs pretty much exclusively…4-6” redtails or creek chubs are perfect.
> “Having a good spotlight or headlamp is probably the most important piece of equipment.”
Have other tip ideas you want us to tackle? Open water or ice?? Let us know here.
NWT pro Tommy Kemos on The Next Bite TV talks about how a solid thermocline will actually eliminate a bunch of water on the lake, since the walleyes will almost always be at or above it due to the temp change:
Now you know.
Think this guy was hungry??
Andy Lusk #tagged us in this pic over on the Instagrammy. Said this Columbia River walldawg snacked on a perch appetizer before thwackin’ his blade bait:
Not sure who makes that specific bait, but do know blade baits are the bomb (and still overlooked) in cold water….
Aka “the troller’s Bible.” Now has dive curves for the Banshee 3s, 5s, 7s, and the banana-shaped Boogey 13 that can dive 28′ (192′ back) on a flat-line troll. Know Phantom’s Nick Cox has been gettin’ his Boogey on lately:
Said they’ve got more baits being added to the app soon-ish too.
Have a shot at winning this $250 buffet of walleye candy from Phantom Lures, including all 24 of their fish-sexy colors! Yup, they make some killer WALLEYE baits!! Same as before: Click here to enter. Share the link you get for more chances to win. Good luck!!!
> “Walleyes can be more difficult to find at this time of year because they’re on the move and transitioning from deeper to shallow water. You can count on the last green weeds to attract baitfish and walleyes.
> “Look for the greenest weeds you can find at the outside edge of bays that face deeper water. Eventually, those weeds die too and baitfish and panfish have to either slip off the first dropoff, or they migrate to the safety of the shallows.
> “Locate the outside and inside edge of the weeds by using your polarized glasses or your electronics. Make note of the depth where the weeds end because that should be the same all around the lake. Avoid any [weeds] that are beginning to brown.
> “Walleyes will position at different locations along the dropoff depending on conditions. They might be right on top, along the slope or at the base of the dropoff waiting to intercept minnow schools. Most times the walleyes will be at a very specific depth, but will move up and down the contour.
> “After a month or more, the migration reverses. The shallows begin to chill and fall wave action mixes and re-oxygenates the water. Walleyes can now go wherever they want. Baitfish move back to the extreme shallows and walleyes will be right on their heels.”
Meme of the Day
It’s a tough job, but someone’s gotta do it:
Today’s ‘Eye Candy
You gettin’ the frost bite yet?
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Target Walleye/Ice — walleye during open water and all species during hardwater — is brought to you by Al and Ron Lindner, Jim Kalkofen, Brett McComas and other diehard fish-nuts like you! #fishheads
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