…as much as other things. Bet that first line had a few of you worked up quick lol. But really, how often are you asked: “What color are you getting ’em on?” Johnnie Candle summed it up well in this Joel Nelson write-up:
> Johnnie: “First and foremost you need to have your baits in front of fish — color can’t overcome fishing where fish just aren’t (nearby).”
> “After you’ve found fish, gotten a few to eat…and then fine-tune your retrieve, speed, action and other offerings…then maybe you can start to crack the code of which colors work better.”
Spot on! There’s for sure times when lure color makes all the difference IF you’re on ’em, but you have to be on ’em. And certain colors always seem to work better on some bodies of water, like Joel Nelson’s rusty crayfish pattern:
> “Orange, and I mean the brightest, gaudiest, blaze orange you can find…. I attribute it to the rise in invasive rusty crayfish in many of the larger waters I fish.
> “I’ve seen orange-craw patterns dominate in many conditions as fish in the livewell regurgitate orange carcasses. Lake of the Woods, Leech Lake and other smaller waters in northern WI, crankbaits and plastics that imitate a scurrying crayfish have been winners no matter the time of year.
Joel and Johnnie go into more detail on when color does and doesn’t matter right here.
Courts wins on one wing dam.
The National Walleye Tour was just on pools 9, 10 and 11 of the Mississippi River. The water was slowly rising, which helped to position the fish in more predictable places…and man did pro Mark Courts ever predict ’em.
He won the derby fishing a single wing dam, weighing a 2-day bag of 41.97 lbs and banking an $81K payday:
Mark said the spot was a short wing dam 10-11′ on the front side tapering down to an island. He focused on the base of the dam which had rocks and sand:
> “I positioned about 50′ upstream with my MinnKota Ultrex. Every fish came from that wing dam. I never moved more than 40′ side to side. It wasn’t a difficult decision to stay because I kept catching the right fish.
> “Typically, you get bit right at the face of the dam. Today [we] couldn’t keep it there long because there was so much grass floating down. We were constantly cleaning our baits. There was a big flat behind the wing dam. The walleyes rest behind it and then slide up to eat.”
Three of his fish came on a bassin’ crankbait [!] called the Berkley Dredger 10.5
(rootbeer splatter back), which looks like this:
The rest came on smaller willow cats fished with a 1/2-oz egg sinker, 1′ leader and a #2 Fusion19 Octopus Hook.
> “I’ve been fortunate to have a lot of big moments in my career, but to go on a 9-year drought, it gets frustrating. I lost a championship a few years ago to Korey Sprengel and that gets under your skin. Every win is a memorable one and this one is special because it’s been a long time.”
Earned it man! Keep doing your thing.
How Hoyer got 2nd…not 1st.
John Hoyer finished 2nd, weighing 40.80 lbs for $19,654. He actually had the winning fish a few feet from the boat, but it came unbuttoned — sounds like walleye fishing:
> “I lost a 6- to 7-lber on my very last cast of the day. My partner had two of the rods reeled up when it bit. We had her about 6′ from the boat and she just let go. I had all the bites to win.”
Hoyer fished a current seam of a small wooden cut in 8-10′ on Pool 10:
> “The fish would sit in the wood. I could see them sitting there with my Lowrance side imaging. They wouldn’t bite anywhere else but right on the current seam.
> “…position two rods with creek chubs on a slider rig with a 1.5-oz weight. On the other two, we would swing willow cats down the current seam on Lindy rigs with a 3′ leader and either a 1/4- or 3/8-oz weight.”
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