I hate the term “game changer,” but forward-facing sonar has literally changed the walleye tourney game. It’s been happening for a number of years now – and more folks are finally starting to key in on those bigger, suspended fish – but the early adopters who have really learned to use the tech have been cleaning up $$$ in the tourney scene. 🤑
I’m not saying this is a negative thing. I’m not saying it’s a positive. I’m just saying it has completely changed how most folks approach walleye tournaments now.
I used to despise slot limits in tournaments. Ex: lakes/systems/formats where only 1 or 2 of your fish could be over say 20” and the rest of your bag had to be under 20”. My argument was why penalize the team who is truly catching the most big fish in a single day. But I can definitely understand why some folks prefer that because you have to be a very well-rounded fisherman/woman to put together a big-fish program AND a small-fish program, and perfectly execute them both to come out on top that day.
Also not saying you don’t have to be super well-rounded to execute the big suspended fish program with FFS and get 5 in the boat. They’re still walleyes and don’t bite more often than they do bite. And remember: fish have fins…. The only thing keeping ‘em there is food, which can easily be a mile away before the day is even over.
Of course there’s walleyes living up shallow all year long too. I’d argue that a lot of the ones up in the weeds probably see less baits each season than the suspended fish nowadays. But those weed fish are a ton of work and a lot of walleye folks still don’t like rip jigging and cleaning weeds off their baits all day lol.
Shoot, our local 25-boat walleye league is chock full of dialed-in LiveScope’rs 🎯 and it was won this week by a team pulling spinners thru shallow weeds. They whacked a dozen fish in a short 3-hour derby (randomly drawn lake with no pre-fishing) while a bunch of us were getting turned down by fish after fish out deep.
Not really sure what my point is with all this, just blabbing out some observations and random thoughts that have been trapped up in this tiny brain.