How Sprengel and Parsons power-fish with bottom-bouncers.
A lot of guys/gals sloooowly pull live-bait rigs this time of year, but tourney champs Gary Parsons and Korey Sprengel like bottom-bouncing up to 1.2+ mph to cover water fast and put more fish in the boat.
They use Slow Death (left) and Super Slow Death Hooks (right) that have a special bend in the shank to get nightcrawlers spinning — which walleyes can’t resist when bug hatches are happenin’:
Super Slow Death Hooks (right) have a more-aggressive bend that works better with plastics like Gulp! Nightcrawlers. Gary threads the crawler all the way up the hook so the head actually slides up over the knot and the tail kicks out at a 45-degree angle.
Here’s the duo putting the technique to work on MN’s Leech Lake, where they’re keying in on rock-to-sand transitions…aka walleye highways:
Lots of different options out there nowadays for hooks that are specifically designed to spin a ‘crawler or plastic. Here’s a few new-ish ones that caught my eye and what makes each of ’em different:
Believe this hook was new this spring. Know a lot of guys/gals switched over to it RIGHT away simply ‘cuz TroKar are surgically sharpened = turning more bites into hookups. The 3-sided point is supposed to penetrate twice as fast as others.
Hawgbellies of the week!
Erik Osberg of The Outdoor Report went out for a moonlight stroll with a “slick purple bengal” #7 Berkley Flicker Shad and found the bigger fish trolling through good cabbage out in 14-15′. Like Erik says, “It’s not about having time…it’s about making time!” #NailedIt
Danny “catch ’em all” Thompson has been power-bobbering with Garmin LiveScope…calling shots on specific fish he can pick out far away from the boat. My guess is that’s a technique you’ll be hearing a lot more about in the future, but for now peeps are pretty tight-lipped:
Levi Leary caught himself a 28.75″ hawgbelly outta Slave Lake, Albert-ugh the day before a tourney [heart-break emoji]. Believe that’s a “black stripes on gold foil” Bagley Minnow B that slapped her ‘cross the side of the face:
Top 10 hard-bodied jigging baits.
The ultimate reaction bite — and one of the most enjoyable ways to catch a walleye — is snappin’ a hard-bodied jigging bait and letting it crash back down into bottom. Tough to beat when it comes to putting kicker fish in the boat! #Bigguns
Seen lots of ‘eyes caught while bass fishing, but not usually on a wacky-rigged stick bait. @fishseaguar shot:
Walleyes love them some Freedom Tackle Minnow Spoons on ice! It’s almost like a jerkbait + rattlebait + jigging spoon + blade bait…all wrapped into one fish-sexxy package. The “darndest” part comes since I haven’t seen ’em used much during the open-water season? Cameron Tait (@tait.cameron) don’t care:
@caiti_shae switched gears for bass and ended up sticking this 28″ walter throwing a Strike King 6XD (bass-style crank) at an 11′ rockpile:
Thought the paint was chipping on that cowling ^ but just a cool reflection — heck of a wax job!
“All I can think about is catching the fish that thought my PB walleye looked like a nice snack!”
– That’s Dan Card (@fishhunter_mb) talkin’ about how ridiculously big a fish would have to be to take a swipe at this portly Manitoba greenback:
They grow ’em BIG in Manitoba! I’m starting to think that’s where those old-school head mounts originated…since half the fish goes missing on the way in. #Jaws
…than the year before. DNR believes it’s ‘cuz they allowed 1 keeper if the fish was 21-23″ or longer than 28″.
> …the number of walleyes harvested throughout the duration of the special season was just under 4,000 fish and met expectations. That means “chances are decent” that Mille Lacs will be open to catch-and-release walleye fishing without closure for the rest of the summer.
Breaking into the fishing biz isn’t something that happens overnight, but it is something that can happen! Learn how from a stacked lineup at this awesome 1-day event happenin’ Oct 26 near Elk River, MN:
> …4.6 liter V8. A 2.4-liter belt-driven twin-screw supercharger delivers pressure charging with zero lag for instant throttle response. The supercharger is water-cooled to reduce the temperature of the intake charge and increase power. Twin charge-air coolers…reduce the temperature of the compressed intake charge to further increase air density and power output.
> Growing gizzard shad populations have reduced game fish populations, decreased water quality and limited fishing activity.”
My comment was that: “I know zilch about gizzard shads, but would’ve thought they’d make fish fat ‘n happy?”
Got a cool message from Daryl Bauer, the fisheries outreach program manager with NE Game & Parks Commission, who knows a whoooole lot more ’bout the topic than I ever will. Check it:
> Daryl: I’m not in IA, but we’ve done similar partial renovations here in NE to remove gizzard shad. You’re correct, gizzard shad are an abundant baitfish that can make for some very “fat’ n happy” predator fish, including walleyes. In large bodies of water, they’re a beneficial baitfish. However, the problem with gizzard shad is that they also compete with other small fish, including small, young game fish.
> In smaller bodies of water — fisheries where panfish and largemouth bass thrive — gizzard shad are detrimental because they compete with bluegills, crappies and even small, young bass. By eliminating or drastically reducing gizzard shad in those waters, growth and production of panfish and bass will improve dramatically and so will the fishing!
> So, it all depends…depends on the habitat, depends on the species that are present, depends on the management objectives. In large reservoirs, gizzard shad are great, but in smaller waters, “shad is bad.”
Pretty sure the sound of that motor starting could scare the lighting back into those clouds….
Love this finned-out Jake Billings (@jake.billings.587) shot. Hope you get to see a whole bunch of the same this weekend:
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