One of Al’s favorite ways to catch ’em — maybe his favorite way:
> Live bait was a way of life for me until about 9 years ago. I finally woke up and discovered that this mentality had me missing out on a red-hot artificial-lure bite up in the shallow weeds. Most walleye anglers won’t venture up into the jungle. They’ve had a mental block against fishing heavy cover for years.
> Fact is, most walleye anglers start at the edge of the weed bed and work their way out to open water with live bait. Promise me you’ll do just the opposite on your next trip — instead put on a soft plastic minnow-mimicking lure and fish right in the weeds.
> In a perfect situation, I’m talking about scattered weeds in less than 12′ and typically I’m fishing in just 4-8′. You’re not doing a lot of casting — you’re allowing the bow-mount trolling motor to move you along — but you are snapping or ripping a lure through the weeds much like you would to catch bass.
> You’re depending on walleyes to visually see your soft-plastic lure darting through the weeds and react. That’s why braided line is important — it gets you through the weeds much easier. I’m using spinning tackle with 10-lb braided line and a 30″ fluorocarbon leader.
> My lure of choice is soft-plastic paddletail or split-tail minnow, and I’m snap-jigging the lure with fast erratic movements of the rod. Make sure you’re using a 1/4-oz jighead with a wire-keeper barb on it in order to keep your soft-plastic minnow from tearing loose every time you rip it through the weeds.