Today’s Top 4
Lots of artificials now used in walleye fishing.
We ran a survey a couple weeks back to find out your favorite ways to target walleyes. After creepin’ on the results, it’s easy to see walleye fishing has changed BIG-TIME over the last few decades.
The most interesting thing is the amount of walleye fishing done with artificial lures: Nearly 75% of Target Walleye readers use lures for at least half of their walleye fishing. Only 3% only fish live bait!
Q: In a given open-water season, how much of your walleye fishing is done with artificial vs live bait?
Readers also broke down their favorite techniques by how frequently they use ’em:
Then we asked some random guy named Al what he thought about the results:
> Al Lindner: “Anglers today are extremely versatile. Fishing walleyes with artificials has gained widespread acceptance, and I’m glad to see it because it’s very effective.
> “Thanks to Target Walleye, more and more fishermen are learning about the latest walleye-fishing tactics and are incorporating them with tried-and-true techniques like bottom bouncers.”
Al noted that the survey showed that many anglers are jigging hard-bodied baits like Rapala Jigging Raps, an open-water craze that Al helped get the word out on less than 5 years ago. Jigs with soft-plastics also play a key role for most Target Walleye subscribers. #AlKnows
Full results are here on TargetWalleye.com.
How the NAIFC championship was won.
> The championship was a two-day tourney on separate sections of Mille Lacs, so pre-fishing was like two separate tournaments. The fish were far more scattered in Wahkon Bay than Isle Bay.
> After 5 days of pre-fishing and thousands of holes camera’d, we concluded that the best fish in Wahkon (bluegills/crappies) were relating to the cleanest bottom near the greenest weeds. In Isle (crappies) it was densest deeper weeds in the fishing area.
When they say “thousands of holes camera’d,” they mean it…. #SwizzCheese
> Day one: The clearer water in Wahkon Bay lent itself to more natural metallic-colored jigs and small live bait. We sorted through plenty of fish, weighing just over 12 lbs and landing in 3rd place after the first day.
> Day two: After an early-morning flurry the fish got extremely picky. Matt downsized to dark-colored small-tungsten jigs (stained water) on palm rods — rather than traditional ice gear — and caught fish when most other competitors couldn’t.
> We used 4 different brands of jigs (Fiska, Kodiak, Larson, Akara). Fish size dictates the jigs we use. Heavier/larger hooks get the best hooksets and holds. You don’t want a hook designed for European roach when targeting crappies with mouths like bass.
> We used meat [live bait] both days…no plastics…we didn’t want any rejections. If you fish meat on some bodies of water, you’ll catch hundreds of fish, that’s not a problem at Mille Lacs.
Anyone that shows up THIS confident for the day 1 take-off is on ’em:
Congrats guys! Sure it won’t be the last time we’re bugging you for the winning deets:
Egg wagons of the week!
Since the NAIFC is still fresh on yer brains…. Here’s Wayne Gstohl’s 2.23-lb slab that took home big-fish honors. Will look good floating next to that plaque on his wall:
Chad M. cracked this 34-incher [!] on a secret body of water that we believe rhymes with “Bolumbia Quiver?” The bottom of that old gal’s tail was worn flat — probably a 25ish year-old fish?! Congrats on the huge release:
Justin Soffa got into a parade of 2-lbers on Lake Gogebic using Fiska Wolfram Tungsten Jigs tipped wigglers. #EggWagons
Another way to use the wind to your advantage while fishing.
Tommy Hicks: “I let my tent set sail and it actually worked! Half mile of no pulling and it went right to the truck! Work smarter not harder.”:
Nicely played, Tommy. Now let’s see you pull it off with the new Clam Big Foot XL6000T Garage….
The Mobridge Ice Fishing Tournament on Lake Oahe does it BIG, but usually has a huge waiting list just to fish it. A loophole: sign up to fish the Denny Palmer Memorial Classic this summer and you could win one of 5 entries.
New catch-and-release records this season for all species…not just for catfish, musky and sturgeon…. *cough* Minnesota *cough*
…at the Minneapolis Convention . It’s dang near impossible to miss the Lund booth — better drive down a tow vehicle just in case….
The river is opening up quick and the bite has been good! Vidas, Frontier, and Birchdale landings have been cleared and are open to all boats.
> Charles Darmer: “Fish moved deeper than Monday. Instead of 16′ we pulled are numbers out of 21′. Orange, gold and chart did fair. Switched to metallic green/gold with rainbows and that’s what the big ones hit.”
Won’t be long ’til the river reaches 4 Mile Bay. Track the open-water line here.
> Perch: Buebird days have been best. Work transition lines on the main basin in 25-40′ with small rattling spoons like Northland Buck-Shots or Clam Blade Spoons. A small tungsten jig/waxworm worked 2′ off bottom can create a feeding frenzy that helps activate less aggressive fish.
> Walleye: The bite has been best during low-light conditions. Work rattle spoons 1′ off bottom until a mark shows up, keep raising the lure to tease ’em into biting.
> Ice conditions will soon become a day-to-day thing. As of right now we’re sitting with around 24″ of ice and access points are holding up okay. With the extended forecast showing highs in the mid-50s, it will be ATV/sled travel after tomorrow.
Headline of the Day
Tip of the Day
Ever get to the retailer and stare at all those pretty shapes, color, and brands, wondering which one you’re going to try this year? Eenie, meenie, minee…NO! Stop. We can do much better than randomly stringing up whatever has the most convincing packaging.
Meme of the Day
The cost of gold ain’t cheap:
Didn’t know the guy from Mystery Tackle Box actually fished: