Target Walleye/Ice email

Shudder bait walleyes, Where fish sticks come from, Summer transition tips

Everybody welcome Pure Fishing back to Target Walleye! Pure Fishing = Berkley, Abu Garcia, Trilene, Fenwick, Pflueger, etc — great stuff bet a bunch of you are already using. Stoked!

Was gonna tell you about a new bait Berkley has coming out, but then Korey Sprengel and John Hoyer cornered me and were like “not today,” and I was like “I think this is the first time I’ve ever seen you dudes NOT smiling?” Lol okay I maybe made that last part up….

Today’s Top 4

Shuddering shallow-water walleyes.

First thing I gotta say is every time I cross paths with CO fishing guide Brad Petersen, he shows or tells me about some super-sneaky technique — or lure mod — that he’s been catching ’em on…. Problem is he always wants me to keep it under wraps so he gets a couple years of tourney fishing with it before others catch on lol! Glad he’s finally letting me out one of his unique bites.

Dude has been whacking shallow weed-patch walleye throwing stuff you’re more likely to see tied on a bass-head’s rig — check it:

> “The bass world has known for years that the bladed jig (aka Chatterbait) is a killer presentation to catch numbers and big shallow-water fish. What makes the Terminator Shuddering Bait unique is the blade…its curved plastic shape gives it a more erratic/darting action than traditional bladed jigs that seems to trigger walleyes.

> “While fishing a lake in eastern CO last spring I found myself on an amazing bite, and decided to give the Shuddering Bait a try…found walleyes didn’t just like it — they LOVED it!!

> “…this bait was producing fish on average 2-3” larger than the other presentations we’d been using that day. Throughout the year when I ran across a shallow-water bite, I kept giving the Shuddering Bait a try and the results kept repeating themselves = numbers and bigger walleyes.

> “I like using the 1/2-oz Shuddering Bait size for the added casting distance and depth you’re able to achieve, while throwing it on a MH bait-casting rod rigged with Sufix 14-lb fluoro.

> “The best way I’ve found to rig the bait is to add a boot-tail trailer — my preference is a BioBait DNA Swimbait or Storm 360GT Searchbait body…the slimmer body profile allows the skirt to work without interference and both have a good kicking action in the tail. An added bonus is both are extremely durability and last numerous fish.”

His favorite color combo out west is the “glimmer blue shad” Shuddering Bait paired with a “sexy shad” color BioBait DNA Swimbait trailer:

> “In western reservoirs the presentation works best over top or along the edges of weeds, or freshly flooded brush during the spring and summer months. …[Also] shined on shoreline structure with a mudline adjacent to deeper water.

> “The best retrieve out west has been a steady retrieve just fast enough that the lure starts to dart more…you’ll be able to see it kicking side-to-side and feel it in your rod.

> “One Midwest angler Ana Leschishin (@ana_on_ice) caught several big walleyes while targeting smallmouth bass with the Shuddering Bait and started experimenting in the natural lakes in north-central MN with great success.

> “In the early season Ana looks for steep breaks with cabbage or pencil weeds adjacent to the shoreline and uses a slow-‘n-steady retrieve. As the water warms she recommends targeting mid-lake humps with an aggressive retrieve. Ana stated, ‘the Shuddering Bait can out-fish some of my favorite go-to crankbaits.'”

Ana’s favorite color in the Midwest = “Nest Robber.”

Few more of Brad’s tricks when throwing the Shuddering Bait for walleyes:

> Fish the clear- or solid-color blades…the shiny blades have not worked as well for me for walleyes.

> The 3.5-4.5″ boot-tail trailers seem to be best.

> I use a straight retrieve most of the time, the key is to retrieve the bait just quick enough to feel the increased vibration of the lure and you’ll notice the lure starts to get more erratic.

> When fish are negative try adding some stop-and-falls to your retrieve.

> Use fluoro or braid with a medium to medium-heavy rod…the bait has a larger 5/0 bass hook and takes a little more effort to get the hook in the fish — especially on long casts.

> Pay close attention to the entire retrieve…several big fish have ate the bait right at the boat side…similar to muskie fishing.

> This presentation excels at covering water — fan cast an area then move on.

Thx for the inside scoop, Brad!

“I think being a teacher is a lot like being a fishing guide…it’s all about education and patience.”

– That’s Jason Freed, who would know — he does both! Rewarding, but for sure takes patience:

Spinner rig new weeds for early-summer walleyes. 

Got scattered fish? Pulling spinners can be a great way to cover water and find where they’re at before they bunch up in their true summer spots.

Fishin’ YouTuber Tom Boley starts by picking out some of the biggest shallow pieces of structure on the lake, and fishes right in the 8-13′ newly emerging weeds. Sometimes the inside or outside edge, but most fish’ll be right in ’em now as the weeds aren’t up too thick/tall yet:

Keep cranking out the quality vids, man!

Where fish sticks come from…

Okay I’m not exactly sure either, but John Brown caught this pre-breaded one on a “chrome yellow perch” color Storm Deep Jr. ThunderStick — fishin’ a river system in the Muskoka-Haliburton range. Yikes!


1. MI: Coast Guard rescues 10 on Lake Michigan…

…after their 30′ boat sank in about 250′ of water on Grand Traverse Bay. Glad everyone made it out safe.

2. MN: Mille Lacs walleye fishing CLOSES July 1.

Can’t even target ’em for the month of July, and:

> “…anglers cannot use most live baits for any species in July. The exceptions are sucker minnows greater than 8″ for targeting northern pike and muskie, and waxworms for panfish and perch.”

Catch-and-release walleye fishing is scheduled to re-open on Sat, Aug 1…for now….

3. Jeff Simpson now at Lindner Media.

New digital media director after 22-ish years with In-Fisherman:

> “…will lead the group’s digital media growth and new endeavors across all the company’s brands, such as Lindner’s Angling Edge, Lindner’s Fishing Edge, The Ontario Fishing Experience, AnglingBuzz, The Ultimate Fishing Experience, and FISHheadTV.”

Super nice dude + fishing junkie. And huge bonus points for his wife bringing those incredible chocolate-caramel and lemon bars into the office lol. Had to go back for seconds thirds.

4. 2020 NWT schedule now official.

5. Sprengel hopped on the JMO Podcast.

Talked about how his “strategy for successful prefishing has evolved through his tourney career,” but the same strategies and decision-making process can help anyone to be more successful on the water.

6. SD: Lake Oahe MWC happenin’ Jun 26-27.

Outta Mobridge. “Walleye Up” ladies and gentlemen!

7. ND: Devils Lake virtual fishing contest happenin’ Sat.

> “With the cancellation of the Chamber Walleye Tournament, we looked for a way to provide some fun on the water and still be able to abide by the social distancing guidelines set forth. This is a great way to still get out on the water, enjoy the day with family or a friend, and have a chance to win some really great prizes.”

8. New smaller 2.5″ Storm 360GT Searchbait out.

Has a 3/32-oz rattling jighead with a #2 VMC hook. FishUSA’s already got ’em in stock here.

9. MotorGuide Tour was redesigned from prop to pedal.

Lot more info on the cable-steer bow-mount in this Bassin’Master gear review.

10. Evinrude said it was losing shares, so folded.

> “Our outboard engines business has been greatly impacted by Covid-19, obliging us to discontinue production of our outboard motors immediately. This business segment had already been facing some challenges, and the impact from the current context has forced our hand.

> “We won’t comment or speculate on what our dealers had to say about this decision, and we stand by our belief in the technology we produced. However, over the last few years, despite its innovative technology, our outboard engine lineup has been losing shares in a market that was already difficult.

> “As the current situation forced us to reduce our investment plan and review downward our growth expectation for the business, the path to profitability improvement for outboard engines was too long and it became apparent that we had to take the difficult decision to discontinue our outboard engine production.”

11. New Raymarine Axiom+ and charts.

> …Axiom+ models feature a bright IPS LCD that is 25% brighter than previous Axiom models…improved touch-screen performance….

> Along with the upgraded Axiom+ line, Raymarine is unveiling a new electronic catalog of LightHouse Charts.

12. St. Croix has 3 new CCI models comin’.

To their Croix Custom Ice lineup. Only info I could find on ’em so far said:

> “See the all-new, extra-fast, tubular carbon and glass (TCG) CCI EYE RAISER in the Ice category of the 2020 ICAST New Product Showcase.”

13. It’s National Lightning Safety Awareness Week.

First I’d ever heard of it, but what’s not surprising to me is that fishermen account for the most lightning deaths (PDF).

14. VT: No swimming allowed at boat ramps.

> “There’s a reason motorboats aren’t allowed in swimming areas, and swimming isn’t allowed at fishing access areas — it’s simply not safe.”

They take it seriously — it’s a $162 ticket if you get caught!

15. NY: Free fishing weekend Jun 27-28. Highlights

Tip of the Day

Cover water vertically and horizontally.

From Parsons and Kavajecz is this great throwback The Next Bite TV write-up.

> Early summer is a transition period: Fish are past the post-spawn period and are moving into more summer patterns. Traditionally this can mean tough fishing, but covering as much water as possible can help you catch more walleyes.

> Spread lures out both horizontally as well as vertically. Walleyes can be tight to the structure, or suspended in open water. It really depends on the particular lake you’re fishing.

> In open water, get those baits out from the boat using Off Shore Tackle OR12 Side Planers. These boards are ballasted so they run true in the roughest conditions, and even sit upright when still in the water.

> Spreading lures vertically sometimes means using methods that allow lures to run deeper than they normally would. This is a common practice this time of year since we’re typically using smaller-sized lures that are not designed to dive very deep on their own.

> In open water it may mean adding a weight in front of the lure, like an Off Shore Tackle Guppy Weight on an OR16 Pro Snap to gain more depth. Or in situations where we are trolling structure, we often incorporate leadcore line to get the baits to the desired depth.

> Shad-style baits like the Berkley Flicker Shad are great where the fish are feeding on stuff like shad, perch, crappie and similar forage. In lakes where the walleyes are feeding on things like smelt, cisco and alewives we opt for a longer bait like Berkley Flicker Minnows.

> Walleyes normally feed “up,” meaning their feeding zone is above where they’re positioned. If you mark fish suspended 25′ down over 35′, run your lures just above them at 20′.

> Fish relating to structure and hanging tighter to the bottom are another story. While running lures just above these fish can trigger a few to bite, many times these fish are better triggered by running lures right in front of their faces.

Keep reading here for way more info from The Next Bite crew.

Quote of the Day

“…we try to make it as real as possible — not just going to a pond and throwing in a bobber, actually going on a boat ride and going fast.”

– That’s Caleb Niedfeldt talking about Fishing For the Heart, a faith-based non-profit program he started to get at-risk kids out fishin’ in WI.

> “We can’t guarantee fish, that’s why they call it fishing and not catching but we are trying to make it the most fun and exciting experience they can have.”

Love it.

Today’s ‘Eye Candy

Dan DeJaeghere stuck this 28″ Leech Lake mud melon bottom-bouncing a JB Lures Back T Back Rig on deep main-lake breaks:

> Dan: I know I am dating myself but I credit Pete Harsh for discovering the deep mainlake breaks bite on Leech when he won the ’98 Leech Lake PWT.  I wrote an article a few years later in Walleye Insider detailing this pattern called “When the Wind Doesn’t Blow.”

> …I don’t think there are many secret spots left anymore due to GPS, mapping, social media, ect. While this pattern is pretty well known on Leech now, and many people fish some of the key spots…it’s interesting that we caught fish on one of my spots from 15 years ago — that I hadn’t fished in many a year — and I don’t think we had a boat within 2 miles of us.

> I’m guessing there are deep fish on Leech on spots that see very little or any pressure. Of course this basin pattern exists on many other bodies of water, such as Mille Lacs, Big Stone, Lake of the Woods and many more places.

> Bottom-bouncers and spinners are the way to go, and we also caught fish on traditional rigs, such as the Ventilator 3-Hook Harness. For some reason on Leech, these fish don’t seem to hit it that aggressively at times…a 3-hook rig is an advantage as you sometimes just have to hold the fish 5-7 seconds before setting the hook. We had a heavy mayfly hatch, and that may have contributed to that?

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