Fishing Tips

Shuddering shallow-water walleyes

First thing I gotta say is everytime 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…. But the 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! So 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:

> When walleyes start to roam the shallows and weed patches, it’s one of my favorite times to catch big walleyes. The vicious strikes and fast action make it hard to beat. There is a new lure you might want to give a try this year to target these shallow gravel lizards — one you may not traditionally think of: the Terminator Shuddering Bait.

> 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 walleye to bite.

> While fishing a lake in eastern Colorado 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 boottail 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 big ‘eyes.

His favorite color combo is “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. The other condition where it shined was 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 more side-to-side and feel it in your rod.

> Over the winter I shared my observations with a few other guides and anglers, who mentioned they also had the same experience with the Shuddering Bait and walleyes over the past couple years.

> 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.”

Few more of Brad’s tricks to get more bites throwing the Shuddering Bait specifically 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” boottail 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!

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