We love us some weed-dwelling walleyes! Not all vegetation is created equal, but Joel Nelson has a trick for finding the right type of weeds in the right spots:
> Knowing your weeds is important. Cabbage is a broad-leafed, rooted plant in our lakes, and to me is the premium fish-holder. Coontail is a close second, though there are many species that hold fish.
> Being a map nerd with a natural resources background, I’m fascinated by the amount of info the MN DNR has on its lake vegetation reports
. There are detailed maps on species, locations, and abundance (not all lakes).
Quick screenshot from the Leech Lake, MN veggie report, but way more info here:
> Research the lakes you fish to see if there are prime weedbeds in key locations: cabbage locations with an interesting twist, inside turn, or point…with broad sandy shallows inside, and immediate deep water outside.
> The deep end of the cabbage is around 10-14′ early on. This time of year the weeds are sparse, so you can drag rigs right through ’em. You’ll want turbid, stained water or a good chop with overcast conditions…otherwise you’re just pushing fish around the shallows with your boat.
> The perfect weed-bite lakes don’t have crystal-clear water, but have enough clarity to support ample weed growth to depths in the mid-teens by mid-summer.
> Early I’ve pulled shiners, rainbows, or even large creek chubs on a short leash (3′ leader or less), with a heavy 1/2-oz bullet sinker and float. This is a great early-season big-fish technique.
> As weeds develop more, I’ll float a worm up off the bottom a bit. Adding a float keeps the bait away from the bases of those stalks which are the snaggiest and least forgiving. You may tangle in the leaves, but can easily pull through here.
> A good way to reduce snagging is to take a #4 or #6 VMC Walleye Wide Gap
hook and Texas-rig the crawler by burying it into the body. The larger gap allows that worm to collapse on the hookset.
Keep reading the full Joel Nelson write-up here.