Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Spring walleye tips and techniques

By Kenneth Kieser

A cool early spring breeze made me shiver while the boat gently rocked in a moderate current. The rocking became a significant problem when the walleye lightly tapped our leeches and minnows. Yet, the river current carried us slowly enough to bounce out baits off submerged rocks where the walleye waited for dinner.

My wife, Cathy, hooked into a very large fish that sawed her bait off of a sharp rock. She patiently baited up and cast out. We knew the bigger fish would dive for the rocks and turning them with light tackle was almost impossible.

Soon another tapped her minnow and she managed to pull it up from the sharp edges that cut line like a razor. I soon slipped the net under a 3-pounder that joined two others in the live well.
Veteran walleye fishermen love to bundle up in warm clothing and go fishing while most are waiting for the spring bite. No one in their right mind can deny the remarkable taste of fresh walleye fillets from cold water.

WHERE TO LOOK FOR WALLEYE: Spring walleye are structure-oriented and often hungry. Look for angled bottom structure in early spring that eventually meets a drop-off. I especially like rocky shelves or huge boulders. Then I drift across these areas with minnows – or salted minnows where live bait is not permitted. Walleye suspend in these areas in search of baitfish.

I constantly have to keep the motor running to stay on fish in windy conditions. Wind will push you past the fish. Spring fish are often staged on slanted areas and a few feet to the right or left can mean no strikes. The key is staying where the walleye want to be. I use 1/4-ounce jig heads in calm water and 3/8th or heavier in wind and waves. We change sizes until the best size is found. Early walleye require an adequate presentation.

VERTICAL FISHING: - Read the rest of the Examiner.net article