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WALLEYE FISHING: With Video

07 Jun

IMG_0004Wawang Lake offers excellent walleye fishing, but really they don’t always jump into the boat as myths would like us to believe.  Realistically speaking, fishing is fishing.  We have good days and bad days just like anywhere else.  However, what we can promise our anglers is that there is fish in the lake.  LOTS of them, so the action fishing frequently happens on Wawang Lake, just not everyday or all day long.

Catching these fish requires that you locate them and then present your lure or bait so that it gets bit. Here are a few basic tips to cons ider that will make your fishing trip more productive.

  • Don’t rely solely on your old habits and techniques exclusively. Ask us for help because we collect information daily and pass this onto our guests to help them catch fish more effectively.
  • Use your sonar unit!  Bring your own, or, we rent portable fish finders that will help you find structure such as weeds, rocks and drop-offs that may hold fish. The locator will also mark schools of bait fish and individual walleye in deeper water (15 feet+). This tool is indispensable. Learn how to use it well and you’re going to be rewarded with more fish. Ask for help if you are unsure of how to interpret what it is showing.
  • Boat control is essential. Keeping the bait in the right location, direction, and at the right speed and depth, is the only way to consistently catch fish. Use your motor, the wind or both to control the position of your boat. Use your lake map to record notes on successful locations, depths and speed to remind you of what brought about success.
  • Food & comfort are two prime concerns of the walleye. Seasonal variations such as water temperature and weed growth dictate where the food source and the walleye will be found. As well, daily variations such as weather, wind and amount of daylight all play a role in where the walleye can be located and caught. Be aware of the subtle changes happening around you. Try to identify patterns that produce fish. But remember, walleye will adapt to their behavior in order to take advantage of favorable conditions. Just because you catch some in the weeds doesn’t mean that it’s only a “weed bite”. Try different locations at different times of day. walleye often are moving around during the course of the day. If you’re not getting bites, do something different.
  • Walleye are effective predators because their eyesight gives them a superior advantage for chasing down food in low-light conditions. That’s why it’s to your benefit to be on the water early and late in the day. Put the odds in your favor.  On some days, these are the only periods a decent bite will occur. Be ready for it.
  • Tune-up your equipment before you arrive. Make sure that your rods and reels work properly. If the line is not in excellent condition, replace it. And sharpen those lure hooks. It’s your equipment that connects you to the fish.  Have you ever noticed that fish, especially big fish, love faulty equipment?  NOTE: We carry a wide range of tackle in our store.    Also, make sure that you can effectively tie a knot that holds, such as the Uni-Knot, Improved Clinch or Palomar Knots. walleye simply love poorly tied knots, just slightly less than faulty equipment, though.
  • Above all, don’t be embarrassed to ask for advice! We all have something to learn about walleye fishing, and many guests can offer valuable tips based on real knowledge of Wawang Lake. Use the coffee time in the morning and fish fry night at the lodge meet with your host and other guests to share and receive fishing information.  Be sure to ask about locations, water depths and lure speeds/colors that are producing fish. And talk to us before you head out on the water. Make it your business to really understand what’s working to reduce sheer guesswork and wasted fishing time. Don’t let yourself (and your partner) spend the first few days of your vacation fooling with unproductive methods.

Methods That Will Effectively Catch Walleye on Wawang Lake

There are many methods for catching walleye. This article will cover three good ones for Wawang Lake.  Each has a different purpose and requires different skill and equipment. Remember, the better you become at each one of these, the more fish, and bigger fish, you’re going to catch. So, we suggest that you use your stay at Wawang Lake Resort, in part, to intentionally become a better angler. Challenge yourself to make it more than just another fishing trip. After all, you’re going to be on outstanding walleye water.

If you’re fishing with a partner, talk about what you’re each interested in and then work together on the methods. Be aware that the methods are not compatible for simultaneous use. For example, one of you should not be jigging while the other is trolling. Agree upon a method and stick with it until change is deemed desirable or necessary. You can take turns selecting the method to fish with which has the advantage of forcing periodic changes if what you’re doing is not working very well. Experiment with different lure sizes, weights and colors. And if one lure proves to be hot, both of you can run it.

1.  Crank-baits: An excellent method to cover the water quickly and locate walleye. Forward troll at slow to moderate speeds, working weed and rock edges, depth changes, mud flats & humps. Tie on using a small snap swivel. Ten to 14 pound “super-line”, such as Fire Line or Power Pro, is recommended for trolling. Its “no-stretch” design will help you feel the lure working properly, much more so than with mono. This is a big plus, because a lure fouled with weeds won’t catch tegt_crankbait_box280x210fish. The thin diameter line will allow your lures to run deeper as well. It’s advisable to attach a three-foot length of 10# fluorocarbon (or mono) leader material between your line and lure to make the line less visible to the walleye. This is an advantage. A 6 1/2′ (or longer), medium-power rod with either a bait-caster or spinning reel will work fine. And it’s best to hold your rod in your hand to know if you’re hitting bottom or ticking weeds, which is something that you should be doing occasionally, unless the fish are clearly suspended higher in the water column. Two or more anglers in the boat should spread their rods widely off to the side. And let out plenty of line (75 feet or more) to get your lures well behind the boat. Check your lures periodically to ensure they are running clean. If it’s breezy out, troll with the wind – it’s much easier to control the boat. The table below will give you a few suggestions on getting started. But there are plenty of other lures that will work, too.

SUGGESTIONS:  But not limited to

Spring

Late May-Early June

Early   Summer

Mid-Late June

Mid   Summer

July-Early Aug.

Late   Summer/Fall

Mid Aug.& Sept.

8ft.-15ft. depths

10ft-20ft. depths

15ft-25ft. depths

20ft-40ft. depths

Rap. Husky Jerk*(3” up to 4 ¾”)Colors: silver/black, Tennessee Shad
———————-
Reef   Runner*
“Rip   Stick”*Color:  gold clown
———————-
Rap.   Tail Dancer*
(#7,   2 ¾”)
Colors:   hot green, shad
Rap. Tail Dancer*(#7, 2 ¾”…#9, 3 ½”)Colors:   hot green, shad
———————-
Reef   Runner*
“Rip   Stick”  &
“Deep   Little Ripper”Color:  gold clown
Rap. Tail Dancer*(#9, 3 ½…Deep T.D.)Colors: hot green, shad
———————-
Reef   Runner*
“Deep   Little Ripper”
“Deep   Diver”Color: gold clown
Rap. Tail Dancer*(Deep Tail Dancer, 4 3/8”)Colors: all seem to work
———————-
Reef   Runner*
“Deep   Diver”
Color:   gold clown

jigs12.  Jigging:
A good way to work concentrations of fish once you find them. Tie your jig directly to your line….no snaps or leader. Six to eight pound monofilament line with the lightest jig to do the job. Forward or back-troll slowly, drift or cast, keeping your jig just above the bottom. A 6’ or 6 ½’ medium power spinning rod with a fast-action tip would be a good choice.

AN EXAMPLE CHART BUT COLORS WILL DEFINITELY VARY

Spring
May-Early   June

Early   Summer
Mid   to Late June

Mid   Summer
July   to Early Aug.

Late   Summer/Fall
Mid   Aug. & Sept.

4ft. -15ft. depths

10ft. -20ft. depths

15ft.- 25ft. depths

20ft-40ft. depths

1/8 to 3/8 oz. chartreuse, gold, silver, green,   red/orange

¼ to 3/8 oz.
chartreuse, gold, silver, green, red/orange

3/8 oz.
chartreuse,   gold, silver, green, red/orange

3/8 to ½ oz.
chartreuse,   gold, silver, green, red/orange

Minnow or leech

Minnow or leech

Minnow, leech or crawler

Minnow, leech or crawler


3.  Bottom Bouncing:

bottombouncerrigwhiteA deadly method of covering the water using live bait spinner rigs…..either single hook minnow rigs or double/triple hook crawler harnesses. A bottom bouncer is a weighting system that has attached a piece of lead to a wire shaft. Special bottom bouncing weights are available in various sizes…the generally recommended weight is 1 oz. for every 10 ft. of depth. There are several designs available and they all work. The “slip bouncer” design that allows your line to freely slide through the bottom bouncer, much like the traditional Lindy Rig does. When a fish bites you immediately feed it line for 2-3 seconds (undetected by the walleye) before tightening up and setting the hook.

Don’t Discount the Spinner Rig

Forward trolling at moderate speeds is preferred, although a slow back-troll or drift early in the season is effective using lighter weights. From mid-summer into fall, fishing with heavy weights (2-3 oz.) is necessary. A 7 foot medium-power rod with a fast-action tip combined with a bait caster with a “flippin’ switch” is ideal. (A “flippin’ switch” allows you to quickly and precisely release line in a controlled manner, which is a huge plus when you’re trying to stay close to the bottom.)

Other rod/reel combos will work, but not quite as well. Ten to 14 pound “super-line” is recommended to allow you to get to the proper depth and give you excellent feel of the bottom, as well as the lightest walleye bites. The idea is to run your bait just above the bottom, while just ticking it every now and then. This is very important because if you drag this rig on the bottom it’s going to get badly fouled.   Holographic spinners and crawler harnesses work exceptionally well…….choose the bigger blades if planning on fishing late summer/fall. Suggested spinner blade colors are: Fire-tiger, Gold Shiner, Silver Shiner, Sunfish, Rainbow Chub, Gold Perch, Yellow Perch and Sunrise.

Minnows are the bait of choice in the spring and minnows, leeches & crawlers through the summer and fall.

Spring

May-Early June

3/8 to 1 oz.

Early Summer

Mid-Late June

1 to 2 oz.

Mid-Summer

July-Early Aug.

2 oz.

Late Summer/Fall

Mid-Aug. On

2 to 3 oz.

 

Significant Seasonal Events-  Adapting to the Mayfly Hatch: The annual hatch of mayfly larvae which occurs mid-June to early July, and lasting several weeks, is a preferred food source for walleye and can create difficulties for some anglers. Rather than using this as an excuse to NOT catch walleye, use this feeding frenzy to your advantage!  Although over the years Wawang Lake is not always hard hit with mayflies it’s to your benefit to know what you’re up against should they be apparent on you trip.

Walleye will actively seek out areas where mayflies are hatching, generally mud bottom, cabbage strewn, shallow sections of the lake. Back bays containing the warmest water will show the first may fly hatch……key in on this structure! Larvae activity is triggered by rising water temps which is often at its peak during mid-day, high light conditions. Contrary to normal  “walleye instincts” mid-day 10 am to 2 pm can often be the best time period to catch fish during the may fly hatch!  Cover these areas by trolling crank baits, keying in on weed edges and shallow mud flats. Many times the walleye will be buried in the cabbage beds themselves. Working a jig tipped with live bait or casting & twitching a lure such as the Rapala Suspending Husky Jerk can often result in some quality fish. Remember, these fish are often “stuffed” full of food and may require an aggressive approach….bigger baits, erratic action, a quicker retrieve….mix things up till you find what works.

There you have it, tips that will definitely catch walleye. You will be pleasantly surprised with the numbers and size of the fish you will be catching as you develop real skill with these methods. We have caught hundreds of walleye on Wawang Lake using the same methods described above. You can too!

 

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