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Tactics To Catching BIG Walleye In The Spring

09 Mar

Sure, average-size walleye are fun to catch. But we know what you really want: your picture on the wall, showing off a fish that makes every angler around burn with envy.

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Diane Rohl – Buffalo, MN

 

There’s no better time to land hefty, highly aggressive females than right now, as they chow down in staging areas and then hit the shallows to spawn. By targeting these giants specifically, you’ll have a legiti­mate shot at landing the biggest lunker in your lake.

Here are some proven mega-walleye patterns that will help you find and catch these trophies throughout the spring months.

Jig  the rocks

 Location: Monster pre-spawn walleye love to stage over steep chunk-rock banks (with baseball- to basketball-size rocks) that drop to 15 feet or deeper. Why? These areas are loaded with crayfish, and big females suspend near the sun-warmed rocks to ripen their eggs.

Bait: A 1⁄4- to 1⁄2-ounce jig-and-pig in black-and-blue is a top ­producer here because it mimics crayfish so well.

Presentation:  Cast perpendicular to the bank, let your bait drop to the bottom, and slowly hop it down the incline to a depth of 12 to 25 feet. And remember, a long pause between jumps will specifically draw in the biggest bass.

Crank the creek

Location: As the prespawn progresses and smaller males begin cruising the nearshore waters, the biggest mamas lurk nearby. But they stay hidden, gravitating to any slightly deeper water within flats and bays. This makes creek channels that may bottom out at only 3 or 4 feet—the hottest mega-walleye spots just prior to the spawn.

Bait: The tight wiggling produced by a flat-sided crankbait really triggers these fish to bite. Check out the Bomber Flat A in fire tiger and other various colors.

Presentation: Toss your crankbait across a creek inlet and run it at medium speed over the edge of the drop. Keep the lure bumping bottom and bouncing off any cover. In clear water, retrieve a jerkbait over the wood if there is any. Pay special attention to tree stumps and logs along the edge.

Shake the bed

Location: Look for the first big breeders to spawn in back bays and where peddled shores are located. Wear polarized sunglasses to inspect the areas near blowdowns, and grass edges. Any of these could reveal a BIG walleye. Keep searching until you find one.

Bait: It often takes a big bait to rouse BIG walleye.
5-inch life like swim bait such as a Swimming Charlie (a Joe Bucher bait)  is the ticket.  With a variety of colors to choose from and fire tiger and perch are the most popular colors in our lake and ones that best mimics the live bait in the lake.

Presentation: Cast or troll beyond or past the walleye and swim the lure towards it, working it there until you find the spot that aggravates the fish. Then twitch your rod tip on a slack line to make the bait bounce up and down like a feeding herring, perch or other baitfish…….. Hold on tight!

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