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Category Archives: breaklines

The Underwater World of Freshwater Fish

The fishes world evolves around the ability to feed, reproduce and survive. Cover, Structure, Temperature and Oxygen are the key components. Understanding the waters of their world will help you determine the type of water and where they live.

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Cover & Structure:

These two terms are often confused as the same, but they are not. Cover is defined as a type of structure, natural or man made such as weeds, vegetation, fallen trees, docks, and swimming platforms. Structure is the physical characteristics of the water system; points, rock bars, islands, reefs, humps and breaklines. To understand the difference, if you completely drain the water only the structure will not move.

Breaklines & Edges

Breaklines and edges

Anglers hearing or reading the phrases ”fish caught off the first break” or ”fish caught on the weed edge” may be confused as to their meaning. All active fish will relate to breaks or edges. Weed beds are like “aquatic neighborhoods” providing all stages of the food chain protection from predators or an ambush source for feeding. Breaklines (Breaks) are defined as an area of transition from one depth to another, one cover type to another, one water temperature to another, one water color to another, one substrate to another or any other transition that could influence fish behavior. Cover (weeds) next to a deep water breakline usually hold more fish than a shallow flat.

Humps and Reefs

humps and reefs

Any mid lake underwater structure higher than the surrounding area can be classified as a hump or reef, they are among the most productive structures in lakes and flowages. Walleye and northern pike are attractive possibilities. If weeds, boulders and ledges are present, this structure will be even better, producing more game fish.

Points and Bars

points and bars

Protruding shoreline points and bars offer a diversity in structure and are fish producers throughout the year. Key bottom components are, inside turns and drops offs. Add cover such as submergent and emergent weeds, drowned wood and you have a top attraction for all gamefish.

Wood and Weeds

woods and weeds

Drowned wood, laydowns, brush plies composed of fir, pine, oak and maple typically lasts for years. By contrast birch and poplar provide cover for two to three years before decomposing to remnants. Drowned wood is terrific cover. The more complex the branches below the surface the better for fish. More branches more cover for a game fish to ambush prey. Finding “good” drowned wood means finding plenty of fish.

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Tips for Walleye Fishing Deep Water

King Group

The King group caught & released 57 trophy fish during their week of fishing – NICE!

It has been referred to as the dog days of summer, but we like to call it the summer walleye bonanza. July, August & into September are the best walleye producing months, and here is a quick explanation why.

During the summer, walleye drop to deeper water in large schools. Hundreds of fish group up together and hold, and move, on the edges of rock bars, the tops of deep hard bottomed flats, as well as over deep grass beds. Using your locator, and/or drifting these areas are both good ways to help locate these big schools of fish. Usually the fish are concentrated about 4-8 feet above the thermo-cline, in 20-40 feet of water. As the season progresses, and the water warms, the fish get deeper.

Once located, the fish are easily caught.  Jig/minnow, jig/crawler, or slip sinker rigs, like a lindy rig, are all good producers. Putting as many as 100 Walleyes in the boat is not uncommon, BIG fish are also caught at this time of year, as they seem to hold with the other fish at optimum depths. The use of an underwater camera can aid tremendously in searching out these fish. Some might call it cheating, but it’s more commonly refer to it as a technological advantage. A good locator only sees so much of the bottom, and most boats are rigged with a lesser A model of sonar, unable to pick up these schools of fish, especially if they are tight to the bottom. When found, a marker buoy, and good boat control are key to staying on the fish. Vertical jigging is a technique that is commonly used whenever possible on calm days, but on windy days, anchoring and slip bobbers, or drifting slip-sinker rigs with a drift sock can also produce good results. The schools of fish can move on these structures, so if your anchored and the bite slows, you will have to re-position on the fish.

Colors of jigs for fish on the clearer lakes can be critical at times, so be sure to carry colors like chartreuse, any of the foil colors, green, orange, yellow and even glow in the dark jigs. Dark colored jigs don’t seem to get near the attention that the brighter colors do. The amount of light that penetrates these depths is greatly reduced, making the dark colors harder for the eyes to locate. Brighter colors can be seen from a further distance, attracting more attention to them.

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That brings up what time of day is best to target these schools of walleye.   Heavy cloud cover will provide all day catching along with some of the best fishing you’ll ever exerience, but, clear, sunny skies it’s best to fish early morning to 12:00 pm and then 7:00 pm to dark.  will be the best time to be out.  However, we are dealing with fish so these times are not cut in stone.  The flat calm sunny days can be the best of fishing, boat control is simplified, making it easy to stay right on top of the fish. Factors such as weak cold fronts and other various weather conditions, don’t seem to affect the deep walleyes as much as they do when the fish are shallow. Making the deep season bite fairly consistent.

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Knowing Lake Structure Is Important

The real secret to catching more fish is knowledge! The more you know, the more fish you’ll catch. Fish relate to lake structure like people relate to things around them. Here you’ll find out what kind of structure fish relate to so you know where to find them.

100_0391
Look for tips identified by a slip bobber
Chance are pretty good that you live under a roof and have a kitchen. And, if you left your home to drive to a town a few miles away you’d probably take a road and not drive through a field to get there. (At least I hope so )

So what does all that have to do with fishing? Fish need food and shelter just like we do and lake structure provides both. Also, when fish travel they normally follow familiar structure between two points.

Knowing what structure fish like will help you find fish. And finding fish is half the battle!

Some of the most common lake structures are Points, Bars and Breaks.
lake-structure1
As you can see in this picture a Point is where visible land extends into the lake. The land is surrounded by water on three sides.

A Bar is shallow water surrounded on three sides by deeper water. The most common type of Bar is an underwater extension of a Point. Another Bar may just be an extension of shallow water into deeper water with no visible above water Point.

The bigger the Point or Bar the better since they attract and hold more fish.

A Break is noticeable change in depth and is sometimes called a drop-off. In many lakes the primary Break line is where the depth changes from around 5-10 feet to 15-20 feet. In shallow, bowl shaped lakes a Break may only be a depth change of a few feet or even less. Breaks serve as travel routes for fish.

The steeper the Break, the better.

The top edge of a Break is called a Ledge. A lake usually has a few Breaks and Ledges that form the decent into deep water.

hump_saddleOther common fish holding structure are Humps and Saddles.

A Hump is sometimes called an underwater island or even a mid-lake bar. This picture has two Humps.

A Saddle is deeper water that leads up to shallower water on two sides.

We can’t forget about Fingers, Inside Turns, and Outside Turns. Fingers are small extensions of a Bar or Hump into deeper water.

Inside Turns are where a Finger meets a Bar. Points and Bars have Inside and Outside Turns as well.
turnsThe picture can probably do a better job of showing you what these are .

Inside Turns are usually a better choice for finding fish.

Finally, we need to define Inside Weed Lines, Outside Weed Lines and mention Rock Piles. An Inside Weed Line is simply the shallow side of a weed line while the Outside Weed Line is the deep edge of a Weed Line. Outside Weed Lines provide travel routes for fish as well as a great place for fish to hide and ambush other fish.

Rock Piles are important to mention because they’re an excellent place to find fish.

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Tips for Walleye Fishing

No matter what your preferred fishing technique is;  jigging spoons or trolling baits you’re bound to find a bit of knowledge here that will help up your walleye fishing skills for the upcoming season.

al catch

TROLL DIRTY
Vertical jigging is probably the most productive technique for walleye fishing, but high winds or rains that dirty the water can put the fish off the jig bite. When water conditions change for the worse, try trolling near bottom. Use a three-way swivel and tie a sinker on a 6- to 12-inch dropper, or use a bottom-bouncing rig and trail a floating/diving minnow. Troll upstream and cross-current.

Three WayDOUBLE DOWN
Three-way swivels allow you to double your trolling offerings. Attach a deep-diving crankbait to a 2-to 3-foot leader tied to the bottom of the swivel. Then add to the top of the swivel a leader twice as long as the other and a floating/diving minnow-style bait or a light, thin spoon. When putting the baits out, drop the deep-diver in the water first and let it start diving before letting go of the second leader. This will keep them from tangling and ensure a proper presentation of both baits.

 

SINK SPOONS
Trolling spoons is an effective way to catch walleye, but getting them deep enough can be a challenge. Use the same techniques that big-water salmon anglers employ to attain appropriate depth—downriggers, snap weights, in-line sinkers, diving planers or lead-core line. Walleye are often gear shy, so increase the length of the leader off a lead-core line or the distance behind the cannonball on a downrigger. Fluorocarbon leaders will help, but be careful, as they have no stretch.

goldhead-mayfly-nymphDOWNSIZE THE BAIT
One of the toughest times to catch walleye is during a significant mayfly hatch. To increase your odds, use what guides call a mayfly rig—a small spinner with a portion of a night crawler on a small hook. Cast the rig out and count it down, then retrieve it slowly, experimenting with depth until you find the strike zone; walleyes often hit mayflies as they’re on their way to the surface to emerge. Keep the rig small; mayfly larvae are rarely longer than an inch.

BE VERSATILE
The rule of thumb for jigging is to use minnows in cold water and night crawlers, leeches or soft-plastics as the water warms.   BUT you’re making a mistake if you don’t take all types of live bait with you. Although leeches and crawlers may be hard to find in the fall, they’ll sometimes out produce minnows in cold water, especially if it’s dirty. Other times, even in the heat of the summer, fish want minnows more than other offerings.

HIT THE WHOLE COLUMN
Walleye fishermen usually concentrate on the bottom, but often the most active fish are suspended in the water column. When trolling, vary the depth of your offerings by changing your diving bait or adding weight to your lines if trolling with spinner rigs. Sometimes the ‘eyes are out on the prowl, foraging on minnows or shad that are schooled somewhere between the top and bottom. Watch your depth finder for clues to their whereabouts and fish accordingly.

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JIG A PLUG
Spice up your jigging offering by substituting a chatter bait—such as a Rat-L-Trap—for a spoon. Cast it out, let it drop to the bottom, then yo-yo it back to the boat. Don’t snap it up as high as you would a spoon, as the hooks can foul on the line. Rattling baits fall more slowly than spoons, but you can fix that by adding a slip sinker to your line before you tie on the bait. The extra weight tightens the plug’s wobble on the fall.

WORK THE SHALLOWS
Most walleye anglers concentrate on moderate to deep water, but there are fish in shallow water that are generally ignored. This is especially true during periods of high water when the predators move shallow to forage. Jigs tipped with live bait produce in the weeds, often in water not much deeper than a walleye’s back. Jig spoons near cover. Night crawlers on harnesses with spinners work when cast around the edges and in cuts, but they’re tough to fish in thick stands of vegetation.

HEAD DEEP
One of the toughest bites walleye anglers face is immediately after a weather front passes. With a high, clear sky, the fish often sulk in the depths. The key is to concentrate on deep water structure and fish with live bait, either slowly trolling or drifting around humps and break lines, usually right where the bottom begins to flatten out.

25 (3)

PLANE OUT
Planer boards that carry lures or bait away from the boat are especially important in ultra clear water. Anglers who troll many lines usually use large boards that are tethered to the boat, and they clip their lines to the tether line. Anglers in small boats can easily fish up to three lines per side with small in-line planers. The key is to set the far-running lines first and position those rods closest to the bow; set near-running lines last and toward the stern. Allow more line out before you attach the outside boards, so the baits trail farther behind the boat. That will let you reel in fish on an outside line without getting tangled.

LOWER A LEECH
Leeches are a terrific bait for walleyes, especially when presented on slip bobbers or jigs. To make them easier to grip, carry a rag or rub them against your pant leg to remove some of the slime. When hooking them, insert the point of the hook into their suction cup—this will let them swim freely instead of balling up on the hook. Keep the leeches in some sort of container in the live well to acclimate them to the lake temperature before you bait up.

LURK, DON’T JERK
Floating/diving minnow lures are known as “jerk baits” because they’re fished with a dramatic, erratic action. A quieter retrieve is often more productive for walleye, which tend to trail baits rather than simply lunging and striking. Neutrally buoyant baits are especially suited to walleye, as they sit still or rise ever so slowly when you stop working the bait. Walleyes take these lures during a pause in the action, so stop your retrieve often.

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GIVE ‘EM OPTIONS
When it comes to trolling with artificial lures, increase your odds by adding soft-plastic trailers to your crank baits. Use small twister-tail grubs or short plastic worms. Attach a 2- to 3-foot length of monofilament to the back hook of the crank baits, tie on a hook and attach the grub. Make sure the hook is exposed, and if you’re using a worm, run the hook through at least three quarters of the soft-plastic; that way you won’t miss short-striking fish. Don’t add any weight to the leader or you’ll interfere with the crank bait’s action. And use opposite colors when trailing crank baits—dark grubs with light-colored plugs and vice versa.

TRY A NO-SLIDE BAIT
When jigging with live bait, try adding a piece of plastic to the hook shank. A body from a grub or a section of plastic worm helps keep the bait on the aft end of the jig and prevents it from sliding up the hook shank. That way, when a walleye grabs the bait, it’ll also get ahold of the hook.

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How To Find Walleye In The Spring

Walleye anglers that know what they are doing always head out away from the maddening crowds before they start fishing.

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This is where they are easily able to find the Walleye fish they are looking for. The walleye in this location are the ones that have not yet made it as far as the spawning waters. This is a fact, because no walleye are the same. They do not spawn on a specific place every time nor do they spawn at a certain time or the same as other Walleye. This is why you have to pay attention to the behavior of the walleye you are catching, and see what they prefer.

If you come across a lake that has plenty of rock structures, flats, springs or even a kind of deep transition shoreline, this is the right place and here you will find great populations of walleye. The location plays the biggest role in successfully catching these fish. If you are in the right area then you should be able to catch without a problem. If you are in search of the perfect place to fish for walleye, you need to find a spot or an area that has some

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A ledge, sandbars and/or current breaks are known habitats for spring walleye. The one thing you have to remember when fishing for walleyes is to make sure you fish small areas at a time and not big areas. If you rush to fish big areas, you will lose the great spots and you will also lose all big walleye, which you do not want to do!

1339463646_2633432_break594

A great tip for walleye fishing is when you are trying to catch them in deeper waters.  To corner them in these deep holes it is best to make use of a heavy weight with crankbait and three-way swivel. Drop these into these holes where walleye are.

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Lake Structure

The real secret to catching more fish is knowledge! The more you know, the more fish you’ll catch. Fish relate to lake structure like people relate to things around them. Here you’ll find out what kind of structure fish relate to so you know where to find them.

 

100_0391
Look for tips identified by a slip bobber
Chance are pretty good that you live under a roof and have a kitchen. And, if you left your home to drive to a town a few miles away you’d probably take a road and not drive through a field to get there. (At least I hope so )

So what does all that have to do with fishing? Fish need food and shelter just like we do and lake structure provides both. Also, when fish travel they normally follow familiar structure between two points.

Knowing what structure fish like will help you find fish. And finding fish is half the battle!

Some of the most common lake structures are Points, Bars and Breaks.
lake-structure1
As you can see in this picture a Point is where visible land extends into the lake. The land is surrounded by water on three sides.

A Bar is shallow water surrounded on three sides by deeper water. The most common type of Bar is an underwater extension of a Point. Another Bar may just be an extension of shallow water into deeper water with no visible above water Point.

The bigger the Point or Bar the better since they attract and hold more fish.

A Break is noticeable change in depth and is sometimes called a drop-off. In many lakes the primary Break line is where the depth changes from around 5-10 feet to 15-20 feet. In shallow, bowl shaped lakes a Break may only be a depth change of a few feet or even less. Breaks serve as travel routes for fish.

The steeper the Break, the better.

The top edge of a Break is called a Ledge. A lake usually has a few Breaks and Ledges that form the decent into deep water.

hump_saddleOther common fish holding structure are Humps and Saddles.

A Hump is sometimes called an underwater island or even a mid-lake bar. This picture has two Humps.

A Saddle is deeper water that leads up to shallower water on two sides.

We can’t forget about Fingers, Inside Turns, and Outside Turns. Fingers are small extensions of a Bar or Hump into deeper water.

Inside Turns are where a Finger meets a Bar. Points and Bars have Inside and Outside Turns as well.
turnsThe picture can probably do a better job of showing you what these are .

Inside Turns are usually a better choice for finding fish.

Finally, we need to define Inside Weed Lines, Outside Weed Lines and mention Rock Piles. An Inside Weed Line is simply the shallow side of a weed line while the Outside Weed Line is the deep edge of a Weed Line. Outside Weed Lines provide travel routes for fish as well as a great place for fish to hide and ambush other fish.

Rock Piles are important to mention because they’re an excellent place to find fish.

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Leave a comment

Posted by on June 18, 2015 in breaklines, humps, Structure

 

Tags: , , , , , , ,

Lake Structure

The real secret to catching more fish is knowledge! The more you know, the more fish you’ll catch. Fish relate to lake structure like people relate to things around them. Here you’ll find out what kind of structure fish relate to so you know where to find them.

10439015_10152051894772581_1051874980988510890_n

Look for tips identified by a slip bobber
Chance are pretty good that you live under a roof and have a kitchen. And, if you left your home to drive to a town a few miles away you’d probably take a road and not drive through a field to get there. (At least I hope so )

So what does all that have to do with fishing? Fish need food and shelter just like we do and lake structure provides both. Also, when fish travel they normally follow familiar structure between two points.

Knowing what structure fish like will help you find fish. And finding fish is half the battle!

Some of the most common lake structures are Points, Bars and Breaks.
lake-structure1
As you can see in this picture a Point is where visible land extends into the lake. The land is surrounded by water on three sides.

A Bar is shallow water surrounded on three sides by deeper water. The most common type of Bar is an underwater extension of a Point. Another Bar may just be an extension of shallow water into deeper water with no visible above water Point.

The bigger the Point or Bar the better since they attract and hold more fish.

A Break is noticeable change in depth and is sometimes called a drop-off. In many lakes the primary Break line is where the depth changes from around 5-10 feet to 15-20 feet. In shallow, bowl shaped lakes a Break may only be a depth change of a few feet or even less. Breaks serve as travel routes for fish.

The steeper the Break, the better.

The top edge of a Break is called a Ledge. A lake usually has a few Breaks and Ledges that form the decent into deep water.

hump_saddleOther common fish holding structure are Humps and Saddles.

A Hump is sometimes called an underwater island or even a mid-lake bar. This picture has two Humps.

A Saddle is deeper water that leads up to shallower water on two sides.

We can’t forget about Fingers, Inside Turns, and Outside Turns. Fingers are small extensions of a Bar or Hump into deeper water.

Inside Turns are where a Finger meets a Bar. Points and Bars have Inside and Outside Turns as well.
turnsThe picture can probably do a better job of showing you what these are .

Inside Turns are usually a better choice for finding fish.

Finally, we need to define Inside Weed Lines, Outside Weed Lines and mention Rock Piles. An Inside Weed Line is simply the shallow side of a weed line while the Outside Weed Line is the deep edge of a Weed Line. Outside Weed Lines provide travel routes for fish as well as a great place for fish to hide and ambush other fish.

Rock Piles are important to mention because they’re an excellent place to find fish.

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Posted by on June 26, 2014 in breaklines, humps, Structure

 

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