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Tag Archives: Colorado

Summer Mayflies – Catching Walleye Tips

netting walleyeWalleye can aggressively feed on may fly nymphs as they’re recovering from the stresses of spawning and from the long winter.   Although, walleye binge-feeding tapers come summer, they still target nymphs when available as not all hatches are the same and not all lakes are affected the same at the same time.  Catching walleye during summer mayfly hatches can be more challenging than in spring,  but can still be accomplished.

In the summer, the early stages of a mayfly hatch can produce good fishing as walleye will feed aggressively, competing for the small number of nymphs. However, when large hatches occur lakes can become overrun with food, and walleye tend to become extremely selective feeders.


Anglers need to downsize presentations to fool summer, nymph-feeding walleye. The particle size of nymphs tends to be a bit smaller than what people think the average-sized, adult walleye is going after. People may be fishing with presentations that are too large or don’t mimic emerging mayfly nymphs.  Depending on the species, nymphs can range in size from 0.5 to 1 inches in size. Aside from downsizing lures, anglers also need to fish exactly where walleye are feeding in the water column.

Anglers also need to move to where hatches happen.   During the mayfly hatch, walleye are generally up shallower. You will find walleye in water as shallow as three feet, even on sunny days.  When choosing where to fish flats, concentrate on breaks and holes and remember walleye always like to have deeper water adjacent to their feeding flats.

 Small jigs can be productive if walleye are bottom-feeding on nymphs during hatches. cocktail or Baraboo jigs are particularly deadly, as feathers and hair pulsate in the water. This can be the subtle movement that is needed to trigger finicky walleye. Evans finds deadsticking a cocktail jig can be effective for neutral or negative mood ‘eyes. What this does is give inactive walleye a chance to come over and examine the bait – this may get you a few more strikes on those really slow days.

When walleye are aggressively feeding on nymphs during a hatch in weedy areas, go to bait would be a bucktail jig in black, with either a red or white strip on the side. In the weedy flats be sure to fish aggressively and jigs these baits. This causes the feathers and hair to expand and contract giving the bucktail a life-like appearance.

To fish hatches, starts with small, jointed minnow baits, fished on a stop-and-go retrieve.  It’s important to mimic the action of the larva in the water as it floats up from the bottom, so a slow up and down cadence of your presentation is key.  If these baits do not produce, switch over to jigs and also to swim jigs and be sure to scale down to using two to three-inch piece of worm, leech or small minnow with 1/8 and even 1/16oz heads.   Work these baits along weed edges and over weed tops, searching for where walleye are located in the water column during a hatch.

2008061218092127Another productive bait to target walleye during a hatch is a weighted, single-hook spinner rig, featuring a small #3 Colorado or Indiana blade. Colorado and Indiana blades allow the lure to be retrieved slowly, matching a nymphs’ speed, while producing vibration and flash. Widely used on Lake Erie during hatches, it is often called a mayfly rig.

A more subtle variation of the mayfly rig (resembling a live-bait rig) is a No. 2 or 4 octopus hook tied below a sinker. Tip rigs with a small piece of live bait, anywhere from a half to two inches in size.

Dragging mayfly rigs along the bottom or slowly swimming them to the surface will imitate nymph activity. Other elements of the retrieve should include frequent pauses, stalls, and lifting the bait up again. Rigs can also be counted-down to target suspended walleye feeding on emerging nymphs.

26 (4)

During summer walleye feed on vulnerable mayfly nymphs during hatches. Using small baits and imitating a nymph’s erratic movements will take fish when traditional baits won’t get a sniff. Integrate the above strategies into your repertoire, and you’ll be turning mayfly hatches into opportunities for increased catches.

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Tags: , , , , , , , ,

The Spin Crazy Pike – When To Use Them

Adam
The #5 Mepps’ steady throb pulsed through the 30-pound spiderwire, down the length of the medium/heavy-action graphite rod and directly into the anglers hand. Just as the lure reached the edge of the cabbage weeds, the blade’s thrum came to an abrupt halt.  He set the hook hard into what felt like a concrete wall! But then the wall began to move, and he knew it was into a trophy. Five minutes and four desperate boatside runs later, he boated the 20-pound northern pike.images

Big pike LOVE spinners!

Weeds are the keys to spinning big pike crazy as these predators use vegetation to ambush any aquatic creature smaller than themselves.

The Baits

Spinner choices abound, but not all are created equal when it comes to enticing jumbo “scissorbills.” The angler should select certain sizes, shapes, and colors, over others.

imagesCAL1L4BOLesson No. 1 in choosing spinners for Esox lucius: bigger always is better. Pick magnum-sized offerings as even hammer-handles attack huge lures with abandon, and to catch true monsters, you MUST have that big profile.

Fat, deeply cupped blades throw out big vibrations that ring the dinner bell for monster pike. While sometimes thinner shaped blades (such as willow-leafs) that spin faster turn the trick; usually the slower-turning Colorado-type blades prove to be the ticket to a pike bonanza.

Because big flash stimulates lunkers, polished silver and gold blades work great.   Another killer color combo is orange blades with a black trailer.

In-Line vs. Offset Spinners

Spinners for northerns come in two basic designs, and both work effectively, but each has its strengths and weaknesses.

Terminator

Terminator

Rooster%20tail%201_18In-line spinners (such as Mepps, Worden’s Lures Rooster Tails, Panther Martin, and Blue Fox’s Vibrax), with their terminal trebles, have higher hook-up and catch rates than their safety-pin brethren, but they also hook vegetation and other underwater structure, too.

But lures such as Terminators and Stanley Jigs’ Rick Clunn 4-Blade Willow Spinnerbaits, with their single, upturned hooks surrounded by   manmade skirts, slither through the weeds, logs and stumps. In-lines also cast like bullets, while offsets can catch the wind and lose momentum.

Line, Leaders

Any of the new “super-lines” such as like Berkley FireLine, Spiderwire Fusion, or Remington’s Power-Lokt, are superior to monofilament for spinning pike angling. Their low stretch and high-abrasion resistance benefit pike anglers.

One suggestion is to flout convention and tie on a snap/swivel instead of a leader because leaders inhibit action and deter wary trophies, while the snap swivels provide two major benefits: quick lure changes and   eliminating/reducing line twist. True, you’ll lose lures to the razor-sharp choppers of aggressive mounters, but you’ll get lots more bites without leaders!

41.5" northern pike

41.5″ northern pike

Speed & Delivery

Often northerns will attack even jet-powered offerings, but slowing down, pausing, or herky-jerkying that spinner, especially when it reaches the “Pike Zone,” reaps big rewards. Even lazy fish will smash a spinnerbait dangled in front on their out-sized mouth.

Always cast beyond where you think the pike lurk, because while “scissorbills” are legendary for their aggressiveness, they don’t like being bombed. Landing a bait on top of one’s head will likely result in spooking it.

Spin-Crazy Times & Spots

Primetime for driving pike spin crazy depends upon the season, time of day, and prevailing weather conditions. Early spring, right  after ice out, brings spawned out northern pike shoreward (where they’re most  vulnerable). Spinner rigs elicit savage strikes from hungry pike during spring.

graph-weed-pikeINFS-110026-WEATH-05a

Because northerns sight-feed, mid-day piking makes sense.   Following that logic, clear, blue-sky days with lots of sun create perfect pike angling weather.

The spinner’s flash and large profile, easily visible to cruising whoppers, prove irresistible.


Look for inlets and concentrate your efforts just off the edges of weedy drop-offs. Weeds are the keys to spinning  big pike crazy, as these predators use vegetation to ambush any aquatic creature smaller than themselves. Position the boat on the deep side of the drop-off, and cast the spinner up onto the flat itself, cranking just fast   enough to keep the lure above the weeds, and pause when you get to the weed edge. Allow the bait to drift down and find the waiting lunkers, and hang on!

Using spinners to drive northern pike stir crazy is fun, easy, and productive.

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WEB   RATES     FISH    HUNT    CABINS    PHOTOS
TESTIMONIALS    BROCHURE    HUNT BOOKLET

Enter your email address to follow this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

 

Tags: , , , , , , ,

The Spin Crazy Pike – When To Use Them

Wawang Pike Kelly
The #5 Mepps’ steady throb pulsed through the 30-pound spiderwire, down the length of the medium/heavy-action graphite rod and directly into the anglers hand. Just as the lure reached the edge of the cabbage weeds, the blade’s thrum came to an abrupt halt.  He set the hook hard into what felt like a concrete wall! But then the wall began to move, and he knew it was into a trophy. Five minutes and four desperate boatside runs later, he boated the 20-pound northern pike.images

Big pike LOVE spinners!

Weeds are the keys to spinning big pike crazy as these predators use vegetation to ambush any aquatic creature smaller than themselves.

The Baits

Spinner choices abound, but not all are created equal when it comes to enticing jumbo “scissorbills.” The angler should select certain sizes, shapes, and colors, over others.

imagesCAL1L4BOLesson No. 1 in choosing spinners for Esox lucius: bigger always is better. Pick magnum-sized offerings as even hammer-handles attack huge lures with abandon, and to catch true monsters, you MUST have that big profile.

Fat, deeply cupped blades throw out big vibrations that ring the dinner bell for monster pike. While sometimes thinner shaped blades (such as willow-leafs) that spin faster turn the trick; usually the slower-turning Colorado-type blades prove to be the ticket to a pike bonanza.

Because big flash stimulates lunkers, polished silver and gold blades work great.   Another killer color combo is orange blades with a black trailer.

In-Line vs. Offset Spinners

Spinners for northerns come in two basic designs, and both work effectively, but each has its strengths and weaknesses.

Terminator

Terminator

Rooster%20tail%201_18In-line spinners (such as Mepps, Worden’s Lures Rooster Tails, Panther Martin, and Blue Fox’s Vibrax), with their terminal trebles, have higher hook-up and catch rates than their safety-pin brethren, but they also hook vegetation and other underwater structure, too.

But lures such as Terminators and Stanley Jigs’ Rick Clunn 4-Blade Willow Spinnerbaits, with their single, upturned hooks surrounded by   manmade skirts, slither through the weeds, logs and stumps. In-lines also cast like bullets, while offsets can catch the wind and lose momentum.

Line, Leaders

Any of the new “super-lines” such as like Berkley FireLine, Spiderwire Fusion, or Remington’s Power-Lokt, are superior to monofilament for spinning pike angling. Their low stretch and high-abrasion resistance benefit pike anglers.

One suggestion is to flout convention and tie on a snap/swivel instead of a leader because leaders inhibit action and deter wary trophies, while the snap swivels provide two major benefits: quick lure changes and   eliminating/reducing line twist. True, you’ll lose lures to the razor-sharp choppers of aggressive mounters, but you’ll get lots more bites without leaders!

Wawang Lake northern pike (2)Speed & Delivery

Often northerns will attack even jet-powered offerings, but slowing down, pausing, or herky-jerkying that spinner, especially when it reaches the “Pike Zone,” reaps big rewards. Even lazy fish will smash a spinnerbait dangled in front on their out-sized mouth.

Always cast beyond where you think the pike lurk, because while “scissorbills” are legendary for their aggressiveness, they don’t like being bombed. Landing a bait on top of one’s head will likely result in spooking it.

Spin-Crazy Times & Spots

Primetime for driving pike spin crazy depends upon the season, time of day, and prevailing weather conditions. Early spring, right  after ice out, brings spawned out northern pike shoreward (where they’re most  vulnerable). Spinner rigs elicit savage strikes from hungry pike during spring.

graph-weed-pikeINFS-110026-WEATH-05a

Because northerns sight-feed, mid-day piking makes sense.   Following that logic, clear, blue-sky days with lots of sun create perfect pike angling weather.

The spinner’s flash and large profile, easily visible to cruising whoppers, prove irresistible.


Look for inlets and concentrate your efforts just off the edges of weedy drop-offs. Weeds are the keys to spinning  big pike crazy, as these predators use vegetation to ambush any aquatic creature smaller than themselves. Position the boat on the deep side of the drop-off, and cast the spinner up onto the flat itself, cranking just fast   enough to keep the lure above the weeds, and pause when you get to the weed edge. Allow the bait to drift down and find the waiting lunkers, and hang on!

Using spinners to drive northern pike stir crazy is fun, easy, and productive.

Follow our HUNTING BLOG

WEB   RATES     FISH    HUNT    CABINS    PHOTOS
TESTIMONIALS    BROCHURE    HUNT BOOKLET

Enter your email address to follow this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

 

Tags: , , , , , , ,

Summer Mayflies – Catching Walleye Tips

Walleye can aggressively feed on may fly nymphs as they’re recovering from the stresses of spawning and from the long winter.   Although, walleye binge-feeding tapers come summer, they still target nymphs when available as not all hatches are the same and not all lakes are affected the same at the same time.  Catching walleye during summer mayfly hatches can be more challenging than in spring,  but can still be accomplished.

In the summer, the early stages of a mayfly hatch can produce good fishing as walleye will feed aggressively, competing for the small number of nymphs. However, when large hatches occur lakes can become overrun with food, and walleye tend to become extremely selective feeders.


Anglers need to downsize presentations to fool summer, nymph-feeding walleye. The particle size of nymphs tends to be a bit smaller than what people think the average-sized, adult walleye is going after. People may be fishing with presentations that are too large or don’t mimic emerging mayfly nymphs.  Depending on the species, nymphs can range in size from 0.5 to 1 inches in size. Aside from downsizing lures, anglers also need to fish exactly where walleye are feeding in the water column.

Anglers also need to move to where hatches happen.   During the mayfly hatch, walleye are generally up shallower. You will find walleye in water as shallow as three feet, even on sunny days.  When choosing where to fish flats, concentrate on breaks and holes and remember walleye always like to have deeper water adjacent to their feeding flats.

 Small jigs can be productive if walleye are bottom-feeding on nymphs during hatches. cocktail or Baraboo jigs are particularly deadly, as feathers and hair pulsate in the water. This can be the subtle movement that is needed to trigger finicky walleye. Evans finds deadsticking a cocktail jig can be effective for neutral or negative mood ‘eyes. What this does is give inactive walleye a chance to come over and examine the bait – this may get you a few more strikes on those really slow days.

When walleye are aggressively feeding on nymphs during a hatch in weedy areas, go to bait would be a bucktail jig in black, with either a red or white strip on the side. In the weedy flats be sure to fish aggressively and jigs these baits. This causes the feathers and hair to expand and contract giving the bucktail a life-like appearance.

To fish hatches, starts with small, jointed minnow baits, fished on a stop-and-go retrieve.  It’s important to mimic the action of the larva in the water as it floats up from the bottom, so a slow up and down cadence of your presentation is key.  If these baits do not produce, switch over to jigs and also to swim jigs and be sure to scale down to using two to three-inch piece of worm, leech or small minnow with 1/8 and even 1/16oz heads.   Work these baits along weed edges and over weed tops, searching for where walleye are located in the water column during a hatch.

2008061218092127Another productive bait to target walleye during a hatch is a weighted, single-hook spinner rig, featuring a small #3 Colorado or Indiana blade. Colorado and Indiana blades allow the lure to be retrieved slowly, matching a nymphs’ speed, while producing vibration and flash. Widely used on Lake Erie during hatches, it is often called a mayfly rig.

A more subtle variation of the mayfly rig (resembling a live-bait rig) is a No. 2 or 4 octopus hook tied below a sinker. Tip rigs with a small piece of live bait, anywhere from a half to two inches in size.

Dragging mayfly rigs along the bottom or slowly swimming them to the surface will imitate nymph activity. Other elements of the retrieve should include frequent pauses, stalls, and lifting the bait up again. Rigs can also be counted-down to target suspended walleye feeding on emerging nymphs.

During summer walleye feed on vulnerable mayfly nymphs during hatches. Using small baits and imitating a nymph’s erratic movements will take fish when traditional baits won’t get a sniff. Integrate the above strategies into your repertoire, and you’ll be turning mayfly hatches into opportunities for increased catches.

Follow our HUNTING BLOG

WEB   RATES     FISH    HUNT    CABINS    PHOTOS
TESTIMONIALS    BROCHURE    HUNT BOOKLET

Enter your email address to follow this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

 

 
 

Tags: , , , , , , , , ,

The Spin Crazy Pike – When To Use Them

Adam
The #5 Mepps’ steady throb pulsed through the 30-pound spiderwire, down the length of the medium/heavy-action graphite rod and directly into the anglers hand. Just as the lure reached the edge of the cabbage weeds, the blade’s thrum came to an abrupt halt.  He set the hook hard into what felt like a concrete wall! But then the wall began to move, and he knew it was into a trophy. Five minutes and four desperate boatside runs later, he boated the 20-pound northern pike.images

Big pike LOVE spinners!

Weeds are the keys to spinning big pike crazy as these predators use vegetation to ambush any aquatic creature smaller than themselves.

The Baits

Spinner choices abound, but not all are created equal when it comes to enticing jumbo “scissorbills.” The angler should select certain sizes, shapes, and colors, over others.

imagesCAL1L4BOLesson No. 1 in choosing spinners for Esox lucius: bigger always is better. Pick magnum-sized offerings as even hammer-handles attack huge lures with abandon, and to catch true monsters, you MUST have that big profile.

Fat, deeply cupped blades throw out big vibrations that ring the dinner bell for monster pike. While sometimes thinner shaped blades (such as willow-leafs) that spin faster turn the trick; usually the slower-turning Colorado-type blades prove to be the ticket to a pike bonanza.

Because big flash stimulates lunkers, polished silver and gold blades work great.   Another killer color combo is orange blades with a black trailer.

In-Line vs. Offset Spinners

Spinners for northerns come in two basic designs, and both work effectively, but each has its strengths and weaknesses.

Terminator

Terminator

Rooster%20tail%201_18In-line spinners (such as Mepps, Worden’s Lures Rooster Tails, Panther Martin, and Blue Fox’s Vibrax), with their terminal trebles, have higher hook-up and catch rates than their safety-pin brethren, but they also hook vegetation and other underwater structure, too.

But lures such as Terminators and Stanley Jigs’ Rick Clunn 4-Blade Willow Spinnerbaits, with their single, upturned hooks surrounded by   manmade skirts, slither through the weeds, logs and stumps. In-lines also cast like bullets, while offsets can catch the wind and lose momentum.

Line, Leaders

Any of the new “super-lines” such as like Berkley FireLine, Spiderwire Fusion, or Remington’s Power-Lokt, are superior to monofilament for spinning pike angling. Their low stretch and high-abrasion resistance benefit pike anglers.

One suggestion is to flout convention and tie on a snap/swivel instead of a leader because leaders inhibit action and deter wary trophies, while the snap swivels provide two major benefits: quick lure changes and   eliminating/reducing line twist. True, you’ll lose lures to the razor-sharp choppers of aggressive mounters, but you’ll get lots more bites without leaders!

41.5" northern pike

41.5″ northern pike

Speed & Delivery

Often northerns will attack even jet-powered offerings, but slowing down, pausing, or herky-jerkying that spinner, especially when it reaches the “Pike Zone,” reaps big rewards. Even lazy fish will smash a spinnerbait dangled in front on their out-sized mouth.

Always cast beyond where you think the pike lurk, because while “scissorbills” are legendary for their aggressiveness, they don’t like being bombed. Landing a bait on top of one’s head will likely result in spooking it.

Spin-Crazy Times & Spots

Primetime for driving pike spin crazy depends upon the season, time of day, and prevailing weather conditions. Early spring, right  after ice out, brings spawned out northern pike shoreward (where they’re most  vulnerable). Spinner rigs elicit savage strikes from hungry pike during spring.

graph-weed-pikeINFS-110026-WEATH-05a

Because northerns sight-feed, mid-day piking makes sense.   Following that logic, clear, blue-sky days with lots of sun create perfect pike angling weather.

The spinner’s flash and large profile, easily visible to cruising whoppers, prove irresistible.


Look for inlets and concentrate your efforts just off the edges of weedy drop-offs. Weeds are the keys to spinning  big pike crazy, as these predators use vegetation to ambush any aquatic creature smaller than themselves. Position the boat on the deep side of the drop-off, and cast the spinner up onto the flat itself, cranking just fast   enough to keep the lure above the weeds, and pause when you get to the weed edge. Allow the bait to drift down and find the waiting lunkers, and hang on!

Using spinners to drive northern pike stir crazy is fun, easy, and productive.

Follow our HUNTING BLOG

WEB   RATES     FISH    HUNT    CABINS    PHOTOS
TESTIMONIALS    BROCHURE    HUNT BOOKLET

Enter your email address to follow this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

 

Tags: , , , , , , ,

The Spin Crazy Pike – When To Use Them

43

43″ northern pike

The #5 Mepps’ steady throb pulsed through the 30-pound spiderwire, down the length of the medium/heavy-action graphite rod and directly into the anglers hand. Just as the lure reached the edge of the cabbage weeds, the blade’s thrum came to an abrupt halt.  He set the hook hard into what felt like a concrete wall! But then the wall began to move, and he knew it was into a trophy. Five minutes and four desperate boatside runs later, he boated the 20-pound northern pike.

images

Big pike LOVE spinners!

Weeds are the keys to spinning big pike crazy as these predators use vegetation to ambush any aquatic creature smaller than themselves.

The Baits

Spinner choices abound, but not all are created equal when it comes to enticing jumbo “scissorbills.” The angler should select certain sizes, shapes, and colors, over others.

imagesCAL1L4BOLesson No. 1 in choosing spinners for Esox lucius: bigger always is better. Pick magnum-sized offerings as even hammer-handles attack huge lures with abandon, and to catch true monsters, you MUST have that big profile.

Fat, deeply cupped blades throw out big vibrations that ring the dinner bell for monster pike. While sometimes thinner shaped blades (such as willow-leafs) that spin faster turn the trick; usually the slower-turning Colorado-type blades prove to be the ticket to a pike bonanza.

Because big flash stimulates lunkers, polished silver and gold blades work great.   Another killer color combo is orange blades with a black trailer.

 

 

In-Line vs. Offset Spinners

Spinners for northerns come in two basic designs, and both work effectively, but each has its strengths and weaknesses.

Terminator

Terminator

Rooster%20tail%201_18In-line spinners (such as Mepps, Worden’s Lures Rooster Tails, Panther Martin, and Blue Fox’s Vibrax), with their terminal trebles, have higher hook-up and catch rates than their safety-pin brethren, but they also hook vegetation and other underwater structure, too.

But lures such as Terminators and Stanley Jigs’ Rick Clunn 4-Blade Willow Spinnerbaits, with their single, upturned hooks surrounded by   manmade skirts, slither through the weeds, logs and stumps. In-lines also cast like bullets, while offsets can catch the wind and lose momentum.

 

Line, Leaders

Any of the new “super-lines” such as like Berkley FireLine, Spiderwire Fusion, or Remington’s Power-Lokt, are superior to monofilament for spinning pike angling. Their low stretch and high-abrasion resistance benefit pike anglers.

One suggestion is to flout convention and tie on a snap/swivel instead of a leader because leaders inhibit action and deter wary trophies, while the snap swivels provide two major benefits: quick lure changes and   eliminating/reducing line twist. True, you’ll lose lures to the razor-sharp choppers of aggressive mounters, but you’ll get lots more bites without leaders!

41.5" northern pike

41.5″ northern pike

Speed & Delivery

Often northerns will attack even jet-powered offerings, but slowing down, pausing, or herky-jerkying that spinner, especially when it reaches the “Pike Zone,” reaps big rewards. Even lazy fish will smash a spinnerbait dangled in front on their out-sized mouth.

Always cast beyond where you think the pike lurk, because while “scissorbills” are legendary for their aggressiveness, they don’t like being bombed. Landing a bait on top of one’s head will likely result in spooking it.

Spin-Crazy Times & Spots

Primetime for driving pike spin crazy depends upon the season, time of day, and prevailing weather conditions. Early spring, right  after ice out, brings spawned out northern pike shoreward (where they’re most  vulnerable). Spinner rigs elicit savage strikes from hungry pike during spring.

graph-weed-pikeINFS-110026-WEATH-05a

Because northerns sight-feed, mid-day piking makes sense.   Following that logic, clear, blue-sky days with lots of sun create perfect pike angling weather.

The spinner’s flash and large profile, easily visible to cruising whoppers, prove irresistible.


Look for inlets and concentrate your efforts just off the edges of weedy drop-offs. Weeds are the keys to spinning  big pike crazy, as these predators use vegetation to ambush any aquatic creature smaller than themselves. Position the boat on the deep side of the drop-off, and cast the spinner up onto the flat itself, cranking just fast   enough to keep the lure above the weeds, and pause when you get to the weed edge. Allow the bait to drift down and find the waiting lunkers, and hang on!

Using spinners to drive northern pike stir crazy is fun, easy, and productive.

 

 

Tags: , , , , , , ,

Summer Mayflies – Catching Walleye Tips

netting walleyeWalleye can aggressively feed on may fly nymphs as they’re recovering from the stresses of spawning and from the long winter.   Although, walleye binge-feeding tapers come summer, they still target nymphs when available as not all hatches are the same and not all lakes are affected the same at the same time.  Catching walleye during summer mayfly hatches can be more challenging than in spring,  but can still be accomplished.

In the summer, the early stages of a mayfly hatch can produce good fishing as walleye will feed aggressively, competing for the small number of nymphs. However, when large hatches occur lakes can become overrun with food, and walleye tend to become extremely selective feeders.


Anglers need to downsize presentations to fool summer, nymph-feeding walleye. The particle size of nymphs tends to be a bit smaller than what people think the average-sized, adult walleye is going after. People may be fishing with presentations that are too large or don’t mimic emerging mayfly nymphs.  Depending on the species, nymphs can range in size from 0.5 to 1 inches in size. Aside from downsizing lures, anglers also need to fish exactly where walleye are feeding in the water column.

Anglers also need to move to where hatches happen.   During the mayfly hatch, walleye are generally up shallower. You will find walleye in water as shallow as three feet, even on sunny days.  When choosing where to fish flats, concentrate on breaks and holes and remember walleye always like to have deeper water adjacent to their feeding flats.

 Small jigs can be productive if walleye are bottom-feeding on nymphs during hatches. cocktail or Baraboo jigs are particularly deadly, as feathers and hair pulsate in the water. This can be the subtle movement that is needed to trigger finicky walleye. Evans finds deadsticking a cocktail jig can be effective for neutral or negative mood ‘eyes. What this does is give inactive walleye a chance to come over and examine the bait – this may get you a few more strikes on those really slow days.

When walleye are aggressively feeding on nymphs during a hatch in weedy areas, go to bait would be a bucktail jig in black, with either a red or white strip on the side. In the weedy flats be sure to fish aggressively and jigs these baits. This causes the feathers and hair to expand and contract giving the bucktail a life-like appearance.

To fish hatches, starts with small, jointed minnow baits, fished on a stop-and-go retrieve.  It’s important to mimic the action of the larva in the water as it floats up from the bottom, so a slow up and down cadence of your presentation is key.  If these baits do not produce, switch over to jigs and also to swim jigs and be sure to scale down to using two to three-inch piece of worm, leech or small minnow with 1/8 and even 1/16oz heads.   Work these baits along weed edges and over weed tops, searching for where walleye are located in the water column during a hatch.

2008061218092127Another productive bait to target walleye during a hatch is a weighted, single-hook spinner rig, featuring a small #3 Colorado or Indiana blade. Colorado and Indiana blades allow the lure to be retrieved slowly, matching a nymphs’ speed, while producing vibration and flash. Widely used on Lake Erie during hatches, it is often called a mayfly rig.

A more subtle variation of the mayfly rig (resembling a live-bait rig) is a No. 2 or 4 octopus hook tied below a sinker. Tip rigs with a small piece of live bait, anywhere from a half to two inches in size.

Dragging mayfly rigs along the bottom or slowly swimming them to the surface will imitate nymph activity. Other elements of the retrieve should include frequent pauses, stalls, and lifting the bait up again. Rigs can also be counted-down to target suspended walleye feeding on emerging nymphs.

During summer walleye feed on vulnerable mayfly nymphs during hatches. Using small baits and imitating a nymph’s erratic movements will take fish when traditional baits won’t get a sniff. Integrate the above strategies into your repertoire, and you’ll be turning mayfly hatches into opportunities for increased catches.

 
 

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