RSS

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.

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

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.

 
 

Tags: , , , , , , , ,

Fishing Spinners

In Line, Spinnerbaits, Buzzbaits,  Livebait Spinners1Spinners refers to a family of fishing lures that have a metal shaped blade(s) attached to the wire of the lure. When the lure is in motion the blade spins creating varying degrees of flash and vibration that mimics small fish. Spinners will catch all types of game fish. Fish can see the flash of the revolving blade in clear or stained water, in dark or murky water they will use their lateral-line to feel the vibration from the turning blade. Spinners are relatively easy to use, they will catch fish with a simple straight retrieve, and when a fish strikes a spinner usually it will usually hook itself.

Spinners have four basic designs, first is the standard inline that have a blade or blades that rotate around a straight wire using a clevis, most all inline spinners have a weight on the wire to make the spinner heavy enough to cast. Second are spinnerbaits, this spinner is shaped like an open safety pin. They will have a lead head molded on the lower arm and a spinner attached on the upper arm using a swivel, some models have multiple blades that are attached on the upper arm using a clevis and a bead stop. Third are buzzbaits, they are similar to a spinnerbait or a inline spinner but have a specially designed rotating propeller for surface fishing. Fourth are live bait spinners that use night crawlers or minnows on a hook or a series of hooks with a spinner blade in front of the live bait.

Understanding Blade Styles

The main fish attracting component of a spinner is the blade. The type of blade and shape will determine the depth and sound (the thump) of a spinner upon retrieve. All blades have a different amount of resistance as it travels through the water. A broad blade such as the Colorado will rotate at a greater outward angle from the wire shaft producing a lift and thump compared to a narrow willow blade which will run tighter to the shaft and spin faster producing less sound.

2

1.Colorado 2.Indiana 3.Indiana Fluted 4.Turtle Back 5.French 6.Inline 7.Willow

From the image above the Colorado will run the highest in the water producing the most vibration. The Indiana, Fluted, Turtle Back and French are intermediate styles running at mid range depth levels used for slow to medium retrieves in light river current or lakes. The Inline and Willow run the deepest as they spin tightest to the wire shaft. These are good for fast retrieves in swift conditions, and deeper water presentations. In using spinnerbait’s the willow blade is a good choice around vegetation and cover as they revolve tight to the upper arm catching less floating debris and weeds.

Blade Sizes 

3The sizes of spinner blades are based on a numerical system starting with 0 or 0/0, the smallest for stream trout spinners, size 3-4-5 for bass and pike up to the 7-8 for muskies along with the new popular magnum 10. The larger the blade size the more water resistance and vibration when compared to the same shape in a smaller version.

Multiple Bladed Spinners

Many of the spinners today offer double blade options. The inline spinner that has two blades is commonly referred as a bulger which rides high in the water even breaking (bulging) the surface when retrieved rapidly. Spinnerbaits that have 2  blades in “tandem” provide more flash which gives the image of schools of bait fish.

Blade Colors

There are countless blade finishes, colors and combinations for spinners today on the market, the most common are metallic hues with silver, gold and copper which provides a flash to sight-feeding predators in clear or stained water. Painted blades flash less but create more underwater contrast. They can be particularly effective during low-light conditions or in murkier water.

Spinner Tails, Skirts and Dressings

Tying materials to the tail of a inline spinner or silicone skirts on spinner baits adds a realistic appearance and increases the profile of the lure as it swims through the water. The dressed tail also provides lift and resistance enabling the angler to retrieve the lure at a slower rate. Years back traditional hook dressings on spinners have been animal hair (deer hair, squirrel tails and “marabou” from chickens) with a few feathers as attractors especially red. With the advancement of synthetics materials such as flashabou and silicone skirts adds a fluttering flash in different incandescent or solid colors increasing the total flash profile of the spinner.

Spinner bait skirts over the years also evolved from the solid living rubber colors to silicone skirts because of all the available molded-in patterns, metal flakes, and incandescent colors.

Depending on personal preferences and fishing conditions many anglers prefer to use an undressed spinner for speed and depth relying on the blade flash and vibration as the only attractors. Other options are soft plastic tail dressings such as an imitation minnow or tailed grub. Soft plastics are also used on traditional dressed spinners tails to change the appearance, profile and action of the lure, these are known as trailers.

Listed below is a reference guide to help you identify the common types of spinners and how they are used:

Types of Spinners: 

Inline

4

The traditional inline spinner shown in three variations (Top) French Blade Dressed Deer Hair Tail (Middle) French Blade Plain Undressed (Bottom) Willow Blade Soft Plastic Imitation Minnow Tail.

Double Bladed Inline

5

By combining two blades together adds vibration and lift upon the retrieve for shallow water. Shown with double Colorado blades and marabou tail that pulses in the water, also known as a “Bulger”

Flash Inline

6

With the popularity of synthetic material used for spinner tails adds additional flash to the profile (body) of the lure. The top is tied with flashabou (tinsel) the bottom is a round silicone glitter skirt, both tails pulsates and sparkle upon the retrieve

Magnum Double Blade Inline

7

Similar to the double bladed inline only with larger spinner blades (size 9-13) providing maximum vibration and lift. Very popular lure for northern pike.

Spinnerbaits

8

Versatility is what spinnerbaits are all about. With the open safety pin, weighted head and single hook design that runs vertical, it can be fished in and through vegetation (weedless) Slow rolled over cover, allowing it to sink, the blades will helicopter down to deeper water. Used for all gamefish.

Magnum Spinnerbaits

9

A beefed up version of the spinner bait for big pike and muskies. The magnum spinner bait comes in 1 oz and up to 6 oz’s using large blades for increased vibration and large body profiles for big fish.

Buzzbaits

Buzzbaits resemble either a standard spinnerbait or inline spinner with the exception of a rotating propeller blade replacing a flat blade. Buzzbaits are a topwater spinner and must be retrieved rapidly to produce a loud clacking sound as they move across the surface. Excellent lure for bass and pike.

Buzzbaits resemble either a standard spinnerbait or inline spinner with the exception of a rotating propeller blade replacing a flat blade. Buzzbaits are a topwater spinner and must be retrieved rapidly to produce a loud clacking sound as they move across the surface. Excellent lure for pike.

Live Bait Spinners

11By combining the vibration and flash of a spinner blade and the attraction of live bait, these produce an effective fish catching combination for most all species of game fish. The (top) is a weight forward spinner that is tipped with a night crawler, this spinner is cast and retrieved, primarily used on the Great Lakes for walleyes also known as the trade name erie dearie. The (middle) is a crawler harness with multiple hooks (2 or 3) and is also tipped with a night crawler, this spinner is rigged on bottom bouncers and sliding sinker rigs, for trolling of drifting. A single hook version is also used for minnows. The (bottom) is a strip on an old time fishing rig also called Prescott Spinner. Made from stiff wire with a rotating blade on front. The wire is slid through a minnow attaching a double hook on the end loop.

 

Tags: , , , , , ,

 
%d bloggers like this: