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Spring & Summer Mayfly Hatch

walleye teeth 2Take a close look at a walleye’s mouth and its teeth tell the story – they have evolved to feed on fish. Yet, walleye don’t survive on fish alone. Ever the opportunists, these marble-eyed predators will snatch up meals whenever they get the chance, and there are few underwater appetizers as easy for them to eat as may fly nymphs.

Mayfly nymphs are more than simple snacks for walleye. They’re a main component in walleye diets at certain times of the year. In the spring, gluttonous post-spawn walleye will cruise soft-bottom areas feeding on nymphs and in the summer walleye will target emerging nymphs during a hatch. To effectively catch walleye feeding onnymph nymphs, anglers need to understand the predator-prey relationship between these two species. This includes where to locate nymph-eating ‘eyes and downsizing lures to imitate these immature may fly morsels.

The life cycle of mayflies is;  egg to nymph, followed by nymph to adult. A may fly spends the majority of its life as a nymph, also called larva. Classified as benthic (bottom dwelling) invertebrates, nymphs crawl along the bottom, hiding in debris and vegetation while some create burrows. Flats and bays with soft mud or silt bottoms are prime nymph habitat. Some nymphs live in deep water, but most stay shallow to soak up sun which is crucial for their growth.

In spring, maturing nymphs become active as they prepare to emerge from the water. Once conditions are right, mature nymphs swim to the surface or crawl on land, shedding their casings and molting into winged adults. As adults their lifespan is relatively short, with their sole purpose to mate before dying. As with any migration in nature, increased activity and concentrated numbers of organisms will attract predators. The mayfly-walleye relationship is no different.

may_fly_life_cycle

“Primarily the time of year when a fish like walleye zeros in on may fly nymphs is the early to late spring period when the organisms are emerging from the mud in fairly concentrated areas, especially the types that burrow into the substrate,” says the experts.

Given their post-spawn predisposition to binge-feeding, catching walleye targeting may fly nymphs can be easy – if you know where to look. The first step is finding soft-bottomed flats comprised of mud, sand and silt that hold may fly nymphs. Some sonars display soft-bottom areas as a thin line as mud or silt absorbs and scatters the sonar’s signals.

Once you’ve found some soft-bottom areas, fish those that are close to spawning areas first, as these spots are natural transition zones and resting points for recovering fish. Also consider the light preferences of walleye. Shaded flats or ones containing weeds and wood will hold walleye better than ones in sunlight and void of cover.

3fbabdf5_hooksSmall 1/16 or 1/8-ounce jigs in both dark and light colours can be deadly when walleye feed on nymphs during early spring. Try to make jigs mimic a nymph’s erratic movements during the retrieve. If casting, slowly crawl or subtly hop it along bottom. If vertical jigging, thump the jig in place to kick up debris. This tactic appeals to a walleye’s curiosity and can trigger hits.

Walleye often suck-in nymphs and hits can be subtle. Stay focused on watching your line for the slightest twitch indicating that a walleye has sucked in your bait. You need to set the hook immediately or the fish will blow the bait back out. You will often find that tipping the jig with a small piece of worm will entice more bites and gives you more time to set the hook, as the fish hangs on to the jig a little longer. A rod with a sensitive tip and low-stretch line will also help you detect hits.

If fishing slows, a slip bobber and a small jig tipped with a piece of worm or leech can tease out a few hits. “After you cast out, let the jig and float settle for a few seconds and then slowly pull or reel in approximately three to four feet of line, then pause again.” Continue this style of retrieve until you have covered the area.

During spring feeding binges walleye are not as selective on baits matching-the-hatch as they in the summer. When spring fishing this season pay attention to water surface activity and look for isolated hatches. If near post-spawn staging areas, these spots might serve as feeding zones for recovering walleye. Fish them with jigs or slip bobbers and live bait.

In the summer, the early stages of a may fly 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 may fly nymphs,” experts say. 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 may fly hatch, I find that walleye are generally up shallower. I have caught walleye in water as shallow as three feet, even on sunny days.” When choosing where to fish flats, concentrate on breaks and holes. 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. Bucktail or marabou 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. Deadsticking a bucktail 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.

Nick 27 Walleye 6-3When walleye are aggressively feeding on nymphs during a hatch in weedy areas, ago-to bait is a bucktail jig in black, with either a red or white strip on the side. In the weedy flats he fishes, Evans aggressively jigs these baits. “This causes the feathers and hair to expand and contract giving the bucktail a life like appearance,” he notes.

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. Swim jigs and  scale down to using two to three-inch grubs 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.

Another 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 may fly rig.

A more subtle variation of the may fly 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 worm, anywhere from an half to two inches in size.

Dragging may fly 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 may fly 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 may fly hatches into opportunities for increased catches.

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Posted by on April 23, 2016 in Fishing, Mayfly, Walleye Fishing

 

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Spring & Summer Mayfly Hatch

walleye teeth 2Take a close look at a walleye’s mouth and its teeth tell the story – they have evolved to feed on fish. Yet, walleye don’t survive on fish alone. Ever the opportunists, these marble-eyed predators will snatch up meals whenever they get the chance, and there are few underwater appetizers as easy for them to eat as may fly nymphs.

Mayfly nymphs are more than simple snacks for walleye. They’re a main component in walleye diets at certain times of the year. In the spring, gluttonous post-spawn walleye will cruise soft-bottom areas feeding on nymphs and in the summer walleye will target emerging nymphs during a hatch. To effectively catch walleye feeding on nymphs, anglers need to understand the predator-prey relationship between these two species. This includes where to locate nymph-eating ‘eyes and downsizing lures to imitate these immature may fly morsels.

The life cycle of mayflies is;  egg to nymph, followed by nymph to adult. A may fly spends the majority of its life nymphas a nymph, also called larva. Classified as benthic (bottom dwelling) invertebrates, nymphs crawl along the bottom, hiding in debris and vegetation while some create burrows. Flats and bays with soft mud or silt bottoms are prime nymph habitat. Some nymphs live in deep water, but most stay shallow to soak up sun which is crucial for their growth.

In spring, maturing nymphs become active as they prepare to emerge from the water. Once conditions are right, mature nymphs swim to the surface or crawl on land, shedding their casings and molting into winged adults. As adults their lifespan is relatively short, with their sole purpose to mate before dying. As with any migration in nature, increased activity and concentrated numbers of organisms will attract predators. The mayfly-walleye relationship is no different.

may_fly_life_cycle

“Primarily the time of year when a fish like walleye zeros in on may fly nymphs is the early to late spring period when the organisms are emerging from the mud in fairly concentrated areas, especially the types that burrow into the substrate,” says the experts.

Given their post-spawn predisposition to binge-feeding, catching walleye targeting may fly nymphs can be easy – if you know where to look. The first step is finding soft-bottomed flats comprised of mud, sand and silt that hold may fly nymphs. Some sonars display soft-bottom areas as a thin line as mud or silt absorbs and scatters the sonar’s signals.

Once you’ve found some soft-bottom areas, fish those that are close to spawning areas first, as these spots are natural transition zones and resting points for recovering fish. Also consider the light preferences of walleye. Shaded flats or ones containing weeds and wood will hold walleye better than ones in sunlight and void of cover.

3fbabdf5_hooksSmall 1/16 or 1/8-ounce jigs in both dark and light colors can be deadly when walleye feed on nymphs during early spring. Try to make jigs mimic a nymph’s erratic movements during the retrieve. If casting, slowly crawl or subtly hop it along bottom. If vertical jigging, thump the jig in place to kick up debris. This tactic appeals to a walleye’s curiosity and can trigger hits.

Walleye often suck-in nymphs and hits can be subtle. Stay focused on watching your line for the slightest twitch indicating that a walleye has sucked in your bait. You need to set the hook immediately or the fish will blow the bait back out. You will often find that tipping the jig with a small piece of worm will entice more bites and gives you more time to set the hook, as the fish hangs on to the jig a little longer. A rod with a sensitive tip and low-stretch line will also help you detect hits.

If fishing slows, a slip bobber and a small jig tipped with a piece of worm or leech can tease out a few hits. “After you cast out, let the jig and float settle for a few seconds and then slowly pull or reel in approximately three to four feet of line, then pause again.” Continue this style of retrieve until you have covered the area.

During spring feeding binges walleye are not as selective on baits matching-the-hatch as they in the summer. When spring fishing this season pay attention to water surface activity and look for isolated hatches. If near post-spawn staging areas, these spots might serve as feeding zones for recovering walleye. Fish them with jigs or slip bobbers and live bait.

In the summer, the early stages of a may fly 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 may fly nymphs,” experts say. 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 may fly hatch, I find that walleye are generally up shallower. I have caught walleye in water as shallow as three feet, even on sunny days.” When choosing where to fish flats, concentrate on breaks and holes. Walleye always like to have deeper water adjacent to their feeding flats!
netting walleye

Small jigs can be productive if walleye are bottom-feeding on nymphs during hatches. Buck tail or marabou 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. Dead sticking a buck tail 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, ago-to bait is a buck tail jig in black, with either a red or white strip on the side. In the weedy flats he fishes, Evans aggressively jigs these baits. “This causes the feathers and hair to expand and contract giving the buck tail a life like appearance,” he notes.

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. Swim jigs and  scale down to using two to three-inch grubs 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.

Another 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 may fly rig.

A more subtle variation of the may fly 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 worm, anywhere from an half to two inches in size.


Dragging may fly 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 may fly 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 may fly hatches into opportunities for increased catches.

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Posted by on April 27, 2015 in Fishing, Mayfly, Walleye Fishing

 

Tags: , , , , , , , ,

Spring & Summer Mayfly Hatch

walleye teeth 2Take a close look at a walleye’s mouth and its teeth tell the story – they have evolved to feed on fish. Yet, walleye don’t survive on fish alone. Ever the opportunists, these marble-eyed predators will snatch up meals whenever they get the chance, and there are few underwater appetizers as easy for them to eat as may fly nymphs.

Mayfly nymphs are more than simple snacks for walleye. They’re a main component in walleye diets at certain times of the year. In the spring, gluttonous post-spawn walleye will cruise soft-bottom areas feeding on nymphs and in the summer walleye will target emerging nymphs during a hatch. To effectively catch walleye feeding on nymphs, anglers need to understand the predator-prey relationship between these two species. This includes where to locate nymph-eating ‘eyes and downsizing lures to imitate these immature may fly morsels.

The life cycle of mayflies is;  egg to nymph, followed by nymph to adult. A may fly spends the majority of its life as a nymph, also called larva. Classified as benthic (bottom dwelling) nymphinvertebrates, nymphs crawl along the bottom, hiding in debris and vegetation while some create burrows. Flats and bays with soft mud or silt bottoms are prime nymph habitat. Some nymphs live in deep water, but most stay shallow to soak up sun which is crucial for their growth.

In spring, maturing nymphs become active as they prepare to emerge from the water. Once conditions are right, mature nymphs swim to the surface or crawl on land, shedding their casings and molting into winged adults. As adults their lifespan is relatively short, with their sole purpose to mate before dying. As with any migration in nature, increased activity and concentrated numbers of organisms will attract predators. The mayfly-walleye relationship is no different.

may_fly_life_cycle

“Primarily the time of year when a fish like walleye zeros in on may fly nymphs is the early to late spring period when the organisms are emerging from the mud in fairly concentrated areas, especially the types that burrow into the substrate,” says the experts.

Given their post-spawn predisposition to binge-feeding, catching walleye targeting may fly nymphs can be easy – if you know where to look. The first step is finding soft-bottomed flats comprised of mud, sand and silt that hold may fly nymphs. Some sonars display soft-bottom areas as a thin line as mud or silt absorbs and scatters the sonar’s signals.

Once you’ve found some soft-bottom areas, fish those that are close to spawning areas first, as these spots are natural transition zones and resting points for recovering fish. Also consider the light preferences of walleye. Shaded flats or ones containing weeds and wood will hold walleye better than ones in sunlight and void of cover.

3fbabdf5_hooksSmall 1/16 or 1/8-ounce jigs in both dark and light colours can be deadly when walleye feed on nymphs during early spring. Try to make jigs mimic a nymph’s erratic movements during the retrieve. If casting, slowly crawl or subtly hop it along bottom. If vertical jigging, thump the jig in place to kick up debris. This tactic appeals to a walleye’s curiosity and can trigger hits.

Walleye often suck-in nymphs and hits can be subtle. Stay focused on watching your line for the slightest twitch indicating that a walleye has sucked in your bait. You need to set the hook immediately or the fish will blow the bait back out. You will often find that tipping the jig with a small piece of worm will entice more bites and gives you more time to set the hook, as the fish hangs on to the jig a little longer. A rod with a sensitive tip and low-stretch line will also help you detect hits.

If fishing slows, a slip bobber and a small jig tipped with a piece of worm or leech can tease out a few hits. “After you cast out, let the jig and float settle for a few seconds and then slowly pull or reel in approximately three to four feet of line, then pause again.” Continue this style of retrieve until you have covered the area.

During spring feeding binges walleye are not as selective on baits matching-the-hatch as they in the summer. When spring fishing this season pay attention to water surface activity and look for isolated hatches. If near post-spawn staging areas, these spots might serve as feeding zones for recovering walleye. Fish them with jigs or slip bobbers and live bait.

Here is a good example of the rewards reaped when following a few
tips when fishing during a May-fly hatch.  The King group
caught 57 trophy sized walleye 25+ and boated 150+ fish per day.

8 Lake Map & Stats

In the summer, the early stages of a may fly 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 may fly nymphs,” experts say. 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 may fly hatch,  walleye are generally up shallower. You can catch walleye in water as shallow as three feet, even on sunny days.  When choosing where to fish flats, concentrate on breaks and holes. 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. Bucktail or marabou 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. Deadsticking a bucktail 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.

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

To fish hatches, start 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. Swim jigs and  scale down to using two to three-inch grubs 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.

Another 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 may fly rig.

A more subtle variation of the may fly 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 worm, anywhere from an half to two inches in size.

mayflyrigDragging may fly 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 may fly 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 may fly hatches into opportunities for increased catches.

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Posted by on April 26, 2014 in Fishing, Mayfly, Walleye Fishing

 

Tags: , , , , , , , ,

Spring & Summer Mayfly Hatch

walleye teeth 2Take a close look at a walleye‘s mouth and its teeth tell the story – they have evolved to feed on fish. Yet, walleye don’t survive on fish alone. Ever the opportunists, these marble-eyed predators will snatch up meals whenever they get the chance, and there are few underwater appetizers as easy for them to eat as may fly nymphs.

Mayfly nymphs are more than simple snacks for walleye. They’re a main component in walleye diets at certain times of the year. In the spring, gluttonous post-spawn walleye will cruise soft-bottom areas feeding on nymphs and in the summer walleye will target emerging nymphs during a hatch. To effectively catch walleye feeding onnymph nymphs, anglers need to understand the predator-prey relationship between these two species. This includes where to locate nymph-eating ‘eyes and downsizing lures to imitate these immature may fly morsels.

The life cycle of mayflies is;  egg to nymph, followed by nymph to adult. A may fly spends the majority of its life as a nymph, also called larva. Classified as benthic (bottom dwelling) invertebrates, nymphs crawl along the bottom, hiding in debris and vegetation while some create burrows. Flats and bays with soft mud or silt bottoms are prime nymph habitat. Some nymphs live in deep water, but most stay shallow to soak up sun which is crucial for their growth.

In spring, maturing nymphs become active as they prepare to emerge from the water. Once conditions are right, mature nymphs swim to the surface or crawl on land, shedding their casings and molting into winged adults. As adults their lifespan is relatively short, with their sole purpose to mate before dying. As with any migration in nature, increased activity and concentrated numbers of organisms will attract predators. The mayfly-walleye relationship is no different.

may_fly_life_cycle

“Primarily the time of year when a fish like walleye zeros in on may fly nymphs is the early to late spring period when the organisms are emerging from the mud in fairly concentrated areas, especially the types that burrow into the substrate,” says the experts.

Given their post-spawn predisposition to binge-feeding, catching walleye targeting may fly nymphs can be easy – if you know where to look. The first step is finding soft-bottomed flats comprised of mud, sand and silt that hold may fly nymphs. Some sonars display soft-bottom areas as a thin line as mud or silt absorbs and scatters the sonar’s signals.

Once you’ve found some soft-bottom areas, fish those that are close to spawning areas first, as these spots are natural transition zones and resting points for recovering fish. Also consider the light preferences of walleye. Shaded flats or ones containing weeds and wood will hold walleye better than ones in sunlight and void of cover.

3fbabdf5_hooksSmall 1/16 or 1/8-ounce jigs in both dark and light colours can be deadly when walleye feed on nymphs during early spring. Try to make jigs mimic a nymph’s erratic movements during the retrieve. If casting, slowly crawl or subtly hop it along bottom. If vertical jigging, thump the jig in place to kick up debris. This tactic appeals to a walleye’s curiosity and can trigger hits.

Walleye often suck-in nymphs and hits can be subtle. Stay focused on watching your line for the slightest twitch indicating that a walleye has sucked in your bait. You need to set the hook immediately or the fish will blow the bait back out. You will often find that tipping the jig with a small piece of worm will entice more bites and gives you more time to set the hook, as the fish hangs on to the jig a little longer. A rod with a sensitive tip and low-stretch line will also help you detect hits.

If fishing slows, a slip bobber and a small jig tipped with a piece of worm or leech can tease out a few hits. “After you cast out, let the jig and float settle for a few seconds and then slowly pull or reel in approximately three to four feet of line, then pause again.” Continue this style of retrieve until you have covered the area.

During spring feeding binges walleye are not as selective on baits matching-the-hatch as they in the summer. When spring fishing this season pay attention to water surface activity and look for isolated hatches. If near post-spawn staging areas, these spots might serve as feeding zones for recovering walleye. Fish them with jigs or slip bobbers and live bait.

In the summer, the early stages of a may fly 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 may fly nymphs,” experts say. 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 may fly hatch, I find that walleye are generally up shallower. I have caught walleye in water as shallow as three feet, even on sunny days.” When choosing where to fish flats, concentrate on breaks and holes. 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. Bucktail or marabou 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. Deadsticking a bucktail 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, ago-to bait is a bucktail jig in black, with either a red or white strip on the side. In the weedy flats he fishes, Evans aggressively jigs these baits. “This causes the feathers and hair to expand and contract giving the bucktail a life like appearance,” he notes.

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. Swim jigs and  scale down to using two to three-inch grubs 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.

Another 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 may fly rig.

A more subtle variation of the may fly 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 worm, anywhere from an half to two inches in size.

Dragging may fly 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 may fly 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 may fly hatches into opportunities for increased catches.

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Posted by on March 7, 2014 in Fishing, Mayfly, Walleye Fishing

 

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2.5 DAYS OF FISHING – 27 TROPHY WALLEYE

Ok Kevin…ANOTHER 28″ today so far and 5 more trophies to add to the list!!! That brings 2.5 days of fishing to 27 walleye 25″+!!!! They now have 11x 25″, 4×26″, 5×27″, 5×28″and 2×29″!! Wow your arms must be tired!! Thank you for all of your great pics boys!

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The gang of six proves what we’ve been saying all along – WAWANG LAKE HAS GREAT FISHING!

King Group

Wawang Lake is definitely the Walleye Hot Spot in Ontario CANADA

Join us at Wawang Lake Resort for some GREAT FISHING!!

Also, CHECK out this great read on our GROUSE HUNTING

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198 Walleyes in Two Days – EXCITING FISHING

Okay, have to make a correction on Bill’s two day WALLEYE total.  By the end of the 2nd day Bill actually caught/released 198 walleye.  This is from the master angler himself.  Not bad for mid July fishing through a Mayfly Hatch.   www.wawangresort.com

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On Bill’s first trip to Wawang Lake four years ago he caught well over 40 trophy sized walleye during his stay and stated embarrassinlyly that he caught himself saying (after so many fish) ‘Oh it’s just another 24″ walleye’.  How depressing is that?    Needless to say Bill was very impressed with Wawang Lake and has returned each year since to visit us……well the walleye anyways.   He’s made quite a few friends IN Wawang Lake I might add 🙂

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King Group Now stands at 30 TROPHY Walleye

What 30 now??!!!  Wow Steve, you pushed them to the next level!! Nice 27″

WOW, the gang of six just isn't quitting at all and has pushed their walleye trophy total to 30!  Way to go guys!

WOW, the gang of six just isn’t quitting at all and has pushed their walleye trophy total to 30! Way to go guys!

Wawang Lake is definitely the Walleye Hot Spot in Ontario CANADA

Join us at Wawang Lake Resort for some GREAT FISHING!!

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Mayflies – Don’t Stop Our Walleye From Biting…..

King Group

Wawang Lake proves that the Mayfly hatch doesn’t hurt our fishing. Look at what the King Group did! Eight hours of fishing provided some sensational fishing for sure! Ten trophy walleye and boating near 100. Way to go guys!
July 14, 2013

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WALLEYE FISHING: With Video

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

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

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

Methods That Will Effectively Catch Walleye on Wawang Lake

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

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

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

SUGGESTIONS:  But not limited to

Spring

Late May-Early June

Early   Summer

Mid-Late June

Mid   Summer

July-Early Aug.

Late   Summer/Fall

Mid Aug.& Sept.

8ft.-15ft. depths

10ft-20ft. depths

15ft-25ft. depths

20ft-40ft. depths

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

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

AN EXAMPLE CHART BUT COLORS WILL DEFINITELY VARY

Spring
May-Early   June

Early   Summer
Mid   to Late June

Mid   Summer
July   to Early Aug.

Late   Summer/Fall
Mid   Aug. & Sept.

4ft. -15ft. depths

10ft. -20ft. depths

15ft.- 25ft. depths

20ft-40ft. depths

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

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

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

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

Minnow or leech

Minnow or leech

Minnow, leech or crawler

Minnow, leech or crawler


3.  Bottom Bouncing:

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

Don’t Discount the Spinner Rig

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

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

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

Spring

May-Early June

3/8 to 1 oz.

Early Summer

Mid-Late June

1 to 2 oz.

Mid-Summer

July-Early Aug.

2 oz.

Late Summer/Fall

Mid-Aug. On

2 to 3 oz.

 

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

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

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

 

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Spring & Summer Mayfly Hatch

walleye teeth 2Take a close look at a walleye‘s mouth and its teeth tell the story – they have evolved to feed on fish. Yet, walleye don’t survive on fish alone. Ever the opportunists, these marble-eyed predators will snatch up meals whenever they get the chance, and there are few underwater appetizers as easy for them to eat as may fly nymphs.

Mayfly nymphs are more than simple snacks for walleye. They’re a main component in walleye diets at certain times of the year. In the spring, gluttonous post-spawn walleye will cruise soft-bottom areas feeding on nymphs and in the summer walleye will target emerging nymphs during a hatch. To effectively catch walleye feeding onnymph nymphs, anglers need to understand the predator-prey relationship between these two species. This includes where to locate nymph-eating ‘eyes and downsizing lures to imitate these immature may fly morsels.

The life cycle of mayflies is;  egg to nymph, followed by nymph to adult. A may fly spends the majority of its life as a nymph, also called larva. Classified as benthic (bottom dwelling) invertebrates, nymphs crawl along the bottom, hiding in debris and vegetation while some create burrows. Flats and bays with soft mud or silt bottoms are prime nymph habitat. Some nymphs live in deep water, but most stay shallow to soak up sun which is crucial for their growth.

In spring, maturing nymphs become active as they prepare to emerge from the water. Once conditions are right, mature nymphs swim to the surface or crawl on land, shedding their casings and molting into winged adults. As adults their lifespan is relatively short, with their sole purpose to mate before dying. As with any migration in nature, increased activity and concentrated numbers of organisms will attract predators. The mayfly-walleye relationship is no different.

may_fly_life_cycle

“Primarily the time of year when a fish like walleye zeros in on may fly nymphs is the early to late spring period when the organisms are emerging from the mud in fairly concentrated areas, especially the types that burrow into the substrate,” says the experts.

Given their post-spawn predisposition to binge-feeding, catching walleye targeting may fly nymphs can be easy – if you know where to look. The first step is finding soft-bottomed flats comprised of mud, sand and silt that hold may fly nymphs. Some sonars display soft-bottom areas as a thin line as mud or silt absorbs and scatters the sonar’s signals.

Once you’ve found some soft-bottom areas, fish those that are close to spawning areas first, as these spots are natural transition zones and resting points for recovering fish. Also consider the light preferences of walleye. Shaded flats or ones containing weeds and wood will hold walleye better than ones in sunlight and void of cover.

3fbabdf5_hooksSmall 1/16 or 1/8-ounce jigs in both dark and light colours can be deadly when walleye feed on nymphs during early spring. Try to make jigs mimic a nymph’s erratic movements during the retrieve. If casting, slowly crawl or subtly hop it along bottom. If vertical jigging, thump the jig in place to kick up debris. This tactic appeals to a walleye’s curiosity and can trigger hits.

Walleye often suck-in nymphs and hits can be subtle. Stay focused on watching your line for the slightest twitch indicating that a walleye has sucked in your bait. You need to set the hook immediately or the fish will blow the bait back out. You will often find that tipping the jig with a small piece of worm will entice more bites and gives you more time to set the hook, as the fish hangs on to the jig a little longer. A rod with a sensitive tip and low-stretch line will also help you detect hits.

If fishing slows, a slip bobber and a small jig tipped with a piece of worm or leech can tease out a few hits. “After you cast out, let the jig and float settle for a few seconds and then slowly pull or reel in approximately three to four feet of line, then pause again.” Continue this style of retrieve until you have covered the area.

During spring feeding binges walleye are not as selective on baits matching-the-hatch as they in the summer. When spring fishing this season pay attention to water surface activity and look for isolated hatches. If near post-spawn staging areas, these spots might serve as feeding zones for recovering walleye. Fish them with jigs or slip bobbers and live bait.

In the summer, the early stages of a may fly 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 may fly nymphs,” experts say. 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 may fly hatch, I find that walleye are generally up shallower. I have caught walleye in water as shallow as three feet, even on sunny days.” When choosing where to fish flats, concentrate on breaks and holes. 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. Bucktail or marabou 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. Deadsticking a bucktail 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, ago-to bait is a bucktail jig in black, with either a red or white strip on the side. In the weedy flats he fishes, Evans aggressively jigs these baits. “This causes the feathers and hair to expand and contract giving the bucktail a life like appearance,” he notes.

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. Swim jigs and  scale down to using two to three-inch grubs 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.

Another 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 may fly rig.

A more subtle variation of the may fly 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 worm, anywhere from an half to two inches in size.

Dragging may fly 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 may fly 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 may fly hatches into opportunities for increased catches.

 
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Posted by on June 6, 2013 in Fishing, Mayfly, Walleye Fishing

 

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