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Fishing Walleye in the Weeds Pt 1

Walleye are known as the fish of deep water, edges, humps, rock piles, and  if you read books about how to fish walleye and watch DVDs you won’t notice more than a passing mention of walleye in relation to submerged vegetation. Yet walleye, like all fish, go where the food goes. And sometimes, the food is in the weeds.cover

Most fish spawn in the shallows in the spring. They’re looking for warm water and cover in the form of vegetation that will give their young a fighting chance at survival. By early summer, young-of-the-year prey fish move out a little deeper and that’s when the deeper weeds hold the most fish. Predatory walleyes follow in large numbers. They’re actively feeding and relatively easy for fishermen to catch.

1. Find Weeds That Hold Walleye

Two primary types of weeds attract fish, Pondweed and Milfoil. Other types of vegetation will hold some fish at times, but these two types are the most consistent, and pondweed tops them all. Most anglers refer to pondweed as “Cabbage.” not known where that name came from because it looks nothing like a head of cabbage, but the name sticks so that’s what it’s referred to.

weed diagramDon’t assume all cabbage varieties are the same. Of the several varieties, the wider the leaf the better; wider leaves create more shade and cover. Curly-leaf pondweed comes up quickly in the spring, but begins to die off in midsummer.

Milfoil can be good at times, particularly if you find it in a lake with little or no cabbage. Northern Watermilfoil is called Coontail in many places. This is not to be confused with Eurasian Milfoil, an invasive species which has a bad reputation among fisheries managers and water skiers, though not so bad among fish.

2. Use Search Techniques in the Weeds

If the food is in the weeds, and the walleyes are in the weeds, how do we go about finding them and getting them out? There are literally dozens of instances where anglers have discovered a walleye hanging off a spinnerbait hook, a bass jig or a crankbait while fishing for other fish species.

So the best place to start learning how to fish walleye in the weeds is to use a search technique – using a bait that moves fairly fast. Then when you contact a walleye, slow down and work the area over thoroughly with a jig. You can tip your jig with a minnow, a Powerbait, or just a twister tail. When you get the bait in front of a fish, they will bite it.

28.5" walleye

28.5″ walleye

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Posted by on February 23, 2015 in Fishing, Jig Fishing, Walleye Fishing

 

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Video on Jumbo Walleye Fishing

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The Traditional CANADIAN FISHING Shore Lunch

Do you dream of…

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The sizzle of fresh fish over an open fire at a shore lunch spot?  Or, the heart pounding excitement as the waters of a calm bay explodes with the first fish of the day?

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One of the highlights of your trip will be the traditional shore lunch served in the great Canadian Wilderness!   On many occasions throughout your trip your group will meet up with other party members for lunch. You will gather at a picturesque sight outcropping on one of the most famous lakes in Ontario –  Wawang Lake.

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The anticipation of a delectable lunch of fresh caught fish will having your mouth watering far in advance of the prepared food upon your plate.  Sit back, relax with a beverage, and enjoy the sights as you and the group prepare the most mouthwatering fresh food EVER!

Sometimes preparation of the shore lunch is interrupted by the excitement of a member of your party hooking into a lunker while casting from a boat anchored nearby .   Party members scramble for nets and plenty of advice is offered as the drama plays out!

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The traditional  shore lunch consists of potatoes, baked beans or corn, bread, and maybe even dessert, if there’s any room left in those bellies. The fish is normally fried in lard or liquid shortening; however, for the health conscience, you can use your own favorite oil.

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Don’t be afraid to streamline the batter or coating with some of your favorite spices. All in all it will be a outdoor dining experience that you aren’t likely to soon forget and eaten in the outdoors with a view to remember doesn’t get any better!

So is it any wonder that folks comment that the shore lunch was the best part of the trip they talk about most when they get home?  Good food and good friends in the most spectacular setting at Wawang Lake will implant a memory that will last forever!

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Early Season Walleye Jigging Tactics

Jigging for Walleye

Using jigs can be very productive but too many anglers aren’t fishing them correctly. Just starters, understand that you won’t always feel the thump of a walleye when it strikes a jig.

TwoToneJigsGuys expect that sure bite or hit. Many times you don’t feel it. So often you  drop the jig down and it stops. Maybe you’ll just feel some extra weight.

Concentrate on your rod, and don’t wait too long to set the hook.

The right rod helps here. When jigging, use a 6-foot, 8-inch or 7-foot rod when jigging with a light-action and fast tip. This really helps increase the number of bites he detects, which translates into more fish.

Use a short shank jig for live bait and a long shank jig when combining that live bait with a dressing. The latter can be plastic, Gulp, or maribou. If you face a tougher bite, use less bulk and movement in the water. Don’t vibrate your offering as much. Listen to the fish to extrapolate their mood, then up size or downsize properly.

Under most conditions, avoid stinger hooks. If you’re missing strikes, however, and want to try a stinger, use it properly. Just let it free-fall behind the lure.4595-fireballs

You get fewer bites with a stinger, so if you’re missing fish, drop that rod tip first, and let them take it.

As for jigging actions, think beyond just lift-drop. That’s fine if it’s producing, but often just holding it at one depth, say 3 inches off bottom, is enough. Let that minnow work.

If you want to get creative, try quiver jigging (gyrating the rod ahead of the reel), snap-jigging, dragging, or just casting and retrieving jigs.

Also, use a heavy enough jig to contact bottom, but not so heavy that fish blow it out. Vertical jigging should offer just the right weight to tick the bottom.

And if you feel a bite, set the hook hard. Really swing that rod tip up.  Always tie your jigs directly to the line. Suspend it periodically out of the water and let it unravel to eliminate line twist and tangling.

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Posted by on February 5, 2015 in Fishing, Fishing TIPS, Walleye Fishing

 

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WALLEYE – Lures & Baits

To get a fish to bite, you need to know how, where, whe­n, and what it eats.

28.5 inch wawang lake walleye

Walleye are most active in morning and evening. They feed on small yellow perch, small northern pike, lake herring, other small bait fish and you can often find them around schools of these smaller fish. They eat a lot, they’re aggressive, and they’re not picky, which is good news for you. Because walleye eat by sucking in water around their prey, you’ll probably want to try smaller bait.

Look for walleye around submerged rocks, weedy flats, bars or other underwater barriers in the lakes.  Wawang Lake is known for all these types of great structure.

Many predators like such obstructio­ns, which help them ambush their food. Walleye locate their prey by sight, which means you’re not likely to find them in sunny waters; they retreat coyly to the shadows or the darker depths, often in groups. walleye’s strong vision also means you’ll have better luck with brightly colored lures, and you might even want to experiment with different colors.

­In the case of walleye, to seek out their location, you’ll also need to consider the time of year. Walleye like water between 55 and 68 degrees Fahrenheit, and they move to follow it. In spring and fall, you’ll find them in the shallows of lakes. In summer, they’ll be a bit deeper — though you’re not likely to find them in very deep waters (more than 50 feet).

Now that you know those basics, let’s find out how you can choose the right baits and lures.

Types of Walleye Fishing Lures

Nature-Jigs-1-WhiteLures are designed to mimic a fish’s natural prey, so think about­ walleye’s eating patterns and food. Lures that move quickly will attract these aggressive hunters. Additionally, lures should be similar in size to the smaller prey fish.

If you’re fishing with a jig head, choose the jig head based on water depth — the deeper the water, the heavier the head. For deeper walleye fishing, you’ll want a jig head of about ½ ounce. In shallower waters, you can go as light as a 1/8-ounce jig head. If conditions are rough or windy, a heavier jig can help.

Depending on the time of year, you may want something that sticks close to the bottom, like a small but heavy jig (with a lead head) or a crank bait.   If you go with a crank bait, again, choose one that mimics walleye’s natural prey — narrow, and between three and five inches long.

In various fishing conditions, you might want to try:

  • High-action lures:  designed to go deep (especially in warmer months)
  • Crank baits:  such as shad raps, jointed shad raps, or glass shad raps (with built-in rattles)
  • A balsa lure: such as a rapala
  • Live bait jigs: (for casting or trolling at the beginning of the fall season)
  • A #3 or #4 spinner
  • Trolling crank baits with more subtle action (better for the colder months

Finally, you can key your color choice to the sort of water you’ll be fishing. Use brighter colors for weedy or muddy waters.

Obviously, your bait depends on your choice of lure, as well as the fishing conditions. Read on.

Types of Walleye Fishing Baits

182Remember that walleye’s behavior and location chan­ges seasonally — so, the b­ait that worked so well at the beginning of September might not be the best one for May. Come prepared to try a few different kinds of baits, and remember that every angler works by trial and error.

When the weather is cold, you may find the best results with live bait. In cold water, walleye are sluggish. The movement of live bait will likely be most effective at stimulating them to bite. Walleye are more aggressive in warmer weather, and that can sometimes let you get away with plastic bait, especially plastic worms.   But many anglers swear by minnows year-round.

If you’re using a live bait jig, try minnows, worms, leeches or red tail chub. With a spinner, try a piece of worm.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

One approach you may want to explore is coordinating your bait fish to whatever is schooling in the water. If you see a school of perch, for example, walleye are probably feeding close by, so use a perch colored lure tipped with live bait. Then let your jig drop a few feet at a time, the better to imitate the movement of the bait fish.   Obviously, this requires a bit more observation, flexibility and patience on your part. But isn’t that why you go fishing in the first place?

WEATHER TIP
Try to time your walleye fishing expedition so that it’s not coming right after a particularly cold snap. You can often have good luck during the turnover — the time when the weather is getting colder — because walleye follow their food into shallower waters, and often into less protected areas. But a particularly cold snap changes a lake’s temperature patterns so dramatically that it tends to put walleye into hiding until they’ve adjusted. Gradual changes are likely to offer better fishing

How To Cook Walleye
Now that you know how walleye eat, it’s time to learn how you can eat walleye. Walleye makes for a delicious meal, and depending on the preparation, it can be quite healthful as well. Try grilling walleye with fruit chutney, horseradish or pesto for a low-fat entrée. You can also bake, broil, fry, smoke or blacken walleye. Walleye is flavorful on its own, so you don’t need to do anything elaborate or complicated. Take a look at sites for walleye recipe suggestions — and don’t forget to clean the fish before cooking!

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WALLEYE – Lures & Baits

To get a fish to bite, you need to know how, where, whe­n, and what it eats.

Exciting trophy walleye fishing at Wawang Lake - NW Ontario

Exciting trophy walleye fishing at Wawang Lake – NW Ontario

Walleye are most active in morning and evening. They feed on small yellow perch, small northern pike, lake herring, other small bait fish and you can often find them around schools of these smaller fish. They eat a lot, they’re aggressive, and they’re not picky, which is good news for you. Because walleye eat by sucking in water around their prey, you’ll probably want to try smaller bait.

Look for walleye around submerged rocks, weedy flats, bars or other underwater barriers in the lakes.  Wawang Lake is known for all these types of great structure.

Many predators like such obstructio­ns, which help them ambush their food. Walleye locate their prey by sight, which means you’re not likely to find them in sunny waters; they retreat coyly to the shadows or the darker depths, often in groups. walleye’s strong vision also means you’ll have better luck with brightly colored lures, and you might even want to experiment with different colors.

­In the case of walleye, to seek out their location, you’ll also need to consider the time of year. Walleye like water between 55 and 68 degrees Fahrenheit, and they move to follow it. In spring and fall, you’ll find them in the shallows of lakes. In summer, they’ll be a bit deeper — though you’re not likely to find them in very deep waters (more than 50 feet).

Now that you know those basics, let’s find out how you can choose the right baits and lures.

Types of Walleye Fishing Lures

Nature-Jigs-1-WhiteLures are designed to mimic a fish’s natural prey, so think about­ walleye’s eating patterns and food. Lures that move quickly will attract these aggressive hunters. Additionally, lures should be similar in size to the smaller prey fish.

If you’re fishing with a jig head, choose the jig head based on water depth — the deeper the water, the heavier the head. For deeper walleye fishing, you’ll want a jig head of about ½ ounce. In shallower waters, you can go as light as a 1/8-ounce jig head. If conditions are rough or windy, a heavier jig can help.

Depending on the time of year, you may want something that sticks close to the bottom, like a small but heavy jig (with a lead head) or a crank bait.   If you go with a crank bait, again, choose one that mimics walleye’s natural prey — narrow, and between three and five inches long.

In various fishing conditions, you might want to try:

  • High-action lures:  designed to go deep (especially in warmer months)
  • Crank baits:  such as shad raps, jointed shad raps, or glass shad raps (with built-in rattles)
  • A balsa lure: such as a rapala
  • Live bait jigs: (for casting or trolling at the beginning of the fall season)
  • A #3 or #4 spinner
  • Trolling crank baits with more subtle action (better for the colder months

Finally, you can key your color choice to the sort of water you’ll be fishing. Use brighter colors for weedy or muddy waters.

Obviously, your bait depends on your choice of lure, as well as the fishing conditions. Read on.

Types of Walleye Fishing Baits

182Remember that walleye’s behavior and location chan­ges seasonally — so, the b­ait that worked so well at the beginning of September might not be the best one for May. Come prepared to try a few different kinds of baits, and remember that every angler works by trial and error.

When the weather is cold, you may find the best results with live bait. In cold water, walleye are sluggish. The movement of live bait will likely be most effective at stimulating them to bite. Walleye are more aggressive in warmer weather, and that can sometimes let you get away with plastic bait, especially plastic worms.   But many anglers swear by minnows year-round.

If you’re using a live bait jig, try minnows, worms, leeches or red tail chub. With a spinner, try a piece of worm.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

One approach you may want to explore is coordinating your bait fish to whatever is schooling in the water. If you see a school of perch, for example, walleye are probably feeding close by, so use a perch colored lure tipped with live bait. Then let your jig drop a few feet at a time, the better to imitate the movement of the bait fish.   Obviously, this requires a bit more observation, flexibility and patience on your part. But isn’t that why you go fishing in the first place?

WEATHER TIP
Try to time your walleye fishing expedition so that it’s not coming right after a particularly cold snap. You can often have good luck during the turnover — the time when the weather is getting colder — because walleye follow their food into shallower waters, and often into less protected areas. But a particularly cold snap changes a lake’s temperature patterns so dramatically that it tends to put walleye into hiding until they’ve adjusted. Gradual changes are likely to offer better fishing

How To Cook Walleye
Now that you know how walleye eat, it’s time to learn how you can eat walleye. Walleye makes for a delicious meal, and depending on the preparation, it can be quite healthful as well. Try grilling walleye with fruit chutney, horseradish or pesto for a low-fat entrée. You can also bake, broil, fry, smoke or blacken walleye. Walleye is flavorful on its own, so you don’t need to do anything elaborate or complicated. Take a look at sites for walleye recipe suggestions — and don’t forget to clean the fish before cooking!

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Kayak PIKE Fishing

If you’re a fan of fishing for pike and own a kayak, blending the two together is an excellent way to access phenomenal fishing opportunities.

imagesMany large pike roam waters off limits to anglers with powerboats, and getting into back lakes or small- to medium-sized rivers is easy with a kayak. More often than not, these unpressured fish are willing to hit baits with unbridled predatory aggression, only heightening the fun of kayak angling!

Kayaks let you access lakes and rivers off limits to powerboats, which often equates to phenomenal angling action.

A Bit About Kayaks

Kayak fishing is booming in North America. The growing popularity exists for several reasons. Being able to access waters cut off to powerboats is one. In a kayak any public access spot on shore is a launch site. Then it’s just a matter of paddling to biting fish. Another reason kayak fishing is growing is their low-cost advantages. No motor or trailer means lower fuel costs with these small boats. The ability to customize kayaks into fully functional fishing machines is another reason more anglers are taking up kayak fishing. Lastly, kayak fishing is fun! You’re closer to the water and battling even smaller-sized fish can be a blast in these low-profile paddleboats.

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Kayaks Access Prime Pike Waters

There is no wrong time to target pike using a kayak. Look for pike around creeks and bays where they’ll recover after spawning in spring. Come summer and autumn, bays and weed lines are good areas to paddle and cast baits.

As kayaks glide through extremely shallow water, use this to your advantage and work shallow, weedy, and sand bays off the beaten track. Also, don’t be afraid to explore up small rivers or lake tributaries. Sometimes these connect to lakes with undeveloped shorelines. It’s spots like this where non-stop pike action is common as fish aren’t likely to see very many lures in their lifetime.

Top Kayak Pike Gear

Fishing pike from a kayak begins by having the proper gear. Medium-heavy to heavy bait cast or spinning rods are good. Some prefer longer rods of at least 7 feet to help them control fish and keep them a safe distance from the boat until they’ve played them sufficiently and safely, and it’s time to land them. Use braid starting at 30-pound-test and either use wire or heavy-duty fluorocarbon leaders of at least 60-pound test to prevent bite-offs.

kayak_rigging_crate

Kayak Pike Baits

As you’re fishing much closer to the water, try and use lures featuring single hooks, or pinch down barbs on trebles. This makes releasing fish easier, but also lessens the chances of an angling accident.

Good top water lures include frogs and buzz baits. Soft-jerk baits rigged on single hooks are excellent to twitch around weeds or wood for pike as well. Spinner baits are another great single-hook option and are always pike magnets. To work the bottom or along weed edges, buck tail jigs bulked up with twister tails are my favorite choice.

islamorada-kayak-fishing1

The Right Release Tools

It’s important to carry all the necessary release tools when fishing out of a kayak. This ensures you can quickly remove the hooks from a fish and resume fishing. The longer you take to land and release a fish at boat side the greater the chances for mishaps. Pliers are a must, and floating models are available. Keep them on a lanyard so they’re always within reach and carry a spare set. Jaw spreaders are important for pike as well to quickly open a fish’s mouth and remove a lure. A net is also a good tool to carry in the boat. Many handles easily stow in flush mount rod holders. If targeting big fish, it’s often best to angle with a partner so assistance is nearby for landing and removing hooks.

Fishing pike from kayaks is exciting. These predators often aggressively hit lures and back lake fish are sure to be more aggressive than ones found on pressured waters regularly angled and exposed to plenty of boat traffic. Whether you own one or not, if you enjoy pike fishing, try angling them with a kayak.

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You might be surprised how much fun it is, not to mention the size and number of fish you’ll like catch if you get on less pressured waters.

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