It is important to know that when the water hits 50 degrees presentations can greatly be sped up. For almost two months slow and steady has been a key to catching fish, but as May is almost here speed can be your friend in catching fish.
A jig and minnow once the hands down most popular presentation is now just one of many ways to catch them on the river. It was and always will be a fish catcher, don’t over look its charm to fool fish.
Vertical jigging is done best with fine and light line. 6# test is all the heavier you need.
I try to have my main line, the line on the reel to be heavier than the leader line.Most times when you snag up it is the hook. Then if you need to break off on a snag the line will break at the hook leaving you with your swivel and weight. This is especially helpful when rigging with all the combinations of rigs you can fish with a three-way swivel technique.
One key to river fishing is to know when the fish are concentrated and when the are spread out. Even a “minor” water level change of 1.5 feet will move the fish. Normally lower and slower flow spreads out the fish.
When fishing Rapala’s in the dirty river water I find the red painted bill is a good fish attractor.
March 1, 2017
Walleye and sauger move deeper when cold fronts happen. When cold fronts happen especially in slower and deep rivers (like the St. Croix) fish will hit lightly. If I am jig fishing and I want the bulk of the jig to trigger bites I put a stinger hook on the jig.
February 16, 2017
Hard to believe but trolling in cold and I mean cold water ice cold water does work to catch fish. As you would guess the fish, trolling speeds need to be adjusted for the cold water. Today with 36 degree water on the river we boated a good sauger trolling a Rapala stickbait. The key was a slow steady pace into the current. Give crankbaits a try in the winter.
January 2, 2017 —
For ice fishing panfish 2-3 pound line is a must. It is very fine and hard to work with. Colored line really helps. I like the orange line, the dark blue line is also good.