Tip of the Week
When you are river fishing it is about the right water for the conditions. To sum up a near spiritual experience in looking for the right water, what I would say to do is look for water not too fast or too slow – a happy medium is where the fish like to be. It can take years to learn the river flow, and I do my best to read it on every trip. The fish will tell you if you are in the right water or not, this is your reinforcement either positive or negative in whether you are in the right flow or not. 75% of the time I like happy medium water near the fast water and this is called a current seam or the interface between fast and slower.
If you can’t fish the right water then all the lures in all the colors that Cabelas sells wouldn’t help a guy out. Learn to fish the right water.
There are some soft plastics with larger tails than what you would find on the ringworm (the generic name for this bait). The ringworm has a subtle tail and is the staple plastic used by river fisherman. A few plastics have larger tails and do throw a bigger wake, thus making it easier to find in dark water. These baits with larger tails are Ringers, Moxi’s, and Puls-Rs. Give some of these a try they are an in your face bait, but they do catch fish.
Charlie “Turk” Gierke
My best tip – Trust Jesus – He is the way!
When in doubt as to what type of plastic to use – put on a ringworm they catch big walleyes and will take better fish than hair jigs when the walleyes are active.
Hair jigs are a great way to bulk up and add color to your presentation. Hair jigs naturally come in different sized weighted jig heads. They also come with more or less hair. Big hair really bulks up the presentation and aggressive walleye will hit it for sure! All the colors of the rainbow work. Give them a try I feel they are best when the water is cold.
In cold water the number one factor to catching fish is going slow. The trouble comes when it is windy and the current is fast. On top of that the best spots are not very big and are the size of a few boats. So not only does speed make you go through a small spot too fast thus giving fish less chance to decide to hit the bait, it is the fast speed that will cause the fish to ignore the bait. So too fast of speed is a two fold problem.
March 11, 2014
When the water is cold plastics are especially effective for walleye and sauger. However when you are fishing cold water slow speed is required, when you are fishing slow the fish have a longer time to see the lure and choose whether or not to strike. This with is when the right lure color is most important. Try as many colors as it take find what the fish want.
February 11, 2014
My all around favorite fishing rod is the Limit Creek LCS69MLF it is nicknamed the “Smoothie,” it has proven itself year after year on jigs, Lindy rigs, split shot rigs and light three way rigs for walleye. Tubes jigs, plastic jerk baits, and Senkos for smallmouth bass, plus sensitive enough to detect crappie bites. I have at least six of these on board my guide boat year round. Sensitive, tough, versatile, at a fair price.
Please consider the LCS69MLF “Smoothie” for your next rod purchase.
Take a closer look at “The Smoothie”.
January 7, 2014
Know the best bite time frame – it is essential. Some lakes have a night bite, others do not, some lakes catch fire from sun up to 8:30am and there are bites in between, some lakes have odd bite times and if you are not on the water at those times, well forget it. Talk to the experienced fishermen to find out, hopefully they will tell know, local bait shops in the area are interested in getting you solid information, some guides, and even smart chamber of commerce’s that promote their fish and game will produce a good report including bite times (such as Lake of the Woods area).
December 17 When ice fishing be sure to use line that is not heavily coiled and full of memory. This is especially true when panfishing. Kinky old line looks absolutely unnatural to the fish resulting in less bites.
Speaking of fishing line…I often preach about having the right sized hook when using livebait in the summer. When ice fishing you must use the right sized line in relation to your lure. There are many diminutive niblet sized sunfish lures on the market that will slay these delicious fish, however these lures are poor producers when tied onto line four pound test and heavier.
November 8, When trolling crankbaits such as in the fall/early winter period, it is of paramount importance to have sharp hooks. Dull hooks stick less upon slow speeds than when trolled fast in the summer. You are looking for hooks that stick to your fingers “sticky sharp” is the term.
November 4, Did you know you can buy a brand new crankbait and it can be a dud. A dud crankbait will not run straight and will veer off to the left or right or shimmy erratically to one side or the other.
You are WAISTING your time fishing an out of tune lure, as described above. The best crankbaits track dead straight. period. Test your crankbaits to make sure they run dead true.
You can tune crankbaits to make them run true. If running/veering left – bend the wire right. If running right – bend the lure left. However the more you tune a crankbait, you eventually create play between the plastic bill and the wire line tie, once the line tie wiggles even a tiny bit back and forth the lure is shot, and will not run true.
October 23, When you jig you have the option of keeping the jig on or off the bottom. On bottoms where sand is dominant, the risk of snagging goes down, dragging your jig can be the ticket on some days and on other days a vertical approach is what the fish want.
October 15, Put down peanut oil on your Christmas present list, when we go to such lengths to catch the elusive walleye the cooking should be done right. Peanut oil is a big part of making the fish fry a hit. Because peanut oil has a higher smoking point than standard vegetable oil, the fish cook fast and fast is the key to good tasting fish. Soggy fried fish is a shame. I recently bought oil at Fleet farm it was intended for turkey frying, I was not too impressed as it was linseed oil. Peanut oil is worth the money.
Jay Leary with a trophy smallmouth bass Jason Hankes with a trophy walleye
Check out www.limitcreek.com for your fishing rod needs. I use them on all guide trips. all lunker fish pictured on this site are caught using these dependable rods.
October 9th I think many anglers believe trolling is a passive presentation where they can set their rod in the holder and “chill out” and wait for a bite. That is true you can catch fish that way. I will say this though, just like lindy rigging it is true with trolling some anglers constantly catch more fish than others from within the same boat. These anglers that catch the most aren’t being passive. If you are fishing for the plain atmosphere of being on the water, more power to you. The more active you are with any presentation and work at knowing where you lure is the more fish you will catch.
Sept. 16. Try to learn one new spot, presentation, knot to tie, line to use, lure retrieve, depth finder feature, speed to fish, etc. on every trip. This way even if you do not catch as many as you would like, you are growing as an angler. I still try to do this. You are never to old to learn something new.
08/26/13 When taking your kids fishing and they are not so exactly eager to do it, you will find once the kids are near the water they like it. Try then to catch anything that swims to keep them happy. It is also a good move to leave before they ask to go to, they want to come back sooner this way.
08/13/15 When using soft plastics for smallmouth bass it is important to not go overboard on the size of the hooks. The hook needs to “fit” the size of the lure, blending in to appear more natural. I will often use hooks 2 to 3 sizes smaller than what other bass anglers will use. A smaller hook will fool a discerning bass faster than a hook that is oversized in relation to the size of the bait.
08/08/13 To the eye there are differences between sauger and walleyes, but the best way to tell the difference between the two fish is saugers have spots on their dorsal fin – walleyes do not have these spots.
Late into the fishing season baitfish are very important. Bait fish are identified on the fish finder as giant gray or black masses on your screen. These clouds of baitfish though they may be high in the water column are still being marauded and eaten by walleyes, and though the bait fish are suspended often walleyes that relating to these bait fish, are hanging near the bottom.
07/16/13 It is precisely the moment when you least expect it that a muskie appears following your bait right to the boat. You need to be ready for that moment BEFORE you see the fish. You must be in ever anticipation for the follow so you can seamlessly transition from your L turn into a figure eight or large oval presentation. One truth about muskie fishing is most days you don’t get many chance to catch one.
07/08/13 Not all crankbaits run true out of the box. You must test them boat side to see if they run straight. The ones that veer to the side catch 1/3 the fish that the true straight running lure do. I dread to think of the countless hours missed by anglers trolling crankbait with out checking first to see if the track straight. If they do not run true you must tune them.
06/10/13 When the walleyes are short striking you need to feed them line.