Tip of the Week
April 25, 2016
In high and dirty water I like gold and orange for colors. on another note – Nightcrawler’s will be a wise choice in bait soon.
April 16, 2016
Casting is an art on the river. Its called “pitching”. The key is to know that you are working a set or specific spot. On the river this time of year – it is a cast and a sweep where the jig sweeps in the current just off of the bottom. The trick is that the fish are in one little spot and if you come in too high or miss it because you cast too short or cast too far – it just won’t work. So my tip here is to know where the fish are exactly by catching them say via a jig and minnow and then cast to them after located. Otherwise its very difficult to locate them pitching unless you have extensive experience in the location.
March 30, 2016
River fishing is fun for many reasons and challenging. High water and low water. Falling water and rising water. These four factors make it essential that you know the river level and flow to gauge a bite and predict from past experiences where they will be. Knowing the water level and flow is important. Here is a site i use.
March 24, 2016
This time of year the overcast comes and goes, there is some sun , then clouds. This changing sky cover reminds me of early spring fishing in March when the overcast gives way to sun and then is gone again to clouds.
The reason I bring up March fishing is, in March, I angle with soft plastics baits – mainly ringworms. Here the color when fishing plastics matters greatly in catching walleye and sauger. Color choice is a factor of mainly sky cover and water clarity. When the sky cover changes often due to topsy turvy weather patterns your lure colors need to change too.
March 19, 2016
Continuing from last tip. The off sized jig was the right tackle on my last trip. We found a 5/8 ounce jig best – a half ounce was a tad light. When dealing with river currents these “off sized” jigs are handy. Standard jig weights are 1/8, 1/4, 3/8, 1/2, and 3/4. All other sizes I consider “off sized.”
March 12, 2016
“Off sized” jigs??? These are jigs that are 3/16 and 5/16 ounce, some anglers who do lots of pitching for fish will also employ a light 3/32 jig for the hogs in the shallows.
Off sized jigs are just another niche weapon that river anglers use, one that you do not see in non river tackle shops. Off sized jigs were created with the phrase ” as light as possible but still feel the bottom,” in mind.
February 24, 2016
On GPS units track lines can become so thick ( as you run over a spot many times )that your unit shows nothing but tracks and it cluttered up. You then have a harder time deciphering where you are catching fish. Clear your track log to keep way points visible or the GPS unit looses some of its merits.
January 18, 2016
It has taken me many years to finally accept that ice fishing is tough. I have figured out that success mostly depends on the lake you fish. I have tried time after time to alter and tweak my plans and presentations to find success on some lakes and the river for ice fishing on these types of waters all the best laid plans mostly come up short. In other words lakes that kick my tail always seem to, and lakes where I am catch fish do produce the good panfish for me.
So now I am focusing on my below theory when looking for new lakes. It worked as I found a new one today and had great crappie action!
I have two key characteristics of lakes in my area that produce very well for fish.
1. Fertile water – lower visibility
2. Not too deep – bottoms fairly deep maybe 22 to 24 at the most with a mostly uniform depth.
Happy to share this info and hope you do well.
January 4, 2016
Happy New Year!
It is the time of year that the ice is here.
New ice is thin ice and thin ice is dangerous.
4″ minimum for walking as declared by WI DNR.
The best way to fish safely on new ice is to have and use a “spud bar”. I make several very hard and strong jabs into the ice to test the ice as I walk on the ice. I repeat this as I walk. For me three of these jabs into the ice will punch through and show you that the ice is not thick enough. You should test how many jabs into the ice it takes you to punch through 4″ of ice.
December 14, 2015
During the cold water season, you hear me talk a lot about soft plastics and the reason is they catch fish. Plastics also normally catch bigger fish than minnows. There are dozens of companies and products out there. One I started using recently and am very impressed with is Prescott Bait Co.
December 7 2015
The November 6th, tip discusses bleeding out a fish – do this it makes the meat white as snow and there is less blood while cleaning.
I also always cut out the lateral line, this is the line of reddish meat on all walleye – that runs from their tail to the gill area on the skin side of the fillet.
Cut out lateral line after you have the fillet. Do this by making a 45 degree cut along the line on both sides and then you can pull out the line.
- When river fishing always remember – fish locate based on the present actual water level.
- Fish locations CAN (not for sure ) become predictable based on present water level.
- Tackle tip super line like Suffix 832 is great for deep water or heavy flow fishing. Monofilament is better for shallow water and shallow to mid depth casting.
December 3 2015
The water temperature greatly dictates the speed your present your lure. During over cast days the fish can be sluggish and react differently in the cold water versus if it was a sunny day. Many times in the cold less is more and a non aggressive jigging style is better. To be sure have friends try different styles from aggressive to passive jigging motions to see what they really want on THAT DAY.
When jigging in conditions that snags are unlikely you can afford lighter line to aid in keeping jigs vertical. light test has a smaller diameter and hangs straighter (vertical) than larger diameter line. This is why many fishermen love super line – like Suffix 832.
To bleed: look at the bottom walleye, you will see where the “neck” has been separated from the head. You can cut this area or snip it with a side cutter or game shear. Then let the fish bleed out on a stringer in water or in the livewell. Bleeding takes about five minutes at the most.
When choosing a crankbait color make sure you pick it from the bottom up. The belly or bottom of the lure is more prominent to a fish than the top. I focus on the color of the lures bottom first as they see it more readily.
For jig fishing six pound test test line is perfect.
Once the water temperature reaches 60 degrees and below many jigging techniques will catch fish. Here are three I love to fish:
- Vertical jig and minnow. This presentation catches mostly drum all warm water season until the water gets cold, then for water ever reason once the water is cold it will boat walleye and sauger.
- Jigging Rapalas. This “new” presentation is an old standard on the ice and used for over twenty years by some in open water. It is very popular now, for my boat it is a BIG hit meaning successful or a big miss, no real in between here. The fish either want it or ignore it.
- Jig and plastic. A very top top producer. Many styles work - ringworms, paddle tails, Gulp minnows, small Flukes, twister tails. Also it is worthy to note that from my experience a constant jigging is not really the best way many times a jigging motion and a hold will work better than constant jigging. I almost always and constantly tell my customers to be just off of bottom.
Does trolling Rapala’s still work? You bet! I am simply letting you know that now the water is cold the above three techniques will also work, and if you are like me you enjoy variety and the challenge of catching fish numerous ways.
Good Luck! Turk
Follow Jesus - You just might find you are not thirsty anymore…
When fishing all your focus should be on the very tip of the fishing pole.
Do not move the pole by moving the handle to detect bites as you would with your hand and arm.
Focus on the tip by using your wrist. This is where the saying “Its all in your wrist” comes from.
Fish with your wrist and not your forearm and you will detect more bites and feel snags far sooner.
Here are two good “rules” for colors when considering lure choices:
The darker the sky, the darker the lure,
The brighter the sky, the brighter the lure
The darker the water, the brighter the lure
The clearer the water, the darker the lure
Morning all – As many of you know the walleye bite improves as the fall season progresses toward winter. You also likely know that both crankbaits and livebait work at hooking eyes during the fall bite. In terms of livebait I wanted to make a reminder here that once the water starts to cool fathead minnows once again become a very good bait choice. A choice that will become the dominant livebait option moving slowly away from crawlers as the water becomes colder and colder.
Some minnow presentations that work:
On a plain hook Lindy rigged.
On a vertical jig (both plain jig and buck tail),
On a dragged jig,
and on a spinner rig.
Good luck fishing!
Teach a kid to fish. Just one catch of even a half way decent fish can turn a young boy or girls mind into the idea that they are a fisherman or angler! My tip is to target anything that bites! Give them a tug on the line and have a good time.
Sharp hooks catch more fish. News flash no, but keeping up on the maintenance of having your hooks sharp is the real tip. While fishing you need to regularly check to make sure your hook is sharp – and especially not bent.
A sharp hook will easily scratch the top of your finger nail and feel “sticky”.
Hair jigs are deadly on walleye and saugers. They are not always better than a plain jig, but some times they are.
Jay Leary with a trophy smallmouth bass Jason Hankes with a trophy walleye