The plan for the day was focused around getting a scouting report for some waterfowl hunting we intended to do the following morning. Rather than go with just one thing on our minds, my two buddies and I brought along some fishing gear as well.
While the ducks and geese weren’t flying with great numbers, one of my buddies wanted to set up and try out his luck with decoys and calls anyway. After leaving him off in a small cut, we putted out to where we could potentially catch some fish.
The first spot we stopped at yielded a few walleye, smallmouth bass, and rockbass. We were sticking to the vertical jigging in wood pattern that has proved successful all summer. One alteration to our approach recently has been to use a whole crawler, rather than half, but hook it in the middle and then hook each end one more time so that there is a little more meat on the hook.
We fished a few more spots before trying to locate fish in deeper holes. While scanning around we located a pod of fish in 35 feet of water suspending off a sharp break. We made a quick mark and back tracked with the trolling motor. After a few drops we both hooked up. Bullhead! Big ones at that! We caught a few more before deciding that we didn’t need any more.
With the boat suspended over 35 feet of water we started casting to shore. The first few casts produced fish. Walleye too! We were dragging bottom and the fish were smacking them! They were charging so hard that it felt like the jig had gone over a ledge and was free falling. Trying to get the slack up before the fish stole the crawler was a challenge!
We tried to continue this pattern throughout the entire deep hole but once we left the muddy bottom and hit rocks, the species changed and only perch, smallmouth, and pike were around.
My girlfriend and I spent the day on the water trying to get her to boat her first walleye. Even though it isn’t a tough technique, vertical jigging in timber can be overwhelming with the numbers of times you have to retie. Although she isn’t new to fishing, I don’t want frustrate her to a point where she won’t enjoy going with me. For that reason, she is allowed to nap in the boat! I figure more fish for me!
We were on the water for sunrise and catching fish wasn’t a problem. The rockbass, perch, and smallmouth bass were aggressive. Walleye on the other hand were very elusive. After working with her on techniques to detect bites vs snags and ways to potentially free the jig without snapping off, we were on steady fish.
We fished hard until 3:30 and only one walleye was brought in the boat. I wish I could report that it was her who caught it but it wasn’t. Probably the highlight of the day was one rockbass bite we were on in 30+ feet of water. The fish were on before we could reel up slack after closing the bail and they were slabs! Most of them were 11-11.5″!
Check out Quick Bite on our YouTube page for more action!
We hit the water today with plans of fishing until dark on a stretch that we have only seen a few times. We had a few spots in mind on where to look but planned on spending a chunk of the day searching for new areas and techniques. The weather was going to be nice but the wind was going to be whipping all day. With a good charge on the trolling motor battery and warms clothes on, we hit the water
We started off the day on a long stretch of rocky bottom with little success. Yellow perch and rockbass were the only fish holding up behind the larger rocks that the fish graph identified. With the strong wind in the teens, we figured that the fish had been blown off to their sheltered retreats
The next spot we hit turned out to be one of the top spots for the day. We located a small, subtle rise in 30 feet of water with lots of bedrock on the downstream side and steep breaks on the inside and outside. The fish were piled up on top and the first few drops resulted in walleye. After several walleye under the slot, the bite switched over to rockbass, perch, and smallmouth. We worked the area through and gave it a break to recharge.
From the next few hours we spent time searching for new locations and checking weed edges for panfish. Although nothing was overly productive, we located some great seasonal locations!
On the way back to the launch we checked the small rise we found earlier and found the same results. walleye bit first then switched to other species. While trying to locate where the walleye went on the second pass, we located a submerged tree adjacent to a deep water weed edge. We got bit our first few drops and when we got hooked up we each put our fish over the slot in the boat. With our limits complete we went back searching.
Before leaving we located a cluster of what we believed to be tires and other debris in deep water. We worked through the area picking up a bunch of walleye and rockbass. To our surprise, tires don’t snag as easily as one would think. Ending the day on a high note sounded like a good idea, plus it was just before dark. We loaded up the boat after a successful day and talked about how we could make the next trip better!
Another day of trying something new turned out successful. I hit the water with two buddies early this morning hoping to find walleye on a completely new section of river. Replicating the vertical jigging technique that has proven successful elsewhere, we were in search of mostly wood but in reality any irregularity that might hold fish.
Throughout the course of the day we picked up 25 walleye, a dozen smallmouth bass, some perch, and loads of rockbass. We found that white was the hot color for pretty much the entire day and a steady hand caught more fish a jigging one. Over the course of about 7 miles, we fished a few dozen spots. Of all the spots, probably 75% of them held walleye.
While that sounds like a lot of places to catch fish, we passed over so many that looked decent but had to keep chugging. The mission of the day was to explore and that’s what we did. While we didn’t fish every spot possible, we fished the obvious and ideal looking ones and just marked the others with way points.
We found that the smallest walleye were holding in deep water (30′+) while the larger fish were in between 12-20′. From 20-30′ was mostly a dead zone other than the large and aggressive pods of rockbass.
With a few hours to burn one hot afternoon I grabbed my jig rod and a few tubs of crawlers and went exploring. We had a tip of a few walleye being caught so I figured I’d check that out. My plan was to find some deep holes and jig.
Not really ever seeing this stretch of river, it took a little scouting and driving the roads to find what i was looking for. This particular section isn’t know for it’s deep holes but if you can find rock outcroppings you could usually find a decent pool. Having fished other sections of the river from shore in the spring, I knew that I wanted to fish the eddies, and slow jig my crawler working just along the current break.
My first stop looked just perfect, I made a cast and within a few seconds, I hooked up. Whatever I had it felt big, not keeping in mind I was fishing a little bit faster water then normal. I managed to land the fish and was not surprised when I saw that it was a nice keeper walleye. I re-rigged a crawler and made an identical cast, this cast ended in a lost jig, but I knew that whatever I lost that jig on (probably the rock outcropping) was holding fish. I re-tied and made another cast, hooked up again with another nice fish. Well know I had some kind of pattern going so I decided to get in the truck and keep looking. My next stop was very similar to the first. After wading out to the rocks I could see fish laying just out of the current along a slab of ledge in about 6 feet of water. Thinking that they were walleye my hunting background kicked in and I for some reason went into stealth mode. I crouched down, put on a crawler and pitched the jig just past the fish. After taking a closer look and not believing that they hadn’t hit my jig I realized that those fish weren’t walleye after all, they were fallfish. Back to the eddies and current breaks. I managed to catch two smaller walleye at this spot and moved on.
Days later I went back with the intention of finding more spots, not keeping in mind it was a weekend. Well most of the spots I wanted to fish were crowded with people swimming and tubing so I decided that was enough for that day.
It’s always nice to get out and find some new waters, and it’s even better when you find something not expected. I will being putting more miles on for sure looking for more spots.
With intentions to spend an afternoon bite for walleye dealing with shorelines tangled by thick invasive and poisonous plants, a buddy and I peeled out of work early. Sounds like a good idea right??? Being a nice day, we knew that we would be sharing water space with tubers, kayaks, and other fisherman.
The fishing started off pretty solid with lots of smallmouth committing. Even though any action is good on a new body of water, that wasn’t the species we were looking for. Targeting deep holes and eddies, we kept chugging downriver trying new spots when we could find them. On this river system, we have no idea what the depths range to but we stuck mainly to 12-15 feet of water.
Although only one spot produced walleye, they were where in the type of water we targeted for the few hours we fished. The best part of this excursion was that the fish were swimming right below us on a ledge. We could see the fish pass by before catching them! What a hoot! As different species passed by, we were able to pick and choose what we flipped to.
These fish, although no bigger than ones we usually catch in the river, put up a much better fight. They were built for strength and when coupled with the river flow, their fight was amazing! The action with these fish was tense. I am use to lifting these fish into the boat quickly or even better when they are 20″+, using a net. Dragging the fish onto shore makes for some tense moments wondering if they will flop off. Luckily, I was able to grab these fish and revive them before the release.
I can’t wait to give this a shot again when I have more time!
Trying to expand our fishing opportunities throughout the state, we figured that we would give planer boards a shot. We were after walleye with a new technique and it would be an understatement to say we felt lost…
We got on the water in the late morning. With about 7 hours to fish until we headed home, we started the learning curve. The rods went out with ease but we knew it would become more difficult from there. Other obstacles to come would be, reading the boards for bites, learning contours due to a lack of a bathymetric map, and bringing fish to the boat without tangling up the other three lines.
It didn’t take long to get into some action. Unfortunately, the majority of our action was with perch. Small ones at that. On the plus side we learned a lot about what it looks like when a fish bites. Another chunk of our action was due to weeds and boulders. This was probably the most frustrating part of the day for us. Having to bring in rods in order to not lost an expensive lure was very time consuming. Although there may be a way to get around having to bring the lines in, we sure couldn’t get it.
After a few passes, we learned a bit about what we could fish with the lures we had and not snag. After a while, we took one rod off a board because it wasn’t running right and started long lining. Wouldn’t you know it, the one walleye we caught was on the rod that had no line counter reel… Although we had a spot with fish, the action we used to catch it wasn’t replicable. Although we tried, we weren’t able to duplicate.
Though the day was not overly successful, it is far from a failure considering we were way out of out element and still caught what we went for. Since this trip, we have done some more research, worked on some more fine tuning, and are planning a second round. There certainly is a lot of potential for other species on this tackle!
I hit the water this morning with a few buddies. We were on the water for sunrise and planned to only stay a few hours due to prior commitments. With the water flows in our favor and some nice weather up until about noon, it couldn’t get any better. That is until we put some fish in the boat!
For a short while, the bite was slow. Part of the problem with the spots that we fish are that the fish don’t hold in them over night so the mornings tend to take time to be productive. Each trip, a chunk of time is spent trying to locate them coming from their staging areas. Once the sun hits the top of the trees, locating fish is usually not an issue though.
Finally, on this trip, we had some success! The fish that we found were coming from a large hole through a gradual sand rise funneling to their daytime haunts. Though this path might not be the one they use every time, it certainly was today! Dragging 3/8 – 1/2 ounce jigs tipped with half crawlers was the ticket. With no significant flow, the trolling motor was set at 15%. This speed seemed to provide us the most production until we could see the sun.
Over the next few hours, we targeted several log jams in 11-16 FOW. The majority of the fish we caught were rockbass, perch, and smallmouth bass with walleye coming in closely just behind. While none of the fish were over the slot, all three of us took home a few eaters. My grandfather sure will be happy when he gets this delivery!
We got on the water at 5 am. We have been keeping track of the water flows recently, trying to align a day where we could get on the water early when there would be some slack above the dam. Finally the day came!
The morning started off cool and foggy with no breeze. As we started fishing, things got off to a slow but fast start. Before even boating our first fish we burned through a tub of crawlers. Although we were getting a lot of bites, none were good enough for us to bury a jig. As the tub quickly dwindled, the first fish came aboard. It was as we expected, a rockbass. As we put a few more rockbass in the boat, we began moving around trying to locate where the walleye were holding up.
The fog was thick and as the sun got a little warmer the walleye turned on. They were located very tight to woody debris in 12-14′ of water. They were relating to brush and smaller timber more than the large logs which usually changes as mid day approaches. Vertical jigging with 1/2 ounce jigs was the only way that we can pull these fish out from the trees without snagging constantly. Although, we did burn through our fair share of jigs!
The hot color for the day seemed to be chartreuse yellow and pink. The one big thing that we were able to confirm was that today the walleye wanted whole crawlers rather than the standard half that we usually offer.
Check out Early Morning Walleye on our YouTube page for more action!
Most of the posts lately have been about panfish so it made sense to try something different. A buddy of mine who I don’t get much on the water time with had a day off so we made arrangements to hit the water for a full day. I picked him up at 5 and after hooking up to the boat, we were on the road.
We were on the water shortly after 6, with hopes of some walleye, perch, rockbass, and smallmouth bass. The first 20 minutes of the morning was the best. We put several walleye on board before they shut off for the rest of the morning. We worked spot to spot as well as several new ones hoping to key in on a new honey hole. Unfortunately, nothing resulted as far as walleye went. We were however, able to locate big numbers of rockbass and perch.After having some fun picking rockbass and perch, we had had enough and went after some bigger fish; Bass.
About 40 minutes later, we were putting the boat in the water again with flipping jigs tied on. We started off working some docks that were adjacent to deeper water. There were some fish holding on the docks but we found a better bite in dense weed clusters and on the deep edge of weeds on the first main break. Bites tended to come on the initial drop and were very subtle. Most times, bites were detected by the line moving sideways. As we neared the end of our trip, we drifted up on some docks in deep water. This ended up being one of the best spots of the day as the numbers were great!
Although none of the bass were big, a 2.5 average is still decent!