After Dylan’s successful day of perch fishing, I met him after work for an attempt at an afternoon/night bite for walleye. Walleye fishing isn’t a new task for us, however, catching one through the ice had not yet happened. We did a little research and depth, location and hit the ice.
We cut our holes along a large inside turn on a setback that is known to hold some winter walleye. We staggered our depths between 3 feet of water to 12. Along with staggering our set up depths we also varied the depth we were setting the bait. Being new to this, this would allow us to see what presentation was best if the fish decided to cooperate. We also used different sized shiners in hopes maybe that would lead us to a more efficient technique.
With our jacks sets and soaking, we drilled a few more holes and began jigging for crappie since this spot holds good numbers of them. The crappie fishing was slow, very slow. Fish were marked but mostly sniffers and only a few were caught. After hanging up my phone with a good friend and avid walleye fishermen and receiving a few tips on how the walleye will act when he strike we sat and waited. Around 4:30 pm a flag went up. The fish made two runs, not long runs but descent runs, the line went slack. By the time I picked up the line to make a move the fish had dropped the bait. We re-baited and starting waiting again. At 5 pm on the dot the second flag went up. This time we didn’t make the mistake of waiting too long, as our friend told us that a walleye isn’t usually going to run too far with the bait. After the first run the line stopped, I pulled in the slack and noticed that the fished seemed to be circling the hole. This is another tell tale sign that there is a walleye on the other side. Hook set, decent fish up through the hole. . . .WALLEYE!!! Our first walleye through the ice! Not a huge fish but a decent 17 incher.
The next flag came up shortly after, Dylan was up to the plate. We came to realize that these fish are somewhat difficult to hook, no hook up, and then another flag with the same result.
All in all the trip was a success. We learned a lot, enjoyed the night on the ice and were able to land our first walleye through the ice. We will defiantly be honing our skills in the near future.
PS The big surprise of the night came when we were picking up to leave. A tip up that Dylan was pulling in had a big mud puppy on the other end. See the third picture.
Check out First Walleye Through The Ice on our YouTube page for more action!