to often, anglers start out in the spring of the year all fired up about
fishing and getting things ready for the opener. By mid season they start
deciding that maybe they should be golfing or painting the house instead of
fishing. As September and October roll around they think of putting the boat
away and getting ready for the hunting season and another opener.
Fishing and hunting have a lot in common and I will be the first to admit that
I enjoy hunting as much as I enjoy the sport of fishing. But, if you are
going to do both well you have to stay focused on a specific sport. Take for
example, the distractions that I first described to you about the sounds from
the woods. If I took my eyes off my line I probably missed a strike from a
good walleye. Or, if I decided to put the boat away and get my decoys ready I
would have missed some of the best walleye fishing of the season.
are a good way to stay focused on fishing or hunting. We know that fish and
animals use funneled down areas to migrate from a feeding source to a place of
resting. When I am on the water in autumn I tend to look for funneled down
areas, because it is a great place to look for walleyes as they pass through in
search of food. Necked down areas, saddles between island and land, narrows,
and even break lines are great places to begin looking for active walleyes in
the fall. Breaklines are areas where the floor of the lake or river drop-off
from shallow water to deeper water. The breakline is a transitional area.
Walleyes have a tendency to move up into the shallows on cloudy, windy days or
in the evening and then slide back into the depths to rest.
Walleyes love live bait,
especially in the fall, and there's no more practical way to present live bait
than behind a slip sinker slowly dragged along the bottom. Rigging allows an
angler to comb a lot of water quickly. It's a great way to search for walleye
schools that are scattered along a drop-off.
to live-bait rigging is a slow, meticulous presentation. Terminal tackle for a
live bait rig usually includes a walking sinker threaded onto the line on top of
a barrel swivel. Keep the sinker weight as light as possible, yet heavy enough
to let you feel the weight along the bottom. Usually 1/4 to 1/2-ounce sinkers
should be adequate for early-season fishing.
opposite end of the swivel I run a 2 to 4 foot snell of 6 to 8 pound test
monofilament. Adjust the distance of your live-bait rig from the bottom
according to water clarity. In stained water the fish will be tight to the
bottom so the rig should run closer to the bottom. Just the opposite frequently
holds true in clear water.
to use the Lindy Rig in this case, because it allows me the versatility of
getting the live bait right in the face of suspended walleyes. A plain VMC,
hook or the colored hooks are great, usually number 6 or number 8 finishes off
the rig except for the bait.
fish show you, which form of live bait to use. A general rule is to use smaller
minnows in the spring and larger minnows in the fall, with leeches and
nightcrawlers being most productive in the warmer months of summer. However,
I've found that walleyes don't always adhere to the rules. I like to have a
complete selection of bait in the boat with me whenever I go fishing. I've had
plenty of experiences when mid-summer walleyes attacked minnows and early spring
walleyes showed a preference for crawlers.
often take minnows lightly, and will sometimes nibble at the tail of the night
crawler like a small perch. These slow biters have to be given time to get the
bait into their mouths so that the hook can do itís job.
That's the reason for the
Lindy slip sinker, it allows you to feed line to the fish. Some anglers use
open-face Shimano spinning reels for live bait rigging. They backtroll, with
the bail open and the line caught under the index finger of their rod hand.
When they feel a bite, they simultaneously point the rod tip back toward the
fish and straighten their finger, allowing line to run freely off the spool.
After anywhere from 3 to 30 seconds depending on how aggressive the fish are,
reel up the slack line quickly until they feel the weight of the fish. They
then snap the rod back with authority and hoist another walleye into the boat.
that the fall is a great time to be outdoors and you are probably attracted to
the sounds from the marsh and the fields, but if you stay focused on the
walleyes and keep looking for ambush points or funnels you will have some great
fall fishing. That eight point buck will still be there and you can approach
him with a funneling technique come November.
Whether you are in the states of Alaska,
Delaware, Maine, Massachusetts, New York, Washington, Oregon, Idaho,
Montana, Minnesota, Wisconsin, North Dakota, South Dakota, Wyoming, Iowa,
Michigan, Illinois, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Missouri, Kentucky, Colorado,
Indiana, Virginia, California, Nevada, or New Jersey, there are fish to
If you are in one of the Canadian provinces of Ontario, Yukon, Northwest
Territories, British Columbia, Alberta, Saskatchewan, Manitoba, or Quebec,
there are fish to catch.
You might be trolling with cranks as your lure of choice. You might be
jigging with jigs. Youíll probably need rods, reels, some live bait
(crawlers, minnows, leeches), sinkers, leaders, and fishing line. More
often times than not, it takes a boat to get to those spots, as well.
Maybe you will be fishing from the bank or wading, however.
You may need fishing reports or maybe even a fishing guide.
This website will try to help you achieve the goal of catching bigger,
better, and more numerous fish.