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    The Dreaded Cold Fronts of Spring
     By Norb Wallock

    Fishing the cold front is never fun for most anglers, but if you use some innovative techniques you can produce walleyes when others around you might be scratching their heads. If the dreaded cold front has come, slow down and concentrate on known
    productive spots.  Look for deep water or a steep hard bottom or inside turns that form pockets in the underwater structural elements, such as bars, points, or sunken islands.
    When those walleyes get lockjaw because of a cold front or they have been on a feeding frenzy I suggest hitting them in the nose.  The analogy that I use is this: If you have just finished a very large meal like your Thanksgiving dinner and you to sit down to watch a little TV, how hungry are you for something sweet?  What happens when someone puts
    a box of chocolates on top of the TV?   Will you get up from the couch and select one of them to top off your meal?  What happens when the chocolates are set right in front of you?  Moral of the story, a smart walleye always keeps his mouth shut.  Or could it be, that when presented with an easy tidbit even tight lipped walleyes can't resist. Crankbaits are a great way to find those walleyes in cold front conditions because you can cover a lot of territory and concentrate on walleyes that are active.  You may catch more walleyes on live bait rigs, but you’ll catch a bigger average size on crankbaits.  In addition, crankbaits offer a rapid way to eliminate unproductive water. Plus, you can use the crankbait as a locator bait and then finesse them with live bait.
    Two basic types of crankbaits can be used for the majority of your shallow-water walleye fishing.  One is the long, thin floater diver like Rapala the lures of choice the Original Rapala.  These have a lazy, side to side action that’s attractive to walleyes.  The other type is the standard, bass style crankbait.  But when you choose this style, use the smaller thin crankbaits in cold front conditions.  The larger models don’t produce as well for walleyes.  Select the smallest models that have deep-diving lips.  Lures like a Rapala the lures of choice Shad Rap is excellent for this type of fishing.  In general, use bright, visible colors like fluorescent orange or chartreuse in darker water, and subtle colors like silver, blue or black when the water is clear. When you’re casting crankbaits for walleyes in the shallows, begin your retrieve with several quick turns of the reel to make the lure dive. Once it strikes the shallow rocks, decrease your retrieve speed to a crawl.  You want to keep speed down to an absolute minimum for walleyes, but still maintain you lure action.  Keep the lure occasionally touching the rocks.  This ensures that you’re in the fish zone.
    The lure is constantly in productive water when you cast parallel to a given structure like a weedbed or riprap.  But if you cast perpendicular to the structure the lure is only in the fish zone for the last part of your retrieve so you have to give the fish all the opportunities in the world to look at your lure and you might have to go over the same spot a few times to get the reluctant ones to bite. I think you now get the idea, you need a slow, subtle and calculated approach to fishing those dreaded cold front walleyes.  If not stay at home munching on the chocolates, that will leave more fish for me to catch.

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