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Lodging food and more
By John Campbell
I slipped the 15 horsepower Merc. in gear and started to let out line
until it ticked bottom. When the bottom started to pull at my lure I cranked
in a couple of turns and sat back to troll a contour around a point that
seemed to have fish congregated on it. The cool air of spring and the maddening
songs of the spring birds were interrupted by a sharp pull and a bend in
my rod. I quickly pushed the Merc. into neutral and started to crank in
a nice 6 lb. walleye. I knew that those fish were just off the point but
with fifteen feet of water conventional trolling techniques had to be modified.
That is when I decided to go for the
Lead-lining isn't all that complicated. But like any kind of fishing,
getting good at it takes a certain knack and amount of time. Basically,
it requires a stiff pole, a large reel, and the lead line. Rods vary from
angler to angler. They once resembled short telephone poles with guides;
some even had pulleys on the tip instead of a regular tip. Now rods are
similar to what anglers use for northern or musky fishing. Lately the rods
have increased in length and today I use the Shimano Talora Series rods
in the 7'0" length to get the lures away from the
There is a disadvantage to using leadcore line, there is no way to get rid of the weight once the fish strike. Plus there is no give in the line, so once the fish is hooked if you are going to land the fish you have to keep steady pressure on the line. No pumping or providing slack, because as soon as the fish has a little slack they will spit the lure.Traditionally, that is the way that leadcore was fished in a few places in the upper Midwest. Today, more anglers are using leadcore than ever before, but they are using it as an inline weight system rather than
having all the lead and weight of some spooled up 300 feet of line. Now they use it to segment the line and provide additional weight to monofilament.
The length of the leadcore segment varies by the type of crankbait you'll be using and the depth you need to achieve. For example, in the late springs chilly water, I've found walleyes to prefer subtle action lures like a # 7 Shad Rap. To get this shallow-diving bait down 30 to 40 feet you need three segments of leadcore. If you're using a deeper diver like a #9 Shad Rap you can achieve the same depths with just two segments of leadcore. The general rule is high action crankbaits for warm water, subtle action for cool water.When you find a concentration of fish in over 40 feet of water and they are suspended at 30 feet, start from the bottom and work your bait up to the strike zone. Most anglers would try to determine how much line to let out until they are in 30 feet of water. The easiest method is to let out line until you are on the bottom and then crank in line until you have a strike.
So this spring when the fish move a little deeper and you can't get to them with the traditional methods pick up some leadcore and hit the water. For more information on fishing those 'eyes on leadcore drop me a line at www.walleye.info.