Lodging food and more
Fishing Spooky 'Eyes
By John Campbell
On any given weekend from the time of the walleye opener to freeze up
you will probably find spooky walleyes and they can be pretty tight lipped
due to fishing pressure and barometric pressure.The fishing starts to deteriorate
on Friday evenings. Saturday and Sunday mornings are notoriously
tough fishing, but by Sunday evening, when people start going home, the
fishing starts picking up right away.
The most sensitive of all of these fish are the fish that are related
to structure. Now I can imagine you think that I have just lost my
senses, but look at where all the boats are located. The fish that
were located off the rock piles and in the little nooks and crannies of
the mud flats are the ones that are getting hammered. Where can a
person fish who wants to catch fish that are relating to structure?
Where aren't the boats? Look at the shoreline and see if any boats
are fishing structure along the shore.
When I first get on a heavily fished body of water, I'll start running
the lake and looking for things that aren't obvious to all anglers.
For example the things like bottom changes. You might run a straight
shoreline break and see where it changes from sand into rock or mud into
hard bottom. You may even discover a rock pile that doesn't show
up on a lake map.
A lot depends on the type of lake you are fishing. Maybe I'll
find weed-oriented walleyes, and I may look for little breaks in the weed
line rather than big elongated points off shore. I'll run a straight
break and suddenly I might see a little inside turn or little turning point
down the weed line, places that aren't so obvious. A perfect example
of fishing places overlooked by other anglers is fishing on Mille Lacs
Lake. Mille Lacs lake receives a lot of pressure from the weekend
angler and many times I have seen boats on the edges of
the flats and none of them catching a fish. Yet I will move up
on top of the flats and start catching a lot of fish. The reason
for this is, that as the fish feel the angling pressure they simply move
down deeper or up on top of the flats.
To find walleyes in crowded situations, fisherman have to ignore some
traditional spots where walleyes have been caught previously. I know
that many times walleyes are overlooked because they are in the weeds or
they are extremely shallow even in the middle of the summer months.
If there are weeds, I fish them. I do a lot of shallow water fishing
in a foot or two of water that a lot of times will be crystal clear.
Often, I can see the fish coming to my bait. The old rule of thumb
that the light hurts the walleyes eyes that has to be dispelled.
I've caught hundreds of walleyes in shallow water in the middle of the
day, because they were spooked out of spots, by someone else.
Of course when I look for shallow areas I keep a number of variables
in place before I look for fish in the shallows. First of all, there
should be a wind. The wind defuses the light making it easier for
the walleyes to feed on disturbed aquatic materials and second it breaks
up the anglers form. The wind makes the angler invisible to fish.
Many shallow water fish are not caught simply because they see the angler.
Therefore, I make long parallel cast with the bank and I always fish with
the wind. The reason for that is to hide my form from the fish and
to make longer casts with the wind rather than against the wind.
When fishing shallow walleyes look for shade and obstructions that
will give the walleyes cover. These are great ambush spots for the
walleye. Even during the brightest days walleyes can be found in
the shaded areas of rip rap and adjacent to fallen trees, waiting to ambush
Nature can also throw a curve at the walleye fisherman. A cold
front, riding strong winds from the north, can take the zip out of the
fish. I have seen walleyes lodge their heads between boulders and
won't move until you touch them and then they simply swim away as if being
brushed aside by another fish. They seem dead and lifeless when the
cold front arrives.
The technique for fishing these fish is to move as slow as they do.
I will move in search of walleyes, but if I have found a school of them
I might move less. I will move only about ten feet to the right or
left , or drop back twenty feet or so. In cold front conditions I
will try a variety of baits and lures to see which one the fish like the
best. All to often anglers tie on one
Lindy Max Gap Jig
here for more
|I might anchor or hover over the top of a school of walleyes and slow
down my presentation by using a light jig and light line. The light
jig, like a 1/8 ounce Max Gap, allows the rate of fall to be much
slower and the light line will give me less water resistance and a
slower rate of fall also. Sometimes I might even use a plain hook
tipped with a nightcrawler and split shot on the line. Again this takes
time to allow the bait to sink and it should be placed right in front of
their nose, because they certainly aren't going to move very far.
lure at the beginning of the day and stick to that lure all day long.
When they come off the water they still have on the lure that they used
all day and probably don't have any fish either. Be a change up person.
Try different techniques and styles, don't stop looking as long as you
are on the water.
Spooky walleyes are tough to catch but if you remember these techniques
you will have continued success this summer. Or if you need more
information drop me a line on the web at www.walleye.info.