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Don’t Be a Keystone Cop for Walleye Fishing By Sam Anderson 

 Picture this!  The lazy summer afternoon has made people in the next
boat a little tired and a some are having a snack.   Others are looking
at the speeding boat that has just passed by when all of a sudden a
limply held rod bends towards the water and the next few minutes
resemble something out of a Keystone Cops movie.  People are jumping to
their feet, rods and sandwiches are set on gunnels of the boat, and some
one yells get the net.  Some one is standing in the net but doesn't
realize it as the trophy fish rises to the surface and looks in
disbelieve at the commotion in the boat.  With a blink of an eye and a
flip of the tail the trophy walleye frees itself from the hook only to
slip away.  The people in the boat now start blaming each other for not
paying attention and all of this would have been averted if only they
had been organized.
 Starting with my rods, I use Pole Pouches.  Each of my rods are
sheathed into a nylon sack that fits snugly around my pole when placed
in a rod locker.  I don't care what type of rod locker you have when you
put a number of poles into it they get tangled up.  Therefore, all my
poles have the Pole Pouch around them to keep them free from tangle and
ready to use when I want them.
 My Drift Master Tournament Series drift sock, when not in use in the
boat, will be put into it's own bag so the ropes will not get tangled in
the equipment in my boat.  Also, if I am using one of these while
fishing with others I go through a little training exercise with all of
them to see if they can pull in the drift sock when a fish is hooked.
That makes everyone in the boat experienced on what to do if a fish is
hooked.   It also helps others to get the boat organized and for
everyone to perform some specific jobs.
 If I have rods rigged with special lures for the day I will wrap the
lure up with a lure wrap.  This keeps the lure from snagging other
equipment and keeps hooks out of peoples hands and clothing.  In fact,
my net is even wrapped in a cover.  It allows the net also to be as
tangle free as my lures until needed and then the cover is slipped off.
 I also rig my boat for rough seas, just in case.  All my equipment is
bolted down and I check all of this before the boat enters the water.  I
strap down my kicker motor so it won't rock back and forth or bust off
the transom, believe me I have seen a few that have.  My depthfinders
are secure and I have even screwed down The Judge Ruler.  This keeps it
in place but also keeps it handy to when needing to measure the recently
caught walleye.
 I have my Lindy Marker Buoy holder mounted next to where I am running
my kicker motor so I can easily keep my eyes on the depthfinder and
reach for the marker buoy to toss overboard.
 My organization has caused me to have three mini command centers where
I run my boat from; the bow, the console and the transom.   In these
areas I have all the pliers, hook outs, and lure hangs right at my
fingertips.  Anytime an angler perform to many things all at once
important loss of concentration will happen an affect your fishing
 Concentration is also part of being organized.  When I am on the water
I pay attention to what is happening with my rods, the surface of the
water, the sound of my engines the depth change and structural
fluctuations.  I always expect the next strike to be a trophy fish and
that keeps me organized.
 So, when you are on the water remember some of these helpful tips and
you will have a well run boat not one that looks like the Keystone Cops
have come to fish.  See you on the water!

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