By Sam Anderson
Especially if the weather has been nice for days and the wind is warm you usually can find some out of the way areas that will hold walleyes.
One of the first places I look for walleyes is along the northern portion or sunny side of the riverbank. This area usually is a little warmer than the area right below the dam, and it will attract bait fish sooner and of course hungry walleyes.
I like to look for small pockets formed by the rip rap that break current. Look for breaks in the current. They may be behind islands, points and below bars in mid channel. In strong current walleyes group tight to structure.
In softer current or low water periods, like winter they often scatter, and hold on edges of barriers or current breaks.
Walleyes like the slack water areas to feed and rest from the force of the current . The metabolic rate of the walleyes is very slow so they don't want to move first to get food. They also like to be in the shallow water where most of the food supply is at during the winter months.
Natural live bait presentations a must at this time of year. I will tip a 1/8 ounce Fuzzy Grub with a fathead minnow and flip it out above the pocket. Then I let it settle nd work it down stream in front of the pocket. If no success then I flip the jig in the upper corner of the pocket and work it out to the outer edge. I usually give it four or five tries and then move on to another good looking walleye area.
Approaching walleyes in these pockets is a lesson in stealth. I use my bow mounted trolling motor so I can hover over the top of them. I try not to cast a shadow on the water so I pitch jigs from up the riverside of these pockets.
This takes some practice because the river current always wants to take you down stream out of the prime target area. With practice and the "constant on" feature has on it you can fight the current and still stay above the walleyes.
When fishing these winter river walleyes I prefer to use my spinning rods and reels. the Tour Edition IM7 is my choice for fishing these pockets. I like the medium action 6'6" fast tip to detect light biting walleyes in cold water. I team this spinning rod up with an Energy reel with 6 ball bearings and you have a combination that helps get fish to the boat fast and efficiently.
I have thought a number of times about putting
my boat away for the winter but with open water still on the river I am
looking for some walleyes in the side
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