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Todays article is Raking in a Bushel basket of 'Eyes by Sam Anderson
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walleye, walleyes, jigging, jig, jigs
 Raking in a Bushel Basket of 'Eyes
 By Sam Anderson

The weather is starting to cool and the trees are full of color.  Many
anglers look at this time of year as a close of the fishing season.
They are doing chores around the house and raking leaves is one of the
many chores they have to do.  Personally, I think that it is time to get
out on the water and do some raking on your own.  That’s right, head out
to a river system with a partner or two and use a combination of drift
fishing and slipping to rake in a bushel basket of walleyes this fall.
In many river systems especially in my home state of Minnesota anglers
can use two rods while fishing.  All you have to imagine is two
fisherman X two rods = four lines in the water.  Add a third member to
the boat and now you have six lines in the water.  Visually, and
practically, you and your partners are raking the depths for some fall
Drifting is extremely popular with walleye fisherman.  Drifting is easy,
just shut off the motor and let the wind or current do all the work.
The problem with drifting is that the wind won’t always be moving you at
the speed or in the direction you wish to go.
One way that I have solved the problem with boat control is by using a
sea anchor.  A sea anchor is a cone-shaped under water wind sock,
similar to those at airports that detect changes in wind direction.
Drift Control sea anchors aid boat control in two ways.  First of all,
they slow your drift in strong winds.  Secondly, you can use them to
fine-tune subtle boat maneuvers in rough seas or heavy current.
Most anglers who fish large expansive lakes or rivers carry a sea anchor
with them daily.  The rule is usually one sea anchor is adequate for
most boats and conditions.  But, if you have a large boat and the sea
anchor isn't doing it's job you may need a large one off the front cleat
and a smaller one at the stern.
The second approach to fishing rivers is to use the slipping method.
Point the boat into the current and leave the engine idling.  The boat
will still move downstream.  By motoring weakly against the current, you
can slow down to meet the speed the lure is moving through the water.
It is very important when slipping to keep the bow pointed directly into
the current.  If the bow turns at even a slightest angle to the current,
the water will catch the bow and swing it sideways.  It’s a lot of work
and takes some time and experience to master.  But slipping is deadly on
river walleyes.
Equipment for raking in those walleyes, I believe starts with a good set
of reels.  Your reel is what allows you to play fish in the current and
you need good quality drag system that won’t let you down.
Two reels that I think are great reels that won’t cost a ton of money,
but give good dependable service are, the Quantum rods and Reels Fish with the best Hypercast HC3 and the Quantum Energy E5-2.  Each of these reels have unique properties that I
find useful while fishing for walleyes.
The Hypercast reel or the HC3 is simply the fastest spinning system
ever invented.  Pulling the unique trigger lever opens the bail while
the ceramic firing pin picks up the line.  This is the reel that I use
when I am using two rods.  The reel allows me to convert one reel to a
right hand retrieve and the other to left hand retrieve.  When I am
drift fishing with a jig and minnow combination vertically, I can set
the hook on the rod, put one rod between my legs and reel with the rod
that has the strike on it.  I can bump the reel  with my knees to pick
up slack or engage the bail whenever I want to.  If I need to cast back
out, it is a one handed method of just pulling the trigger and casting
to the target.  The HC3 also has the front drag system that I really
like.  Over the years some tackle companies have been going back to the
rear of the reel to put the drag system on.  I like the drag on the
front, it easier to control and it has larger washers in the drag system
that makes it smoother.  The Hypercast reel also comes with a long-cast
spool that is tapered to allow the line to come off faster and doesn’t
get hung up on the bail.  So my first choice for a super reel for drift
fishing walleyes in the fall is the Hypercast HC3 that has a 5.8 to 1
ratio for quick take up.
The second reel that I really like is the Quantum rods and Reels Fish with the best Energy E5-2.  This
little reel is a workhorse.  I use it for pitching light jigs into cover
or live-bait rigging with a plain hook and split shot.  I spool this
dynamite reel up with 2 ? 4 lb. Berkley Fish wont let go XL, for casting and vertical
jigging. Plus if you have a large fish on, it has a back reel feature
that is easy to trip and back reel so it doesn’t put pressure on the
fish if it wants to run.  This reel also has the front drag system that
I like so well on the Hypercast and it is my all around favorite reel
when it is on a Quantum TS664F in a 6’6" medium action rod.
 First check out the upstream lip and the downstream edge where current
and slack water meet. Methodically checking out every foot of suspended
fish holding water near a current break will pay the highest dividends.
These are the areas that will hold active fish.  If there is nothing
doing at the these locations, give the dead water directly behind the
obstruction a quick going over to entice any inactive fish which might
be present.  Don’t waste a lot of time on one site just because it looks
good.  Move on and come back later to check it out again.  If there is a
secret to this style of fishing, it is finding active fish.
Vertical fishing (raking) also makes it easier to fish a small area,
such as a brushpile, hump or other structure.  You can often cast to
within 5 feet of such an area and not get hit, but put your lure in it
and you immediately come up with a fish.
In most situations you should be able to get by with four jig sizes,
usually fewer than that.  On most lakes, rivers, and reservoirs, you
should almost always be able to get by with a selection of 1/16, 1/8,
1/4, and 3/8 ounce jigs.  True, in some rivers you will need heavier
jigs and below a slip bobber a lighter one might work best, but day in
and day out, on most waters, these four sizes will be completely
adequate.  I use more 1/8-ounce size than any other, and lately I have
been using more of the 1/16-ounce size.
Use plastic bodies to slow the fall of the jig, to add bulk and
visibility in stained and dirty water, and to add color.  I like to use
a plastic body of one color with a jighead of another color. That
provides contrast and also increases the chance of showing the fish the
color they want.  Pink/ white and orange/ chartreuse are favorite color
 There you have it!  A method that allows you to do some fall "raking"
and instead of getting a bushel basket full of leaves you can now have a
bushel basket of walleyes.  If you would like to take a break from the
other chores of fall stop by the web at www.samanderson.com and tell me
how your doing raking in a bushel basket of ‘eyes.

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