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Patterns For Bigger Walleyes
by Rick Olson
Putting together a successful pattern is the key to catching more, and bigger, walleyes. Pattern fishing is a method that can help you maximize on your opportunities, resulting in more fish boated, and a serious increase in the overall fun factor. It’s also a method that successful tournament anglers have learned to capitalize on, and is directly responsible for heavier and more consistent catches.
Pattern fishing goes beyond simply finding and catching, although that’s
certainly part of it. A pattern can take all of that finding and catching
to the next level, a level that most anglers never see. Once a pattern
has been discovered, you can then find patterns within a pattern. Discovering
patterns within a pattern is the
Although it may all sound a little complicated, it’s really a simple process of taking what you know, or what you have learned, and keying on the most effective parts. A basic pattern can include any number of techniques for boating old marble eyes, such as tolling Shad Raps over shallow rocky bars, or pitching a 1/16 oz. Foxee jigs to flooded timber, or dragging live bait rigs along deep transition lines. How you get it done isn’t all that important, as long as you do get it done.
The first step in uncovering the basic pattern, is finding where and how you can catch at least a few fish. Before you can claim discovery of a pattern, you have to break a few eggs. One fish reveals very little, two is better, but still not enough, while three can provide enough information to at least get you pointed in the right direction. On other hand, you have to get the first one before you can ever get to the second, or third, and so on, and so on.
Once you trick that first walleye into giving it up, make note of how and exactly where, and try to do it again. If you can’t successfully repeat the process, it may be time to move on. If you are able to repeat, do it over and over again, until your satisfied with it’s effectiveness. After the effectiveness has been established, try to repeat the process elsewhere, under similar conditions. If you’re able to repeat the process, you have the basic pattern, at least for now.
Once you’ve established a basic pattern, the next move is to try and find the patterns inside the basic pattern. For example: Let’s say you’ve been whacking the two to five pound walleyes by dragging a bottom bouncer and spinner over a deep rock hump, and you have even managed to boat a big eight pounder that came when you accidentally strolled out into deeper water.
Trolling a bouncer over a deep rock hump is obviously the basic pattern, but there may be more to it. The first thing to look at is those two to five pounders, and if there was anything different about where the larger fish were taken. Anything different could be a little deeper, a little shallower, or something as simple as a change in blade color, that separates the way they were caught from the all of the rest. If there is something you can put a finger on, you may be looking at a pattern within a pattern. Another consideration is that hawg that showed up when you inadvertently got off course, and headed out into deeper water. A hawg like that could be nothing more than an accident, or it could be an important clue to finding a serious big fish pattern.
To prove it out, you’ll have to go back and try and repeat. Big fish don’t always come fast, or easy, but they can be caught. The thing is, to cash in on a big fish pattern you may have to spend a lot more time catching fewer fish. On the other hand, the extra time spent waiting could result in the catch of a lifetime, and something that grand memories are made of. As mentioned before, if you can repeat a successful process, you have put together the basic pattern, at
In that respect, the basic pattern can change throughout the course of a day. For example: The basic pattern during lowlight conditions may find you trolling Tail Dancers over shallow rocky flats, while a mid day pattern may include slowly working live bait rigs and jumbo leeches on deep, underwater points. The thing to keep in mind is the fact that patterns do change, and you may have to adjust to continue to be consistent.
added a small amount of speed. It’s all a matter of a pattern within a pattern.
They say you have to learn to walk, before you can run. That being so,
finding the basic pattern is the same as learning to walk, while finding
the pattern within a pattern is akin to an all out sprint. The better you
become at finding the basic pattern, the better you’ll be at uncovering
all those quirky patterns within a
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