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Red Hot Dog Day Walleyes
by Rick Olson
They say that timing is everything and when it comes to walleye angling that fact can be painfully apparent. April on Lake Erie, late May on Mille Lacs, and June on Lake of the Woods all add up to prime time walleyes and when good catches are the norm rather than the exception. The problem is the really good stuff doesn't last forever and sooner or later you're going to hit the wall, say around the first of August.
The whole month of August can make for tough angling conditions on most prime walleye waters, but not all. In fact the action on a few specific bodies of water can really heat up, despite being stuck smack dab in the middle of the dreaded dog days. One of late summer's best bets for consistent action lies deep in the bowels of the western reservoirs like Oahe, Sharpe, and Sakakawea, all of which can satisfy the urge for pursuing late summer walleyes.
This particular type of reservoir has what it takes to keep your pole bent, and includes some deep clear water and plenty of walleyes. If you don't have the walleyes you just don't have enough potential to make it all worth your while. There are lakes that support a minimal number of walleyes and can produce decent fishing at times, but not now. Now is the time for the mega fisheries, and it's simply a numbers game. The more you have the easier they'll be to find, and the more you find the better the odds are that a least a small portion will be active.
Finding active walleyes is always the key no matter where or when, but
the first thing you have to do is find the mother load. Where you find
the "mother load" can vary to a degree, but there are some basic rules
of thumb that can get you close to your appointment with destiny. For starters,
look towards the deeper bottom end of the reservoir to hold the lion's
share of late summer walleyes. Typical seasonal migrations include an early
upstream run followed by schools of fish filtering back towards the dam
by late summer. Even early on when a good portion of the fish head upstream,
there's some that stay put, and when the travelers meet up with the home
boys good things start to happen. With all
Good light bouncer rods are baitcasting models in the six and half to seven foot range with light action tips like the Rapala Signature Series model SE80TR71ML1. It's a 7'1" medium light action rod with a high modulus graphite blank that provides superior sensitivity and will help you to detect the lightest of bites. Lighter bouncers can make for more finesse and will also help with the light biters, but you'll need enough weight to get to the bottom and stay there. An ounce to an ounce and a half can be worked down to twenty to thirty feet or more but the real deep stuff may require up to three ounces depending on just how deep and how much wind and waves you're having to contending with. That plain hook will have to be holding live bait of some kind and a crawler tops the list, although there are other options. Other options include minnows, especially the chub varieties like red tails, creek chubs and leatherbacks, if you can find them. Chances are they'll be hard to find and rather expensive but they can be worth their weight in gold under the right conditions, and may hold the key to nailing a real hawg.
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