Walleyes Inc. Action packed adventures in walleye fishing on the internet.

Walleyes Inc. and quick links to our proud sponsors
Walleyes Inc. # 1 choice in cold weather outdoor protectionGo to Ram Mountings Systems Just RAM ITWalleyes Inc. Your one stop fishing resourceWe didnt event planer boards we just perfected themBait RigsLindy Little Joe Simply the best in fishing tackleDaiichi HooksTru turn HooksBuilding Legends one at a time Ranger BoatsIllinois's number 1 Ranger DealerMercury Outboards The Water CallsGoldeneye Marine productsDual Pro Battery Chargers The Choice of ChampionsDrift Control Wind socks the choice of championsDaiwa Total Commitment to QualityGuaranteed daylong trolling power Trojan Batteries

Check out the Walleyes Inc. pro staff
Tournament information and results from around the country
Fishing tips from the pro's at Walleyes Inc.
Fishing reports from around the country
Hot links to fishing resorts from around the country
Hot links to guides and charters around the country
The latest in fishing articles from the pro's at Walleyes Inc.
Links to fishing clubs around the country
Hot new walleye products for sale through Walleyes Inc.
100's of Links to other fishing sites around the world
Hot new products in the fishing industry
100's of used boats for sale

Promotional Team Favorites
Lodging food and more
100's of links for, boats, motors, fishing tackle, electronics and more
Hot new press releases from the fishing industry
Contact Walleyes Inc.
Walleyes Inc. home page

North American fishing Club and Walleyes Inc Free trial offer


Eating like a Pauper, not a King
By John Peterson with Noel Vick

Just when you think you’ve got it all figured out, nature pulls a fast one. The deck gets reshuffled. What was patent and understood now barely resembles itself. Take the walleye. As ice anglers, we’ve come to recognize the moods, customs, and characteristics of winter’s premium fare. We understand, for example, that these predacious creatures are highly carnivorous. We also know that walleyes are sharply aggressive and bottom-hugging, not to mention opportunistic, favoring twilight feeding forays. And most of all, we know that they’ll buttonhole a jigging spoon in a New York minute. That’s the province of the known…or what we thought we knew. Upon recollection of recent seasons and exchanges with a certain ice fishing sage, though, it seems that the last part might be only partially true. 

Bro, a Northland Tackle Pro, is that guru. And in a recent conversation, he elucidated on the subject of finicky winter walleyes and subsequent modification of lure selection.
“Everyone thinks of walleyes as these wild snaggletooth critters,” said Bro, a man who paints colorful canvases of the watery world. “But they don’t always act like that. Sometimes, it’s more useful to imagine the baleen on whale siphoning plankton out of the water. Think small. Think peaceful.”

Well, let’s first explain that the “baleen” is the straining mouthpart of a whale. It filters little foodstuffs into a big mouth. So we can surmise that Bro, on fresh and frozen water, is ratchets down lure size as well as mellows out the stroke. 
But why? The reasons are manifold…

John PPpeterson of Northland Tackle with a nice winter walleye
During a tough midday bite, Northland 
Tackle President John Peterson dropped 
down to the smallest Buck-Shot Rattle 
Spoon and fooled this nibbling walleye. 
Photo courtesy of Northland Tackle

“There are lots of factors that cause walleyes to shun big lures,” said Bro, while seated at the kitchen table prerigging baits. “First of which is weather. High skies or ‘clear out’ days mark cold fronts, and nothing tightens a walleye’s jaw faster.Put away the heavy arms when the barometer soars.”Bro continued, “Midwinter alone shuts ‘em down. By the beginning of January, maybe middle of the month, I’ve all but switched my walleye arsenal over to smaller lures, except for the occasional attractor, like a flashing spoon or swirling Air-plane Jig. And then there’s the ‘racket factor’ – those trucks and snowmobiles winging around. Now there’s cause for fasting.”

Bro’s painting an ugly picture, and continues to clutch the brush. “The wrong time of day can also turn biters into nappers. Sure, everything peaks around dawn and dusk, but what about the off-peak hours? They’re not crushing metal at high noon. When fish go shallow at sunup and sundown it’s to chow. There’s no other sane reason for them to slink around in such vulnerable areas. They’ll hit most anything with meat on it. But the opposite is true in deep water. They’re usually loitering. Those fish need a little convincing, maybe some teasing to strike.”
Clarity and cold can be added to the list of negative catalysts too. Ice’s calming effect fosters clarity, and this lucidity begets scrutiny. Walleyes can and do inspect lures more closely, which bodes better for small and subtle than large and brazen.
Cold translates to lethargy. Walleyes, despite their typecast as cold water fishes, are impeded by iciness, preferring temps in the 50’s and 60’s. Bitter cold slows them down physically, slackening metabolism, as well as spiritually, or so says Bro.
So to offset the negativism, Bro summons the baby baits. Some outright miniatures and other apparatuses constructed of both big and small lures.
“My first response to sniffing walleyes is a full downsize,” said Bro. “Say a walleye comes smoking in a Buck-Shot Rattle Spoon but doesn’t hit, instead pauses and stares at it, and then scoots away. I’m going right back down the same hole with another prerigged outfit, but this time with a smaller spoon, like 1/16th ounce Forage Minnow Spoon.”
Bro isn’t merely speculating about the fish’s reaction to his presentations either. He first saw the walleye approach on a Vexilar flasher and then stole a bird’s-eye peek with an Aqua-Vu underwater camera.
And most times, Bro doesn’t change lure pattern or style during the conversion, but only size, and maybe the garnishment. “It’s not unusual for me to open with a whole live minnow. That sort of sets the tone. I’ll know right away if there are hostile fish about.
I next go to minnow parts, maybe even on the same spoon. I’ll try a head, and then a tail. Tail sections are under utilized. They give a presentation a whole new look and action.”
Bro’s next line of offense wiggles. “Sounds weird, but I’ve been catching a lot of neutral to negative walleyes on maggots and wax worms. They must like the smell or something. I’ve actually watched walleyes swim up, nose the bait, and then casually take a little nip.
There’s probably some correlation with naturally occurring invertebrates too, a grub to grub thing.”
The first downsize isn’t necessarily a panacea either. Sometimes, Bro must page deeper into the mental archive, and in such events he usually lands on an entry titled, “Droppers.” 
Bro says, “The idea is to separate the bait from the attractor but at the same time not lose the weight needed to deliver the message.”
Berkley's Fire Line Micro Ice
Berkley Fire Line Micro Ice
Bro anchors his tough-times-walleye-dropper with a Buck-Shot Rattle Spoon, which has had its hook removed. To the free split-ring he ties in 4 to 6 inches of 4 pound test Berkley Micro Ice and finishes it off with a #8 or #10 Northland Jiggle Bug. The Jiggle Bug, a nemesis to panfish everywhere, doubles as walleye candy when nibblers outnumber maulers.
His stroke is tender too. “I jiggle it like I’m fishing for perch or crappies, imparting firm motions, but not high or exaggerated. I even drop it slowly, especially the final 5 or 6 feet before hitting the bottom. Lackluster walleyes like that maneuver.” 
Adaptations of the dropper are as varied as your imagination, or Bro’s. He’s constantly experimenting with assorted spoons, weights, and small jigs. And one package he’s become particularly fond of involves the new Northland Hot-Spot Split Shot. 
“Colored shot opens the door to whole new sphere of presentations. Now the weight doubles as an attractor, a subtle attractor too.
For light biting walleyes, I build a Hot-Spot dropper rig.”
He first threads on a bobber-stop and secures it 4 to 6 inches up the main line; its purpose is to prevent the shot from slipping. Next, Bro ties in a plain, #8 or #10 wide-gap minnow hook. He then pinches 2 or 3 shot – usually size 2 – on the line, just above the knot. The device is capped off with a thinly hooked crappie minnow or a small shiner, a modest amount of meat. 
“Hot-Shots offer enough mass to send the bait wherever it needs to go and the pizzazz to invite walleyes in. And in regards to weight and color, that’s a matter of trial and error. Try florescent and then glow. See what the fish want. And keep adding or subtracting shot until your rig has enough oomph to reach the bottom and load the rod properly, but not burden it.”
Well, by now, your slant of the walleye has likely been altered. Gone are the paper-shredder ivories, menacing glances, and quicksilver assaults. Instead, those notions have been supplanted by an image of a paltry and defenseless fish that sips its food through a straw. 
Truth is, winter walleyes are both…


Hot-Spot Split Shot

Northland Fishing Tackle®, an industry leader in cutting edge lure innovations,  introduces to the fishing world the next generation of colored attractants; the “neon” Hot-Spot Split Shot.
The Hot-Spot Split Shot are the hottest new concept to hit the sinker weight market in years. Molded from lead, they feature a series of bright fluorescent attractor colors that lure fish from a wide radius to entice bites. They also feature a removable design that allows anglers to squeeze them on/off their line as needed. 
 “Sometimes the best ideas are the simplest ones,” says John Peterson from Northland. “We’ve been quietly using this little secret weapon for several years in open water and under the ice. Fish are attracted by the colored shot and then triggered by your live bait. It’s simple, squeeze one on … and start turning your fish on!”

The Hot-Spot Split Shot is available in three sizes and four “neon” fish attracting  colors. For more information and a 2003 product catalog, contact Northland Fishing Tackle, Inc., 1001 Naylor Dr. SE, Bemidji, Mn. 56601. Phone is 218-751-6723 or E-Mail

us at norfish@northlandtackle.com. Website is www.northlandtackle.com.

Special thanks to On Ice Tours Sponsors
Quality ice fishing augers
Coleman America's first choice in camping gear
Aqua Vu The underwater viewing system
Northland Tackle
Lindy Little Joe Fishing Tackle systems
The Clam Ice Shacks for the descriminating fisherman
Now you can Join all of Walleyes Inc. mailing lists from one spot.  Sign up  to receive notice of updates in the Walleye fishing world and be eligible for great Members only discounts on RAM Mounting Products the Pros choice and Church Products. Only  from your one stop resource Walleyes Inc. Enter your email address below, then click the 'Sign Up' button 

Fish Clix Banner Exchange
Walleyes Inc. website is maintained by Randy Tyler Fishing the In-Fisherman Professional Walleye Circuit, Masters Walleye Circuit and the RCL Wal-Mart Circuit. All rights reserved.Copyright 1999/2003
Please visit these site sponsors
Daiichi/Tru-Turn Hooks, Lindy Little Joe, R-A.M Mounting Systems, Ranger boats, Mercury Outboards, Bedford  Sales , Church Tackle, Panther Marine Products,
Webfoots body sock, Bait Rigs Tackle ,Dual Pro Charging Systems
Daiwa Rods and Reels, Driftcontrol Wind socks, Trojan Batteries