The month of May has always been a great month for walleye anglers in the Midwest. River fishing is still in full swing and lakes that had been closed for game fish spawning season will now be open. My only problem is...where do I go?
I like to go where the walleye are biting. I'd rather drive an hour or more to where the bite is hot then put the boat in closer to home and have to struggle.
The same goes for when I am on the water. I find myself spending more time searching than actually fishing. Sidescan, Livescope and GPS mapping has a lot to do with that as I get carried away and lost in my electronics, instead of keeping a bit in the water!
I love my Livescope!
See the walleye...Catch the walleye. By using your Livescope Ice Fishing Bundle year round you can move it to anywhere in the boat.
I use my portable Livescope Ice Fishing Bundle year around. I have a fishing specialties pole and bracket bolted to a Scotty Universal Locator Mount.
I can move this mount to any of the six Scotty rod holder bases that normally have rod holders in them. With this set-up I can move the Livescope transducer to any position on the boat; front, back or either side.
Walt’s Livescope set-up
Mounted in the front, I can scan the area that I cast to while holding the boat in the right position. If the transducer mount is bolted to the trolling motor your view is limited to the direction the trolling motor is pointed, this is not always effective.
If you have your livescope transducer mounted to your trolling motor, your view is limited to the direction that the transducer head is pointed to (Insert photo: trolling motor mount)
Mounted on the side of the boat, I can cast off the side watching the action while also viewing my map and sidescan at the same instant. Finally, if I am in current, anchored up in spotlock from the bow, I can move the bracket to the rear and watch one or two dead sticks off the back of the boat.
It is always interesting to compare views of the livescope, locator, sidescan and map simultaneously!
I can fish from the front of the boat and scout fish as I move in on them with my trolling motor. I can move the transducer pole so as to see from either side or I can watch the action from the stern. I can view the action in real time as I work a lure vertically and also see a dead stick set in the same area. You can't catch fish if they ain't there. See the fish...catch the fish.
Search and destroy scouting with electronics, followed by search and destroy fishing with lures and live bait...that's the MO of walleye fishermen today! I search by trolling crankbaits, casting B Fish N B3 Bladebaits and tossing AuthentX Pulse-R’s and Paddletails! When things slow I’ll move in with AuthentX Ringworms or live bait.
This spring has been great for walleye jigs!
This Spring has been great for the fish. The cold weather, high water maybe a few less fisherman has given or is giving them a chance to spawn undisturbed. Depending on how far North you are, walleye can be pre-spawn, spawning or in post spawn. Post spawn fish are a lot thinner and the most aggressive of any time of the season.
They start to move into the main river channel and deep holes or push out into the lake. My top spots are river bends, deep holes around bridges and the deep water near the dam.
My top walleye lure in this situation is B Fish N Tackle's B3 Blade bait. It's an aggressive heavy lure that gives off a lot of vibration, flash, attraction and it flat out catches walleye as well as white bass, drum and catfish.
Where will I find walleye?
The thing about bridges is that there are usually walleye around them all year long. Vertical ripping the blade bait over deep water allows you to check that water quickly for active fish.
Work downstream of the abutments and in the deeper holes downstream of the bridge. Then move back up and pitch the shallow water with an AuthentX Pulse-R Paddletail on the lightest jig you can work with a little bottom contact. Once you figure out where they are holding you can pitch a lightweight H20 Precision Jig.
This time of year a lot of walleye anglers fishing lakes head to gravel points, gravel reefs and shallow sand gravel shorelines, because this is where walleye will spawn. These are great areas to focus on but fish will be spread out.
It's pretty easy to longline troll these areas with shallow running crankbaits while using your electric trolling motor. I can locate fish here with Sidescan sonar and then the Livescope transducer set in a holder on the side of my boat.
Let’s get draggin’
If I find I catch or view a few walleye, I'll mark the spot on the GPS map and then go back over it with a B Fish N Draggin' Jig and minnow or half crawler. The Draggin' Jig will not snag on rocks and I can work an area over thoroughly.
Another option (where legal) is to tie a three way jig with a Draggin' Jig on bottom and a plain hook with a few colored beads up front and some live bait. This offers not only a more lively presentation, but a deadly combo for finicky walleye.
Draggin' Jigs come in three sizes 1/16, 1/8 and 1/4 ounce. I like to go as light as possible, but sometimes wind effects casting distance and you want to be able to make long casts to these spooky shallow walleye.
Another technique is to longline a second and/or third deadstick rod with 1/16th ounce Draggin' jigs with bait. The rods are set in rod holders behind the boat, dragged slowly along as I cast from the front or side of the boat with a heavier Draggin' Jig and bait. I've had a lot of good luck doing this on windswept shores!
There is a great video by James Holst of In-Depth Outdoors explaining how to drag Draggin’ Jigs on the Mississippi river. You can get it through Custom Jigs & Spins store online for $9.95 or in our 42 piece Draggin’ Jig kit for $69.95
There’s more to catch than just walleye!
Spring is a great time for walleye, sauger and white bass. Whether you head to the river or your favorite walleye lake, you can't go wrong with some of my tried and true techniques! Good luck and great fishing!