During the first open water forays of the year, most walleye anglers — even many sophisticated types — don’t equate hard-bodied lures with early season success. In reality, nothing could be further from the facts. Yes, jigs and rigs have been and will remain the staple presentation in cold water. But, I’m here to dispel some myths and make a case for you giving crankbaits some serious consideration this spring.
Granted, some time periods are better than others – such as late spring and early summer, when postspawn ‘eyes invade…
Reel Weeds are surprisingly uncomplicated and easy to stow and deploy. They come spooled on a foam holder with a designated position for each component – weight, cord and float, leaving no pieces hanging and eliminating tangling or snagging.
Where I fish in Northeastern South Dakota, late-ice runs from about mid-February until you can no longer safely get out. By this time, the bite usually has been tough for some time and most folks are a little burned out.
Below a dam, in a churning tailrace, fast food takes on entirely new meaning. Current rips, baitfish whirl, and walleyes attack, in turbulence that might seem too chaotic to hold fish, let along accommodate boats, walleyes gang up and gobble smelt or shad sliced and diced in the turbines.
The Glacial Lakes Region of northeastern South Dakota is becoming a premier walleye destination in the Upper Midwest, with the potential to produce lots of respectable fish as well as trophies. Locals know the score, but the rural nature of the area has kept it larger untapped by most anglers.
Prediction of blue-chip fishing were realized when the In-Fisherman Professional Walleye Trail (PWT) rolled into Mobridge, South Dakota, May 28-30 for the Berkley/Lowrance Pro-0Am on Lake Oahe. The massive Missouri River impoundment yielded big numbers of fish in a variety of ways, allowing the 104 pros to showcase their talents in multiple manners.
Although only a small percentage of walleye anglers participate in tournaments, their travails and triumphs benefit us all. Countless innovations in tactics and equipment were developed, refined and ultimately proven under the pressure of competition.
The entire late-ice scene is exciting event. Lakes that were seemingly void of fish activity are suddenly revitalized and full of biters. Spring-like weather also allows anglers to shed bulky winter clothes. In fact, it’s when we often get our first base-layer-tan. Most fish are relating to key shallow spots, too, located just a short walk on the ice.