Rivers could yield walleyesThis is the time of year when lots of anglers trade their fishing rods for shotguns, rifles, or bows. Their search for fish is replaced by a desire to chase deer or birds.
By: By Bob Jensen, Fishing the Midwest, The Jamestown Sun
This is the time of year when lots of anglers trade their fishing rods for shotguns, rifles, or bows. Their search for fish is replaced by a desire to chase deer or birds.
In most regions of the country hunting seasons are short when compared to fishing seasons, and it’s understandable that folks who like to hunt and fish give the fish some time off this time of year. But, if you’ve got your deer on the ground, or you’ve plucked enough birds, now is a great time to get on a river.
In the northern reaches of walleye country, the Red and Winnipeg rivers in Manitoba provide perhaps the best chance for a truly big walleye. The greenback walleyes that call these rivers home are big, and they’re willing to get caught right now.
Move farther south to the Rainy River where one side of the river is in Ontario and the other side is in Minnesota. You’ll catch big walleyes, and you’ll also catch eater sized ones.
As we move farther south, the Mississippi River from below the Twin Cities all the way down to Bellevue, Iowa will provide fast action. There won’t be as many big ones, but the action can be tremendous.
In this part of the country, sauger, the walleye’s smaller cousin, will start to make up more of the catch. You’ll also catch some saugeyes. Saugeyes are a combination walleye and sauger.
The rivers in Kentucky and Tennessee are pretty much the end of walleye country, and in these waters, sauger will dominate. There are sauger farther south, but not as many as farther north.
Walleyes, sauger, and saugeyes can be caught on a variety of baits, but it’s really hard to beat a jig: Pure and simple, jigs are the go-to bait of many of the best walleye catchers in any of these regions.
Walleyes will eat jigs tipped with plastic or minnows this time of year. If you’re using plastic, you’ll want a jig with a long-shanked hook like a Slurp! Jig. These jigs were made for the use of plastic. An Impulse Swim’n Grub in the three inch size would be a good choice, as would an Impulse Smelt Minnow. Experiment with colors. It’s often a good idea to use a jig of one color and a body of another color. This way, you’re giving the fish color options.
If the fish are liking minnows better, use a jig with a short-shanked hook, something like a Fire-Ball jig. Hook the minnow through its mouth and out the back of its head. By doing so, you’ll increase your hooking percentages.
The Fire-Ball has a quick attach-detach system for a stinger hook. If you’re missing fish, add the stinger.
Much of the time the walleyes will be scattered near shallow water structures and more tightly grouped in deeper water. Sauger will often be deeper than walleyes.
If you like to catch walleyes or fish like walleyes, you need to get in on this bite. The action can be fast, and anytime you can extend the fishing season, you’ve got a good thing going on.
If you live in walleye or sauger country, get on a river, tie on a jig, and catch some walleyes, sauger, or saugeyes. You’ll be glad you did.
For more go to fishingthemidwest.com