Friday, August 7, 2015

Dance a Jig

As the summer progresses along walleye will begin to slip down the water column.  As a rule of thumb these fish will descend 5-10 ft every month.  May-June you will find schools in 2-6 ft of water, July 10-15 ft  and August the bulk of your strikes will come from 15-20 ft.  The bigger female walleye tend to hold in the deeper waters 20-30 ft in August.  The best way to target those big slabs is to practice your jigging technique.

23" walleye couldn't resist the blade bait vibration
Various jigging combinations work very well.  3/8oz gumball jig with a twister tail trailer is by far the most popular among guests.  Recently, I have been keeping the jigs in the box and have been experimenting with other tactics such as: blade baits and the Clackin Rap.

Blade baits are a great change of pace to the jig.  They are super versatile cast em, troll em, and jig em.  Two of my favorites are the Echotail 1/4 oz and the 3/8 oz Zip Lure.  The Echotail gets the slight nod due to the fact you can customize your lure with the interchangeable tail.  Last Thursday (8/6) guiding at Central Lake the customers were casting pike along the edges of a massive weed bed while I casually dropped an Echotail to see if any eyes were holding in the area.  I struck gold with several fish in two drops.  The guests promptly switched to walleye, one using an Echotail and the other a traditional jig/twister. We were surprised with about 20 walleyes, several over 22", in a 30 minute period.  Interestingly though, the walleye would just tap and hold the tail of the jigs, whereas they just slammed the blade bait.

The Clackin Rap by Rapala is another great walleye catching machine later in the year.  Lots of people cast these baits into rocks and along weeds.  As a change of pace, I really enjoy vertical jigging these lures, the 7/16 oz is my preferred size.  The loud clack of this bait is a great stimulant for walleye down deep.  Two colors excel over the other: silver/blue and the Helsinki Shad.  As I mentioned before, the jig is the all time classic walleye catcher.  Hopefully, the previously mentioned baits will produce some fish for you when the jig just doesn't seem to be working.


The weather has been truly up and down all week long.  Daytime highs have ranged from 52 to 72 degrees.  From Saturday to Wednesday last week we did not see the sun.  Some mist and showers hampered our fishing and flying Sunday and Monday.  We didn't see any significant amounts of rain to raise the water levels.  The water is down on most lakes a good 1-2 ft, as we have had minimal rain all summer long.  The water temperatures are fluctuating between 66-68 degrees on the surface.  


37" Central Lake pike landed on a silver minnow
After chatting with most of the outposts this week fishing improved at the week progressed.  As mentioned earlier, walleye are grouping up in deeper waters.  15-20 ft rock humps and wind blown points seem to have the highest congregations.  One cannot over stress the importance of a depth finder as it will help you find those reefs.  Weeds are still holding some walleye.  Not many fish are being found near rapids at the moment but that will change if the weather turns cooler. 

Pike are in their typical weed beds.  A wind blown weed edge will almost always hold a decent fish.  Afternoon and evening bites have been more productive than morning.  Top water is still the most entertaining method of catching pike and is always a blast on a calm clear evening. Don't forget your deeper baits this time of year.  Depth Raiders, bull dawgs and various other deep running baits will catch lots of fish on reefs and deep points this time of year. 

Good luck on the water everyone, 

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