The edge of a specific structure is a great place to start looking for spring walleyes. These edges form breaks which almost act like barriers to hold fish a little longer to feed before they move on. These are physical boundaries between shallow food producing areas of the lake. Here schools of active walleyes meet concentrations of baitfish and often this is a prime fishing area.
By fishing the edges of weeds, drop-offs and other structures, you will increase your chances of finding a funnel or pinch point where fish concentrate. Fish will hold on these spots depending on such factors such as water temperature, baitfish and light level. Your success will then depend on proper presentation.
Once you have located the edge and a few fish, the next step is to entice them into biting. Your presentation will depend on the specific edge you have selected. If the walleyes are directly below the boat and concentrated on a physical edge you can backtroll a Roach Rig, Fireball Jig, or even a bottom bouncer, keeping the bait among the fish you can see on your depthfinder. If you find the fish strung out along the edge, keep them moving and they will bite. If they are clumped up in one spot, hover over them and vertically jig them.
Keep trying to determine where the fish are holding. Keep asking yourself the question, what is their pattern? Drifting is a great way to catch a trophy because even the craftiest walleye can not hear you coming.
Drifting the breakline on a windy day is truly a great way to produce some very nice strings of walleyes. The tackle is simple and the methods are easy to learn. My number one go-to method is, of course, the jig and minnow. The size of the jig should be just enough to occasionally tick the bottom. It is so very important to match your live bait delivery system to the environment that you are fishing.
Boat control is always critical, especially when trying to keep light jigs on the bottom in heavy wind. One way that I approach solid boat control is with a sea anchor. By tying an anchor to the bow and backtrolling along a contour depth I know I can swim a 1/16th oz. Fireball Jig at the proper depth and keep my boat pointed in the direction I want to go, rather then the way the wind wants to push me.
Spring is finally here and if you use these techniques, not only will you see more success this spring, but also the fish won't hear you coming. Try some subtle approaches in your drifting patterns and enjoy more walleye action. Have fun and, as always, be safe.
Walleye & Northern Pike - May 11, 2019
Largemouth & Smallmouth Bass - May 11, 2019
Muskie - June 1, 2019
2019 Fishing RegulationsMN DNR Fishing Regulation Handbook for 2019
Charlie Worrath talks early season walleye for the television program Jason Mitchell Outdoors on Lake Winnibigoshish in northern Minnesota. (watch the video)
Jason Boser appearing on an episode for the television program Jason Mitchell Outdoors on Lake Winnibigoshish in northern Minnesota. (watch the video)
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