I've been doing a good number of fishing seminars around the Midwest the past few weeks. Attendance at these seminars has been good.
After every seminar anglers like to hang around and talk fishing. I get a lot of questions about fishing during these "hanging around" sessions. Following are some of those questions and my responses to them.
One of the most common questions is "How do you know where to look for the fish?"
That's a great question! You can't catch'em if you don't find'em. As a rule of thumb, look for fish shallow and close to shore early in the year. Most Midwest fish spawn in the shoreline shallows in the spring and early summer.
After the spawn, the fish will be wherever the food is. Walleyes aren't always eating near the bottom. If their food is suspended, they'll suspend also. Find their food and you'll find the gamefish.
Another question pertains to lure color. Many anglers want to know how important lure color is.
Different anglers have different opinions on lure color. I think that if a fish wants to eat and you put an appropriate lure in front of that fish, it will eat that lure.
However, fish don't always want to eat. They need to be convinced that they should eat your lure. This is when lure color becomes more important.
When the fish have the attitude that they're not going to eat unless the lure looks perfect, you need to experiment with color. You also need to experiment with speed, shape, size, and other variables. At times, color does make a difference.
Another question I get: What's the best size jig for walleyes?
It's hard to pin down a best size, just like it's hard to pin down a best color. However, throughout the entire Midwest, eighth-ounce jigs catch the majority of walleyes I would guess. Quarter-ounce jigs are probably next, but lots of anglers are catching more and more walleyes on 16th ounce jigs, especially when using live bait.
If you're going to be fishing with live bait in lakes, a 16th or eighth ounce Fire-Ball jig is tough to beat.
If you're one of those anglers that is finding that soft bait like PowerBait and Gulp! are tremendously effective for walleyes, you'll be using heavier jigs, mostly quarter and three-eighth's ounce sizes.
Last question: What size line do you use the most for walleyes?
Answer: Since I use jigs for walleyes a lot, I use mostly six pound test Trilene Sensation. If I'm throwing soft bait on the jig, it's eight- or 10-pound test Trilene XT or 20/8 FireLine.
Questions are good. Ask a successful angler about their success and you'll find yourself being more successful at fishing.
For more fish-catching information, visit fishingthemidwest.com.