The surface temp on most of our area lakes is in the low to mid – 50’s and the walleye bite is taking off in most of the lakes. I have been catching a good number of 16 – 19 inch fish on several lakes and finding most of the active fish in 6-11 feet of water. I have been utilizing a 1/16th ounce jig tipped with a shiner minnow and ripping the jig while moving from 1.0 to 1.5 mph. I try to get the jig and minnow combination as far away from the boat as possible. I like to use 8 pound fluorocarbon line for this type of fishing. Try different jigging patterns until you can determine which pattern is the most productive. For rigging use either an 1/8th or ¼ ounce slip sinker above an adjustable snell that is about 30 inches long – by utilizing the adjustable style rig you can easily vary the length of your snell depending on the mood of the fish. Sometimes the length will be over 4 feet long even when fishing in the 6 – 11 feet of water. For rigging you will need to slow down to the .5 – 1.0 mph range. Keep an open bail on your spinning reel and drop the line from your finger as soon as you feel a bite – allowing the fish time to “eat” the bait before tightening up and setting the hook. Remember to match your hook size to your bait size – I am using either a #2 or #4 for the shiners at this time. We also have a good crappie and sunfish bite occurring on many of the area lakes. Crappies are being caught on tube jigs, tinsel jigs and a plain hook in some cases. Look for new emerging weeds or cabbage as a good starting point for both crappies and sunnies.
Phil Jensen, PT’s Guide Service
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