NEW TACKLE, TRICKS TO TRY THIS SEASON NEW FISHING TACKLE –
on store shelves, in magazine ads, featured on TV, pouring out of spring catalogs, on the Internet and stacked up at sport shows – causes normal people to become dreamers. Yes, dreamers that a new line, rod or lure will automatically make them better anglers, maybe, to catch a bigger walleye than Uncle Ralph on next year’s up-north vacation. Or to finally get that elusive muskie to strike.They can almost see a giant bass leaping high while standing in Fleet Farm. New fishing tackle must first catch the angler. New designs. New colors. New sizes. New shapes. New claims. Specifics will be detailed later, but first, here are a few “new” fishing tactics to consider this season. A new lease on life for an old lure was discovered while filming Lindner’s Angling Edge TV series. Al Lindner said, “This system really makes walleyes strike.” He’s trolling jigging Rapalas, traditional ice fishing lures that are long-lined with the boat moving forward. The setup has been refined by Al — A 7-foot rod, 10-pound mono, size 7 jigging Rap (sizes 5 and 9 work also), moving quickly, sweeping the rod forward about 4 to 5 feet and dropping it back so the Rap drops to the bottom. Fish hit it on the bottom. Don’t change the treble, or the lure fouls. Net the fish as soon as it’s on top; one shake and it’s all over. Slopes or breaks seem most productive rather than flats; cover water. Open water trolling has been popularized by walleye tournament anglers and is finally gaining a following in the Brainerd lakes area. Most trollers have run lures or spinners over or adjacent to weeds, around reefs or main-lake points.The new game is targeting walleyes over basins over the mud or in the middle of nowhere. Actually, there is a “somewhere.” It usually relates to baitfish suspended in the water column. There are many theories why the walleyes reside “nowhere,” but a couple Mille Lacs experts haven’t fished any other method for years, with one long-time guide registering 2,000 walleyes each of the last two seasons. The final PWT tournament on Mille Lacs had four of the top five winners trolling. Trolling is a relatively easy system. It consists of long rods and crankbaits. Anglers must know how deep their lures run. Use trolling books, online information or by testing. With one rod per person in this state, take kids fishing. Use trolling boards to spread lures (you need rod holders), run lures at depths of 15 to 25 feet (deeper some-
12 N e w
T a c k l e ,
T r i c k s
times; up high when bait is right below the surface). Duplicate successful patterns. Change lure sizes, colors and models until the right combination clicks. Use in-line weights to gain depth. Details are available on packaging on manufacturer’s websites, from pro anglers at seminars, in magazines, but the best advice is to try it. Hint: No sharp turns; run 1.5 to 2.5 mph to start; use a GPS to mark fish and when one bites; troll with the wind; pay attention to details. The third tactic will be new to many, but already has a solid following. Anglers are starting to realize the effectiveness of plastics. They’re not just for bass anymore. Walk the muskie aisles and huge jigs with long, tantalizing, swishy plastic tails almost jump into the cart.The author’s best sizes are ½- and ¾-ounce jigs with large hooks and a keeper so the plastic eel or worm stays on. Glue helps. So does a trailer hook impaled about halfway down the length. Muskies and big pike gobble them up.Any action works fishing bottom, but swimming them over deep weeds also produces. The amazing number of plastic swim baits for muskies (and the price) will astound you, but they cause nasty strikes. What’s coming on strong is plastics for walleyes. In addition to new products from Rapala, Northland and others are the forerunners from Berkley – PowerBait and Gulp! Pro walleye anglers who have competed in head-to-head competition during “artificials-only” tournaments offered this almost unanimous advice: “Fish jigs with plastic for walleyes in the same places, but with much more action. Fish it faster; snap it higher; rip it; make it a reaction bite.” Colors and styles of plastics are so real and so good that this is the next new wave in walleye fishing.
New products from Minnesota companies: Lindy Little Joe, still with manufacturing operations in the lakes area, has several new products. The Fuzz-E-Grub had reconstructive surgery and now sports a longer, flashier tail in 16 colors of chipresistant paint and a surgically sharp hook – in five sizes to ¼ ounce. A new Lindy jig, the “Watsit,” has a plastic body with flapping tails and wiggly arms, on a jig or jig-spinner in four sizes to ¼ ounce, designed for whatever the anger is fishing (lindyfishingtackle.com). Local manufacturer Gopher Tackle has products in demand across the country. Their mushroom heads have won major tournaments for big-name anglers. Designed, tooled, cast and painted in Ironton (thanks, Connie Peterson), the Mushroom Head jigs are new with Mustad red hooks. Gopher also has new Leech Head jigs for bobber fishing with bronze and red hooks. New Tiny Mite jigs with Mustad red hooks from 1/80- to 1/32-ounce work for waxies or spikes under the ice or in open water (Gophertackle.com). Al Lindner and the Angling Edge crew teamed up with Quantum fishing tackle and designed a series of 20 muskie, walleye, pike, smallmouth and panfish rods. From 6-foot-3 to 8-6, the rods are in actions for fishing popularized on Al’s TV shows. There are also five walleye and panfish rod/reel combos. Look for the Angling Edge name on rods (Quantumfishing.com). Berkley has been the line company of choice for decades, and its new Trilene XL armor-coated abrasion resistant line takes the No. 1
T r y
T h i s
S e a s o n
Published on Mar 12, 2012
Don’t Move a Mussel • Return to Glory? • New Tackle,Tricks To Try This Season • Search For Sheds • Wild Stories • Catchy ‘Toons • Birds Of A...