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This is something. When speaking about fishing tips for walleyes, of trolling reservoirs pictures come to mind, with ships cruising forth and back dragging nightcrawlers behind. Not here. It is likely to pull on the game fish that is accessible from rivers, and some of the best walleye fishing of the year will come during the next weeks.
However, it takes walleye strategies to succeed actually. That is partly a function of where the walleye live. “It is usually deeper pools and runs where you could find walleye,” said Jason Detar, chief of the fisheries management branch with the Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission. “Those are the sorts of places that walleye are going to be hanging out.” “Deeper,” however, is a relative term when it comes to free-flowing rivers for walleye, he said. Jeff Knapp of West Kittanning and Keystone Link (keystoneconnection.com) guide service, frequently has his very best luck catching walleyes on the Allegheny River in only 3-4 feet of water.
It is which water is situated that is critical, he said. He will motor up his jetboat via a pair of riffles float back down, casting the way along. Walleyes are piled up at the end of that water. “It makes for a much more natural presentation when you’re able to just drift through these runs,” Knapp said.
Do not overlook the edges of the river he said. “I will pepper the coastline as we drift back for perhaps 100 yards or so, then proceed back up and drift it again, peppering another shoreline. It is possible to work the water that way a couple of times to get the walleye from different angles,” Knapp said. Jason Halfpenny of Lewistown, who works Shallow Water Guide Service (shallowwaterguideservice.net) on the Juniata and Susquehanna rivers, likewise said walleyes like to hang out at the “pockets” that result when different currents meet.
As he moves around in his boat, he looks for those advantages. However, he said, shore-bound anglers can reach them too. “Wherever the fast water meets the slower moving water, there is a definite seam. Walleye gather along that seam,” he said. That water that is running provides another benefit. Clifford Kirk, a fisheries biologist with the Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries, pointed out walleyes often are light-sensitive, “so shady areas are going to be better during daylight hours.”
Riffled water which is in spring thanks may not offer share Knapp said. “But I have caught walleyes in three feet of water on a bright sunny day without a cloud in the sky,” he said. “I think it goes back to where you are catching them. Those riffles create what you might call broken water, so conditions are not overly bright.” The walleye will not be concentrated like Kirk said, as they were in spring. For spawning, they were grouped.
They’re hungry, generally, and however as voracious as they’re likely to get. “The great news is that walleye are hungry and will be much more interested in biting,” Kirk explained. Halfpenny targets walleye on some lures that are typical. “They are eating crankbaits, spinner baits, anything that a walleye feeds on,” he said. Knapp likes to throw Husky Jerks of about 4 inches, in addition to 1/4-ounce, 3- to Storm shad swimbaits.
He tosses them on 6 1/2 and rods spooled with Gamma braid to a fluorocarbon leader. “I like to stay with largely natural-looking things,” he said of lure colours. “Something perch coloured or olive green. Most days I think it’s only the profile, how it behaves in the water, that is most important.” Reel lures in using an approach, he suggested.
And pay attention to them all the way in, as walleye can hit at the edge of the boat. LivebBait, meanwhile, often do best on minnows and chubs as bait. Pulling from the water walleye often tops on 6 to 12-pounds, according to the Fish and Boat Commission. However, you fish, just be sure to do it often over the next few weeks, Halfpenny said.
May is extending into June, is an excellent time. “What you typically find is that walleye don’t move around much at this time. If you find them this week, they will be there next week and the week after that, right up until they move in the walleye summer patterns,” Halfpenny said. “They are very predictable. If you whack them now, you know they will be there, possibly all month.”
The activity can slow, so now is the time Knapp said. “That first month of this season, maybe six weeks, is possibly the best time to be out there,” he said. Bob Frye is the outdoors editor. Reach him at 412-216-0193 or email@example.com. See other stories, blogs, videos and much more at everybodyadventures.com.
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