While there are no hardfast rules concerning color selection, water clarity is the best guide for you choices: Clear water – blue, black, silver, white, natural colors Stained (tannic) water – orange, crawdad colors. Muddy (off color) water – bright and fluorescent colors. Whether fishing vertically or casting to shoreline targets, always use the lightest line possible. In vertical situation, this means selecting a line size which ensures good bottom contact while remaining vertical. In pitching and casting conditions, light line delivers proper presentations whether you’re swimming the grub or using a dart-and-fall retrieve.
The normal line test range for grub fishing is from 4 to 8-pound test with 6-pound test being the most common, all-round size. Start with 2-inch grubs in the spring months, move to 3-inch grubs for late spring and summer, falling back to 2-inch grubs in the fall. The most common rig for grubs is a ball or darter head.
Another productive way to use grubs is with a standard three-way rig. Use a 10-inch, 10-pound test leader with a pencil sinker or ½-ounce leadhead jig combination. One the main line, rig a three-foot leader. Slide a grub on the line four inches above the hook to serve as an attractor. Tip the hook with a minnow or crawler.
Spring: River systems – Look to shallow water (10 feet or less) on the inside bends of the faster warming north side. Water temperature should be 40 degrees and above. This is the pre-spawn period where fish are looking for spawning areas out of the current.
Lakes: Fish shallow reefs, shorelines and extended points in 15 feet of water or less. Noon is a good time to fish because of warmth. Find water above 40 degrees. Look for it in fast-warming north bays and shorelines. Use 2-inch grubs on light jigs.
Early to Mid-Summer: River systems – Drop back to mouth of rivers. Work these areas as you gradually move up into the lake. Lakes – Move up to 3-inch grubs and look for fish on rockpiles in 10 to 15 feet of water. Fish can also be found in shallow water.
Late Summer: Fish suspend during this time, so look for walleyes early and late reefs. During the day, you’ll find fish mid-lake. Also, look for breaklines (depth changes) in 15 feet of water. Match grub colors to the baitfish present.
Fall: Walleye are staging near the mouths of rivers. Check out wing dams. Always fish the front side of wing dams. More fish may be positioned on the back side, but the aggressive fish will be found on the face of the wing dam, not the downstream side.
Late Fall: Lakes – Fish reefs and river mouths.
POWER TROLLING TECHNIQUES
Use power trolling to cover lots of water, searching for fish. A spinner rig coupled with livebait provides a strong strike trigger. The spinner blade provides flash and vibration to entice walleyes as well as other gamefish. Choose shape and size to match the color of the walleye’s preferred baitfish. Lime green, golf, or chartreuse are best where walleyes feed on perch or fathead minnows. Use silver or white combinations if minnows, shad, or smelt are common prey. Troll at 1 – 1/2 to 2 mph for most situations. Bottom bouncers are another option for summer walleye action. Tie your line to the forward eye of the bouncer, and tie a leader with a spinner rig and crawler to the barrel swivel. Drop it to the bottom and troll parallel to breaks, along deep flats, or across points. For most situations, I prefer a 3 to 4 foot snell with a #2 blade. Choose bouncer weight based on trolling speed and depth of the fish. Carry models from 3/8 to 1-1/2 ounces, a 3/8 ouncer fishes well from 10 to 15 feet, a 1/2 ouncer down to 25 feet. The wire arm tapping bottom adds action to livebaits. The position of the lead on the lower leg determines action. Weight near the end of the wire keeps the spinner and bait stable as it drags. Weight farther up the shaft creates a jumping motion that sometimes entices more fish.