TYPICAL FISH HANGOUTS
Docks Or Piers: Near thick weedbeds and drop-offs offer shade, food and easy access to deep water. Fish can easily move deeper without leaving cover.
Broad Leafed Weeds: Are preferred by most fish species, because they offer protection from predators and shelter from the suns piercing rays.
Lily Pads: Attract bluegills and largemouth bass. Their wide, floating leaves provide shade, though the stems offer little cover. Fish use them regularly, but only if other cover is nearby.
Horsetail or Bullrush: Dense stands of other narrow-leaved plants are haunts for largemouth bass, bluegills and crappies. In spring, walleyes often frequent the fringes of bulrush beds.
Fallen Trees: Are excellent cover for nearly every species of gamefish. Small branches harbor baitfish, while limbs and trunks provide shade and cover for larger fish, such as northern pike.
Pondweeds: Hide bluegills, bass, walleye, pike and other fish. They usually grow in water less than 20 feet deep. Various types are found in the north-central and eastern United States and throughout Canada.
SPOON FISHING TECHNIQUES
Imitating the Bait with Spoons Casting Spoons: As with anything that is new to you it is important that you get familiar with the “action” or movement of your new lure. Take a couple of short casts and retrieve at different speeds noting the different ways the lure responds. Watch the action underwater and get a “feel” of what’s happening. The spoon is supposed to mimic a fleeing bait fish. That is the look your trying to imitate. Varying your retrieval speed and giving the rod tip a couple of twitches now and then will give this impression of a panicked bait fish and trigger a strike.
Lure color and shape is another thing to experiment with. Close attention should be paid to match the existing forage fish of the lake. Generally you would use a finish like Nickel on a bright day and Gold or Copper in Lower light conditions like a cloudy day or in the early morning or evening. In clear water you should go with the Nickel for the most flash. While in murky or stained water you should stick with the Gold and Copper spoon.
Lake Fishing: Where fish are found in a lake varies according to season and other conditions such as light, oxygen, water temperature, and food. You can locate them by “counting down” the lure to different depths. Most lures will sink at a rate of about a foot per second. Start at the top and work down till you find the level that they are holding at. Sometimes you can see fish schooling in a lake, cast into the center of the action. Water temperature is very important to fish like the Trout Family. They will be found close to the top on Opening Day but will be down 25′ by Memorial day. They are seeking their “comfort zone”. Trout like their water around 50 while Bass are less fussy and will tolerate temperatures in the 80’s River And
Stream Fishing: Streams, unlike lakes have current to add action to the lure. It’s important to observe what is happening to the lure on the retrieve. Casting across or down stream it’s possible to steer the lure through the currents and pockets past the fish. Often holding the lure in the current near a fish will trigger a strike. Fish in rivers and streams are much more opportunistic feeders and not as picky or observant as their lake bound cousins. Deep pools should be handled the same way you would fish a lake. Casting under branches and close to rocks are a few of the places fish will be found.
The key is to focus on the most fertile half of the main lake. Work the portion of the main basin with softer bottom and larger weed flats than the rest of the lake. Once you identify the big picture, look for major structural elements within that area. The biggest panfish cruise the edge of major weed flats, huge weedy points, and submerged islands. They gather in cuts, pockets, and holes on the deep weedline or suspend nearby in open water.
To quickly locate concentrations of fish, drift or backtroll the edge with a small spinner rig. For bluegills and perch, tip the single hook with a worm, the light colored portion of a crawler split in half, or a small leech. Crappies and perch often seem to prefer a small minnow hooked through the lips.
Work your boat into dips and points in the weedline, looking for fingers of rock or gravel and other transition lines. Any irregularity becomes a sanctuary for invertebrates and a dining room for panfish. When you find fish, anchor and cast small jigs. Use a 7-foot or even slightly longer light-action rod to catapult 1/60 to 1/32 ounce jigs on 2 to 3 pound test line. Small tubes and curly tails often are productive, though tipping with a maggot, a piece or worm, or a nick of crawfish usually is best.
When you can’t find fish, carry a selection of floats to probe for fish cruising high above deep weeds. Suspend the same tiny baited jigs into pockets and holes in the weeds. When weed edges run deeper than 10 feet, work from the bow of the boat with a trolling motor while vertically jigging the same light jigs.
FISHING WALLEYES USING GRUBS
Plastic lures, especially grubs, are an integral part of your walleye arsenal. The bulky profile of the Kalin grub coupled with unmatched, slow-speed tail action provides a very natural presentation to entice even the most finicky feeders. The multiple tones of a Triple Threat grub also help deliver a very natural bait. For instance, the green/orange combination of the Wally World color (#846) looks very much like a perch.