Check for Conditions: Clarity, Temperature and Wind
Conditions, conditions, conditions! I cannot stress these important factors – conditions of clarity, temperature and wind – that all anglers should tune into each time they put their boats on the water.
During the month of May, our water temperatures will begin to rise and anglers will head out to open water for walleye fishing.
Most of us have a tendency to return to our favorite fishing spots and target our favorite species with the same techniques as the year prior. Even though, historically, anglers have caught fish in these same areas, it is important to pay close attention to the conditions prior to dropping in our first baits.
Taking a few seconds to recognize the color or stain of the water can increase your catch percentage. Clearer waters will call for baits that represent more natural colors. My go-to bait in clear conditions is the Matzuo Kinchou minnow tiger perch. Stained or dirty water condition will steer me towards baits that are brighter in color like firetiger, chartreuse and orange.
The first thing I do as I approach an area to fish is check my Garmin for the water temperature. During the month of may I will use a slower rolling trolling bait as the water temperatures are still below 60 degrees. As the water temperature increases, I will continue with trolling baits that have more of an erratic movement. In addition, as the water temperatures climb toward 55, I will start using crawler harnesses.
Wind is a huge factor for walleye fishing. If I am finesse-fishing on a reef using a snap jig presentation, I will target the wind-blown side of the reef. The same is true for a trolling application. In addition, I recommend that while trolling with crawler harnesses – and when the wave height increases to more than 2 feet – switch from an inline weight to a snap weight in order to allow the bait to run in a more true fashion, rather than jerking back and forth. This will also reduce the chances of tangling your gear.
Now get out there and have fun.
If you missed Marian Huskey’s previous tips you can read them here.