Getting a Naked UV Jig Coat

With another river tourney on the schedule this weekend, I went up into jig lab and came up with some more ultraviolet  paint schemes for my 5/8ths ounce jigs. Whether UV finishes are effective or not when it comes to walleye is yet to be determined, the Detroit River offered little proof either way, I do like the look of these jigs.  The UV Clear from TJ’s Tackle makes the bring colors really pop, and a slight blue hue to the clean (freshly poured) sections of the jigs.  This “Naked” finish makes the bottom of the jigs, in my opinion, look more like a minnow in the water.

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Starting on the left side of the picture above; (Top Left) is what I call a Mackerel pattern, (Bottom Left) is a fresh poured jig just clear coated with UV, (Top Right) is a Naked Pink Lemonade pattern, and these next two came out really well.  Middle Right is what I dubbed Sprite, because it has a lemon/lime look, and on the Bottom Right is Maui Waui, because it was inspired by one of my favorite spinner blades.

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In this picture, on the Left are  Hot Pink and Bright Green Naked’s were inspired by an ice finish one of my friends came up with.  Liked his idea so much, decided to make a few of my own with UV coats.  The Top Right, is a Purple Pirate scheme, and then on the Bottom Right, I did a Naked Clown finish.

I used a combination of “candy” powder paints and traditional colors to come up with these jig colors.  At first I thought using the candy paints would be the way to go with the UV Clear, but really liked the end results of these traditional colors also.  In fact, there are three more combinations I would like to try before the tourney on Saturday, so will see what I can come up with when time is starting to run out on the preparation for this tournament.

Copyright, 2016

 

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Great Time at the Local 3000 Walleye Tourney

Well, it’s just another typical Monday after fishing all weekend, my back is sore as ….you know what I mean.  Before getting into all the details, we had a bumpy ride from Brest Bay back to the Lake Erie Metro Park for the three o’clock weigh-in.  It was a little closer to the time limited than we wanted to be because right before we picked up the boards, we went through a school of silver bass and tangled up four lines at once.  To say the least it was crazy!

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The run down from the metro park was golden, flat water and an easy 35 mph in my buddy Cliff’s new boat with a 115 Mercury on the back.  We set up just north of Stoney Pointe and made a pass southwest for a perfect clip of the rocks off the pointe.  In order to dial in the program quicker we ran one side of the boat with the Rapala DHJ-12’s targeting the top half of the water column, with the other side going for the lower half of water.  It wasn’t long before the first fish hit a Glass Purple Perch at 100 ft back of my Church Tackle TX-22.  There was some debris in the water, so after checking some of the lines, we added a few more GPP’s at the same 100′ depths and started picking up more fish.

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On the second pass we added some additional spring type colors, Glass Pink Clown took some fish, and my favorite spring pattern, Lime Attack by Big Eye Custom Lures out of Green Bay.  Don does a phenomenal job with his paints and they are practically chip/peel proof.  As it turned out, I set that one a little deeper since nothing running above 100 ft back was getting fish.  I pushed it down to 140 foot and picked up out biggest fish of the day before the boat had issues with the trolling motor.

We still landed a few more fish to finish 8 out of 9 for the day to finish up near 18 lbs.  A respectful weight for not having pre-fished down here at all, and we still had a blast.  Until that is, right at the end we went through a school of silver bass and four of the six boards started popping back.  Ended up with a few tangles which ate up a bunch of time that we need to get back to the park.

Had a great time at the weigh-in.  Finished fourth or fifth (at that point, does it matter if you aren’t in the top three lol), watched a couple of buddies from Ida take 3rd place, met some more nice people from Local 3000, and the bonus….they fed us fresh walleye!

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Quick product tip, I always wanted a tourney weigh-in bag.  After much discussion with tourney guys, charter captains, and even Adrian College’s bass fishing team, I went with Bass Mafia’s Body Bag, its a 26 x 26 inch bag that passed with flying colors.  I liked the handles and there were not leaks in its initial time being used.

Copyright, 2016

Posted in Tournament News, Walleye Fishing | Leave a comment

Quick Trip to Brest Bay on Saturday

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Saturday we left the house at 6:00 AM but didn’t hit the water until 2:30 PM.  Why the discrepancy when the house is only 20 minutes to the lake?  Well it was my buddy’s birthday and he bought a new (used) boat, but we had to go a little northwest of St. Johns, Michigan to pick it up.  It was a great day to break it in, so we took I-94 off 127, to 275 and got on I-75 and headed to Sterling State Park to give his boat its maiden voyage.

Since we didn’t have all day, we only made two passes along the river humps. Cliff had to get back at a decent time for his wife had made dinner plans. Lets just say, they ordered in anyway.  The first pass on the north side was uneventful except for seeing some of the jiggers catching a few fish right on top of the humps.  First come, first serve and since we were pulling boards, I decided not to crowd them by trying to cut in with our spread cutting a much wider swath through the water.

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Next we ran to the south side of the channel and started next to the #1 and #2 buoys and headed back towards the power plant.  Since no one was on this track we could get right on top of the humps with our spread of Church Tackle TX-22 Planer Boards, love this board for running cranks and light trolling weights up to two ounce.  I had the St. Croix rods rigged with a wide variation of Rapala Deep Husky Jerk colors. We let enough line out of the Daiwa’s to run 40 foot to 100 ft behind the boards.

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We managed to pull in three fish on the second and last pass of the day.  They were 40, 50, and 100 foot behind the boards, and slower was better this trip with 43 degree water temperatures, +/- depending on how clean the water was.  Fishing in the slightly stained water worked best for us.  Of course one came on the DHJ-12 in Purple Perch, has to be one of their most productive colors over the last 5 years.  Then my favorite color from last year produced a fish, Lime Attack from Big Eye Custom Lures, and the last fish came on another Big Eye spring favorite, Boo Berry.

Quick note, from the picture above.  Those grey meat trays from Cabela’s make excellent basins for cleaning fish! Stop over in Dundee and ask either Kristy or Kimberly and they will hook you up. No pun intended.

Copyright, 2016

 

 

 

Posted in Lake Erie, Product Reviews, Walleye Fishing | Leave a comment

The Annual UAW Walleye Tournament is April 24, 2016

Its that time of the year again for Local 3000’s Annual Walleye Tournament at the Lake Erie Metro Park on Jefferson Ave.  Located just a short drive from Monroe (right across from Bottom Line Bait n Tackle) and all places in the Downriver Area.  This is a fun tourney, and the cost is only $25 and you can have a crew up to four people, you just need one them to be a current member of ANY UAW local. That means you can work for either Ford, Chrysler or General Motors and participate.  All the particulars are listed in the flyer below.  Remember you can fish in Michigan, Ohio or Canadian waters, but you must have your current 2016 fishing license for those states or providence, and if fishing Canada don’t forget to call it in!

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Also, remember you can sign up the morning of the tourney, just be there before 6:30 in order to make it a smooth process.  Good Luck and see you there!

Copyright, 2016

Posted in Tournament News, Walleye Fishing | Leave a comment

Protect Your Arsenal: Jig Maintenance

This weekend looks to be a great weekend on the water, a total 180 from fishing last weekend in snow storms on the Detroit River.  After the going through some bow busting waves on Sunday all my gear was soaked; clothes, plastics and three boxes of jigs.  In preparation for the tourney I had been a lead pouring fool and the last thing I wanted to see was a couple of boxes full of rusty hooks the next time I went jigging, which will be next month for the Spring Fling on the Saginaw River.

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So, after stripping off all my went gear and getting the clothes hung up to dry and getting a hot shower in, I went to work on my tackle.  I was looking for anything to hang my jigs on.  Totes, trays and buckets, anything that would hold a hook.

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Now my furnace out in the shop will suck the water out of the air like nothing I have ever seen.  Every day when I start it up, I have to dump about 3 inches of water that drain into a 3 gallon bucket.  Knowing this, I knew the jigs, and their hooks would be good to go after running the heat on for a couple of nights.  While having completed this job, I made sure that my boxes were dry as well.  It would be crazy to put dry gear back into wet boxes.

If you have some silica packs, it will be a bonus for taking out any extra moisture that might escape the drying process. It also wouldn’t hurt to wipe your hooks down with some WD-40, it’s a really good rust preventer.  Just remember if you take care of your gear, it will take care of you, and you wont have to spend more time and money from making your jigs all over again!

Copyright, 2016

Posted in Do-It-Yourself | Leave a comment

Picking a Jigging Rod for the Detroit River

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Trolling on Lake Erie is a blast,  the method has put a lot of walleye in the box.  That said, there is fishing, and then there is fishing.  There is something to be said about drifting and jigging, that concept of having the rod in your hand and feeling every bite.  Being in tune with the whole set-up means having the gear to get the job done right.

Full disclosure, for those new to the Fishing Michigan blog, I am on staff with St. Croix Rods.  Why, because St. Croix is simply the best in my opinion and completely trust the product.  When it comes to jigging,  this Wisconsin based company has several rods in their line-up that are perfect for jigging in the “D”.

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I have two sets of St. Croix’s when it comes to jigging.  Why two, because like many people I purchased the rods I could afford at the time, and those were my Avid spinning rods.  My first pair were matched for my style of jigging, two rods at a time.  I even have the reel handles turned around so if a fish hits one of the rigs, I can put the other rod down and start reeling with that hand.  The rods are two different lengths, one is 6’3″ and the other is 6’8″ in length and both are Medium Xtra-Fast in their actions.

Fast is good, but for feel, bite detection and hooksets, Xtra-Fast is better! There really is a huge difference between the two actions, and once you fish with one, you will know what I mean the first instant you hook a fish.  There is less of a “bend” in the rod, and this will drive the hooks home, and help you land more fish.

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Although my head is cut off and the fact that I am on the Saginaw River and not the “D”,  this fish was caught on one of my Legend Tournament Walleye Spinning rods.  Whether I am fishing the light jigs like the 3/8ths to 5/8ths on the Sag River or down on the Detroit where you can use up to a 1 oz jig, these medium extra fast rods work best. Remember this, when a rod is rated for weights that you can use, this is strictly in reference to casting a bait, not jigging. These medium rated rods will handle the jigs, and in my case with the right Daiwa spinning reels, will handle the biggest hog you can hook into.

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When I hear that you need a short rod to fish the Detroit River, I kind of chuckle a bit to myself and wonder who the person was that started that nonsense.  I personally don’t want to use a 7 foot rod while jigging river systems, but to say that a 5’6″ rod is a must really doesn’t make a lot of sense to me.  I have in the right circumstance, no problem using my 6’8″ MXF rods, or my 6’3″ rods for that matter in all situations on the DR.

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Now I did add a shorter rod to my lineup this year, in both the Avid and LTWS series, I brought a 5’9″ into the mix, but not just for the Detroit River.  If you ever fish one of each series in your hands at the same time, there is a difference in action and feel, and it throws me off when jigging.  For this reason I am still adding to my arsenal in both series.  I actually got them specifically for fishing the Saginaw River in tight fishing situations.  Getting in close to break walls and old wood pylons required the 6’3″ or shorter rod, so I figured why not the 5’9″ MXF models.  If I am running the bow mount and fishing up there, then the 6’8″‘s are fine in just about any situation you can find yourself in.

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Another reason I would choose St. Croix’s over other rod manufactures is for a reason I hear all the time from folks who choose another brand.  For whatever reason in a year or two, or even three and four years down the line, something happens to their rod.  They call that company up to find out about their warranty status.  More often that I care to share they get this response, yes your rod is covered under the original warranty, but we no longer make that rod, and cannot replace it with the same rod or original value.  Honestly, just get a St. Croix, you wont be sorry, and these rods are tested, and I hear all the time how great the warranties are with the rods.  Besides getting a great rod that you will really love to fish with, its pretty nice to know that St. Croix stands behind their products too.  It’s no wonder that they can lay claim to making the Best Rods on Earth!

 

Copyright, 2016

 

Posted in Product Reviews, Walleye Fishing | Leave a comment

Getting an UV Overcoat

Does an UV finish catch you more fish, I honestly don’t know.  When it comes to my ice fishing jigs for bluegill and crappie, I have so many I can’t in all truthfulness keep track of which is which.  I have “people” who will swear that it makes a difference, not just for panfishing through the ice, but also on the big water for walleye.

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I have been making jigs for this spring the last week or so, and got into the shop last night to put on my powder coat finishes.  I decided to keep some jigs with regular coats, and then use my powder paint air brush to apply the UV clear coat on some others.

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Some like Blue Ice, my “go to” color last fall on the Saginaw River, will not get the UV treatment.  For this finish, I take freshly poured lead, when it is still shiny, and give it a Candy Blue back.  Then I top it off with a clear coat, that I mixed Silver Holographic flake into.  This gives it a more natural belly look than a base coat of Chrome will give you.

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What I am going to apply the UV Clear to is some of my brighter jigs.  The top pick is my take on the classic crankbait color, Pink Lemonade.  In the bottom picture, I coated these jigs with a Pearl White finish, then topped them off with Bright Green and Blaze Orange.  Orange and Green, classic walleye colors, and that Lemonade pattern gives me some chartreuse and pink to go with some others I already have painted up.

Won’t be long now and these will be put to the test on Lake Erie, the Detroit and Saginaw Rivers.  Hopefully then will be able to share whether or not the UV clear coat can be a difference maker, or just another trend in walleye fishing.

Note:  All my powder paint supplies come from TJ’s Tackle.  Sure you can get powder paint just about anywhere, but honestly in my opinion, this is your one stop place to shop.  From starting out to making it a production line, the website has everything.  Since I am painting some larger jigs (up to 1 oz), I went with the 3″ fluid bed and cups.  It’s a little easier when you have room to horizontally dip your jig for that “back” coat to give more of a fish appearance like I did with the Blue Ice pattern.

Copyright, 2016

Posted in Do-It-Yourself, Fishing Websites/Stores, Lure Making, Walleye Fishing | Leave a comment

Use Your Vexilar 365

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As much as I dread thinking about it, the ice fishing season will not last much longer here in Southeastern Michigan.  On the bright side though that means another season of open water fishing is just around the corner.  Next to having my Jiffy augers to drill the holes and Clam shacks to keep warm, my Vexilar units are the best tools to have on the ice.  But why spend all that money and only use them for only three to five months out of the year?  Its silly not to find a way to use this technology all year long.

Vexilar has had the answer to that question for years with a number of open water accessories that let you use for favorite unit all year long.  In this case I went with the 19′ puck summer kit which includes a gimbal bracket, the transducer, zip tie, a power cord made just for the FL-20+ units and some adhesive for mounting to the boats bottom.  I won’t need the glue though because I am going to use the zip tie and mount the transducer to the electric trolling motor in the bow.

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I will be using the RAM mount to position the unit, and I have decided to go with one of my FL-22 HD’s, in the raised floor of my Triton duck boat right next to my GPS.  Not that I will be going really fast with this rig, but if the waves kick up, the -22 has a bottom lock feature that will keep the images from bouncing all over the screen.    With the transducer rigged in the bow like this, I will be able set the boat up for jigging this spring.  With all the snags in the Detroit River, just imagine what a great tool this will be in the spring!

Copyright, 2016

 

Posted in Do-It-Yourself, Electronics, Product Reviews, Walleye Fishing | Leave a comment

Planer Board 101: an introduction to the basics

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I have a good fishing bud from North Dakota who wants to learn more about fishing with inline boards.  I was supposed to bring some boards to the NAFIC ice fishing championship and we would go over the basics, plus some tips and tricks.  Unfortunately, due to some medical issues in my partner’s family, we had to cancel the trip.  I didn’t forget about you Shawn, this article is for you, and other anglers who want to take their walleye fishing to the next level.

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In full disclosure, I am proud to say I work with the Church Tackle Company and their staff members.  The company strives to produce the most versatile line-up of boards and accessories to meet every need a walleye angler could possibly imagine.  Looking back, I can say I have been fishing with Church products for the past sixteen years and fortunate enough to be on their staff for the past five.  Like their motto says, “They didn’t invent the planer board, they just made it better.”  For this tutorial, I will break down the strengths of each board that applies to walleye fishing.

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If you want to pick one board that does everything, look no further than the original “Walleye Board“.   This was my very first Church Tackle product that I bought back in the year 2000.  At first, I ran the boards on Lake Erie without the Double Action Flag System.  I actually did some research, and even called Church to talk about my available choices.  From there I made the decision to learn how to read what the boards were telling me. Every shudder, rocking and tipping action has something to tell the angler.  Once I learned what I needed, I added the flag kits later.  Today, I would probably start off with one of the Pro Packs, which include the flag system, which saves a little money.  Besides the flag going up or down to say there is a fish on, the flags tell me more than that.  I can tell when the walleye are short striking my harness.  Also, will know when my baits are getting stripped by what we call junk fish, like Silver Bass and White Perch.  When those little bait stealers are active, fishing with a rubber worm like Northland Tackle’s 6″ Impulse Nightcrawler can be just as productive as the real thing.

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Back in 2000, the Walleye Board was “the” board in the Church lineup for fishing big water walleye.  This was due to the sliding keel weight and the ability to adapt the board to your fishing needs by simply a couple of twists with a screwdriver.  This is still your “do everything” choice, from cranks, heavy trolling weights and fishing leadcore.  From sliding the keel back to raise the front of the board slightly out of the water with cranks and light weights in combination with crawler harnesses.  As you increase the weight, or call it the drag of what you are pulling, you adjust to get the right “ride” by sliding the weight forward as needed.    From running two or three colors of leadcore, or even pulling 4 and 6 ounce weights, this board will handle it.

 

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The TX-22 Special planer board just might be the most popular walleye board in the Church lineup right now.  Why is it special?  The reason is due to its ability to convert quickly to one side of the boat, or the other.  The board is designed to be run either port or starboard, but I would suggest getting a set to run on each side. Also, the board almost refuses to sink with a fish on, its amazing how well designed it is.  Nothing worse than a board doing a corkscrew under the water’s surface.

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Another reason the board is special, is its unique design allows it to float straight up and down without the need of line tension.  This makes a difference while either letting line out, or while making larger sweeping turns with your boat.  Despite being a little smaller than the Walleye Board, I personally like running this board pretty much all season, as it handles both crankbaits, snap weights or inline weights with equal effectiveness. The TX-22 would be my first suggestion for Shawn to look at, but in a few paragraphs I think he might find a couple of other products more suiting to his fishing environment.

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Last up in the big water arsenal would be a personal favorite of mine, the TX-007 Stern Planer.  I love the concept of this board because it allows you to target the depth of the fish that you are seeing on the graph in your boat. Another tip that I have to attribute to fellow Church Tackle staff member, Steve Berry, is how to make this into a rattling stern board.  Take the plug out in the back, and add 12-15 BB’s.  The same kind the kids learn to shoot with, and this makes a loud rattling noise that I find really calls the walleye in.

Way back in the day I would do something different to run lines off the back of the boat.  I would let my line out to the desired depth, and then attach the lightest snap weight that Church Tackle used to make.  At that point I would put my rod in one of the back rod holders, and hand strip enough line to the point that the weight was just dancing below the surface of the water.

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This is still a viable concept in use on my boat for running Jet and Dipsey Divers targeting the bottom 1/3 rd of the water column.  The divers take the bait back far enough away from the boat’s noise, and this is key, in deep water, where the boat spooks the fish the least.  I use these in 25 foot of water or more for the best results.  For both this application, and while running the -007’s, I prefer a softer downrigger rod.  This kind of rod will telegraph bites when the stern planer is 100-200 ft behind the boat, or when the snap weight is 25 to 30 ft back.  Another indicator when using the snap weight is that when a fish is on, the weight will be lifted out of the water by the pull of the walleye on the other end.

Now my buddy Shawn is from Minnesota, and like I mentioned, he now lives in North Dakota. He is fishing tournaments on many of the famed walleye inland lakes and river systems up there.  These next two Church Tackle products may be better suited for most of his fishing situations.  I say this because some of the areas are fairly shallow (20 foot or less), and many of the baits they run are quite a bit smaller than what we use on the Great Lakes.

First up, the venerable TX-12 Mini Planer, with the new flag kit specially created for this particular board.

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I should have taken a picture of the Walleye Board, the TX-22 with the TX-12 for scale, but this smaller board has become extremely popular for inland systems, as well as multi-species trolling, including crappie down south.  Do not let the size fool you though, with the 11 position flag system, if you need to bump up the size of your lures, weights and action of the lure, the Mini Planer new flag will handle it.

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And in the wonderful world of being able to edit just about anything, here are all three boards together to get a better sense of scale.

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The baby in the Stern Planer line-up is the TX-005.  Call it the right tool for the right application.  This smaller version doesn’t have the plug in the rear,  in retrospect this might be a good thing in shallow water fishing.  The loud BB’s might have spooked off potential light biting fish.  Again though, I would stress the need for a softer rod like a downrigger rod, or a softer tip like you might find on a longer medium, or medium light trolling rod for inland apps.

Now down to the basics of using a planer board.  Some of the videos on YouTube will tell you to wrap the line around the front clip, but I haven’t found it necessary.  If you adjust the tension screw correctly, even on the biggest walleye, the line will hold in place.  Just in case though, all the Church Tackle boards have a rear pin that will prevent the board from coming off.  You never have to worry about picking up your gear, and running back to pick up one of your boards that slipped a snap.

Each of the boards that are equipped with either the Double Action Flag System, or the TX-12’s own kit, enable you to adjust for weight, pull and even the wind driven wave conditions you are fishing in.  This means you can fish with either a hard diving lure like the Rapala TDD-11 Deep Taildancer or the smallest diving Shad Rap with ease.

 

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The spread is the key, cover as much water as you can.  Some anglers like to run even depths on one side of the boat, while running odds on the other.  I like to run one side of the water column, say the top section on one side, while targeting the bottom half on the other.  Call it my take on “saturation bombing”, attack them where the walleye are.  It seems to take less time to dial in a bite this way, again though, this is just my philosophy.

Initially give the boards some space between each other, I like to start at right around 25 to 30 foot apart. At this point you are in search mode, trying to locate a school of walleye.  If one board starts to get hot, possibly change out the lures, then adjust for the running depth, and let it out closer to the board getting all the hits.

Target the school, run your baits from the middle of the marks on the graph to the top of them.  This way you can present the bait to the fish on the bottom that might less likely to feed, and those higher up which are usually the most active feeders, have something to strike at too.  Quick note, depending on the time of the year, and by reading the surface temps, lets say spring as an example, bigger fish will be up and down the water column. Later as the summer rolls around, those big fish will start to hug bottom for the most part.  The only two things that throw this theory out the door are hatches that occur on the big water, one being the mayfly hatch in late May-early June, and the other is the shiner hatch that happens in July.  They will feed where the bait is, in regard to an inland bite up by Shawn, a crayfish hatch could possibly have the same effect.  Something to keep in mind when planning a pre-fish strategy.

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There are times when I don’t know what my fishing tackle would look like without Sharpie permanent markers.  From spinner blades, and cranks to planer boards these markers have a definite place in my mad lab of walleye gear.  Full disclosure, I did not come up with this idea, but it made sense in some applications, so I stole the idea of “blacking out” the bottom of my boards a few years ago.  The concept is that the any bright color might spook fish away from the board going through the water.  In truth, it probably only applies to shallow water applications when pulling baits a shorter distance behind the board.  But, since you never know when that will happen, you are just better off doing it to all your boards.  The ink will last a few years on the bottom of the board, then you just touch up as needed.

Available resources are out there, perhaps the most helpful (besides my blog) can be found on YouTube.  Just type in the type of product you are looking for, and you will find lots of videos to choose from, many produced by members of the Church staff.  Church Tackle also has a list of instructional  and product videos that give you tips on how to run the boards,  assemble them if needed, and the flag kits. It always helps me to see them run through the steps on a video before assembly.

Since I am not affiliated with any one retail store I am able to visit a number of  websites and look for the best possible prices for those looking to get into running boards for the first time.  Hands down, I found that place to be Franks Great Outdoors, located here in Linwood, Michigan.  Not everything is up on the website, but no worries, they carry a full lineup of products and they ship.  Just give them a call at 989-697-5341 and ask for information on their planer boards, the operator will send you to the right people/department for placing an order, just tell them what you are looking for.

Hope everyone, including Shawn, finds this helpful when choosing the right boards to not only get started, but by putting  more walleye in the livewell.

Copyright, 2016

 

 

 

Posted in Bays de Noc, Books and Videos, Fishing Websites/Stores, Lake Erie, Lake Michigan, Maumee River, Product Reviews, Saginaw Bay, Walleye Fishing | Leave a comment

The Vexilar Advantage for Big Lake Walleyes

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Was out on Brest Bay over the weekend, using my Vexilar in this three hole arrangement.  Had my two 10 inch holes drilled with my Jiffy Pro4 auger set up for jigging with two rods, while in the middle of the two, I drilled a smaller hole and put my Vexilar transducer down it.  With this setup I am able to read both jigs at the same time, and can tell which one the fish are most interested in.  By this rigging, I can tell right away which lures I should be using.

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Think of it as trolling with multiple crankbaits, you can quickly find out which ones the walleye like the best.  In a short amount of time, you can soon have all the boards running the  same baits, and you increase your catch rate.  The same concept applies when jigging through the ice.  Also, added bonus….no more fighting the fish while at the same time trying to get the ducer out of the hole to avoid line tangles in the cable, and a lost trophy.

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Now here is where a Vexilar will beat a LCD sonar unit every time, without fail.  Whether using a spoon, blade or swimbait,  in just about every instance you are tipping that lure with either a whole minnow or just the head section.  It adds “flavor” or scent to your presentation.  Often if you see you have been rejected by a walleye, its time to bring up your bait to make sure that minnow is still on the hook.  More often than not after being shot down, you find that the minnow has been lost through the jigging process. It happens, sometimes they come off, it’s the nature of the beast.

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This is the cool part to avoid fishing “baitless”, when you drop your presentation down the hole.  By using a Vexilar flasher versus a LCD unit, you can actually see your minnow on the lure.  It does not matter if you are using a spoon or swimbait, whole minnow or tipping with a minnow head!  You simply cannot see that with a LCD, the signal you get back is just a blob representing the lure and minnow/head. Why is this, because the signal from the Vexilar is real-time, you have heard it before, its one of the advantages of using a flasher from Vex.  On a LCD, the signal you get back does not separate the two and you don’t get the full picture.

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When it comes to choosing a unit that best suits you for the style of ice fishing you do, the aisle with the Vexilar’s is where you need to go. After 15 years of fishing with a Vexilar on every trip, you will understand after your first time out, why I never go ice fishing without one in the Clam shanty.  Hands down, without fail, these units will make you a better ice angler!

Copyright, 2016

Posted in Ice Fishing, Ice Products, Lake Erie, Product Reviews, Saginaw Bay, Walleye Fishing | Leave a comment