Sometimes you just have to try something when it seems like everyone is using a trick to catch walleyes, giving willow blades a shot isn’t any different. Now its not entirely new to the scene, in fact willows have become popular over the past 6 years with the tournament anglers I know, but really have just hit their stride the last two years for anglers hitting the big waters on the weekend.
I am a do it yourself nut, and if I can take something and make it better than it was originally, and save a few bucks in the process, I am all over it. I prefer the term frugal, but if you want to call me cheap, go for it.
In the picture below I took some standard #4.5 silver willow blades. The key is not to skimp on the metal, get your silvers, golds and coppers (when you can find them). Skip the nickels and brass blades, the shine just isn’t there. Now comes the fun part, creating your own designs with WTP’s Decorator Tape. You can buy right online.
You get three sheets per package online for only $2.29. Its plenty of tape get several blades finished in whatever patterns you want to try. If something is working like on a crankbait, spoon or diver, and I can create the same scheme on a blade I will do it.
I took several colors available in Witch Tape’s “crushed” ice series and got to work last night on these designs. In the top left of the pic, I made a “crushed ice” pink lemonade. I used pink, flo. yellow and transparent stips and cut them to fit my willow blade.
Just using a pair of standard scissors laying around the house, I laid them out on the blade, and trimmed around the edges as I went. First the pink, the flo. yellow and finally the transparent which allows the silver to shine through on the belly of the blade.
For the bottom left corner I took a green crushed tape and that same transparent tape and copied one of my favorite colors for walleye while ice fishing. Actually have tried several spoons in open water while trolling with good success as well. So why not create a similar pattern for my willow blades? What works, simply just works.
Over in the top right corner, I have to have my yellow and orange combination. Its a standard, when all else fails, these blades flat out produce fish. Call it the red and white Daredeville of my walleye lures, old reliable.
On the bottom left corner of the pic are my cushed glow blades I have made up. I love glow lures for walleye fishing. Early…EARLY… in the morning or later in the evening hours, these blades produce. They will catch fish during the day, but really shine early before the sun comes up fully, or as she is setting down in the west.
Do not limit yourself to just the walleye world if you want to dress up some of your blades. Look at your bass, pike and muskie spinnerbaits. Enhance their colors to match up with their skirts or hair bodies. Match the hatch!