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Late Winter-Early Spring Walleye Tactics By Gary Howey

  It may have not arrived as quick as we had hoped it would, but there is no doubt that winter is winding down.

  This year, we had one of those winters like the ones I used to see where I grew up back home, in Watertown, South Dakota when the snowdrifts were up to my waist. 

  When the cold winter weather did finally arrived, and the ice finally became thick enough to walk on, the winter fishing was good on some bodies of water, but now the ice is departing quickly in our area.

  With warm weather that we have know, many anglers are beginning to get on the water below the Missouri River dams and chasing walleyes where the ice has receded in open water of the river.

  The fishing has not been what you call fast and furious, but for those anglers who have patience, have taken some good fish.

  This time of year, when water temperatures are cold, you have to understand the way a fish operates in cold water and change your fishing methods accordingly.

  When water temperatures start to cool, the metabolism of the fish slows down; they will not move much, so they do not need to eat as much. 

  Everything in their world has slowed down to a crawl, winter, and early spring walleye anglers will have to do the same with their fishing presentations.

  Slow is good when it comes to cold-water angling!  At times, just letting your bait drag along the bottom will take cold weather walleyes.

  Since the walleye and sauger move less, they use less energy and eat less and this is one of the reasons that you will want to downsize your baits this time of year.

  You will want to go with lighter line, from four to six and at times even two-pound test depending on the area that you are fishing and the bite. 

  When using lighter line, make sure your  drag is set properly, you want it set tight enough so your drag doesn’t release when you set the hook, yet tight enough that you do not break the light line when hook setting.

  No matter when you are fishing, you want to let the rod, “its action” put the most pressure on the fish and with your drag correctly set; your rod can do the fighting for you. [Read more…]