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It’s all in the Presentation! By Gary Howey

 

  A few weeks ago, we talked about locating fish by finding the structure they relate to. This article will deal with attracting and catching fish once you have located them.

  Presentation is the way you present or deliver your bait to the fish. It is the key to catching fish because without correct presentation, you’re simply anchoring your bait on or close to the bottom.

  The way you present your bait is important, no matter what bait you are using!  You need to make your bait smell, sound, taste and appear lifelike.

  The key to this is the line, if you are using too heavy of test or weight of line, it can make your bait appear very unnatural as it will run through the water in circles or appear erratic.

  Because heavier line has more memory or coiling effect than lighter line, when used with a lighter lure, it can run through the water appearing unnatural.  If the fish does grab your bait these coils or line memory will create problems not only feeling the bite, but also in setting the hook as you have to deal with all the slack in the line.

  Heavier line also has more resistance so it takes longer for it to reach the bottom. This is especially important when trolling crankbaits as heavier line will not allow your crankbait to dive as deep as the lighter line will.

  Another thing affecting your presentation when using crankbaits, is the way your bait runs through the water, so the first thing you should do before trolling a crankbait is to run it along the side of the boat, making sure that it is tuned or runs correctly.

  You want your crankbait to run straight not off to either side.  If it runs off to one side or the other you need to bend the eye, the wire that comes out of the bait in the opposite direction the bait is running.

  A slight bend is all that is needed to tune or make a crankbait run correctly making for a more lifelike presentation.

  Livebait rigs such as the Lindy or Roach rig allow anglers to use a subtle approach. This method gives anglers a very simple yet effective way to present minnows leeches, crawlers or plastics to finicky fish.

  As I mentioned earlier the key to fishing these rigs and all rigs is to present the bait in a lifelike manner.

  Live healthy bait hooked properly will appear more lifelike and catch more fish.

  Hook your leeches through the sucker, allowing them to coil and uncoil, string your crawlers out so it flows through the water and hook your minnows and soft baits through the front part of the lips or eyes, which keeps then straight and with live bait allowing them to last longer on the hook.

  When livebait fishing, yo will not have to worry about loosing your bait as you would when jig fishing because once the bite or tug on the line is felt, the angler releases line, allowing the fish to take the entire bait and hook into it’s mouth.

  You will not want to get caught in the trap where you think your worm, leech or minnow looks good enough, as in order to consistently catch fish with this rig and any other you need to redo your bait often.

  If your bait is not moving or squirming or if you feel a bite, get hung up on weeds, rocks or other debris, replace your bait as fresh bait will out produce old bait 100% of the time.

  When jig fishing, your presentation is not quite as critical as yo will create the lifelike motion by jigging your rod up and down.

  Again when using livebait on a jig, replace it often, keeping fresh bait in front of the fish as much as possible. This is not something you will need to worry about when using plastic baits. [Read more…]

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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…]