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Walleye fishermen


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Hey Caz,

When i run tots i run either the 3/8 oz. rattle tots(no longer available:(:no:) or the 1/4 oz version. There are allot of newer tot imitators like Dave Kabooms Winning Streak etc out there that have the rattles, but i have yet to try them. I have lots of the original tot stock and just havent found the need to invest in them.

Now, length back is hard to determine because that will likely vary from day to day. As a rule of thumb productive lengths back are usually in the 80-120' range in my experiences. That said, ive pounded fish high in the water column running leads as short as 15-18' off the boards.

Your best bet would be to set up one side short and one side long and see what the most productive leads would be. Set one side say 40-70 back and the other 80-110' back. Shorten and lengthen as needed.

Another option would be to run different sizes on each side of the boat to let you know what the fish prefer in that aspect. Again, mix up the leads until you find whats most productive.

Besides tots, you may want to consider inlines, bb, or snap weights with crawler harnesses. There are variations that involve spoons with harnesses as well. You could use a smaller spoon as an attrator ahead of it or actually run a hook end off a harness in place of the treble hook.

And last but not least, dont overlook jet divers, mini disks, or dipseys for that matter. You can run spoons, harnesses and stick baits behind them if need be.

In general i like speeds in the 2.0-2.5 SOG for tots, just make sure theyre tuned properly and you give them ample spacing whether you run them on inline boards or traditional style boards as tots have lots of lateral movement in the water. If theyre not tuned correctly theyll run to one side or the other and will likely flip over evenutally and be skiing atop the water. If you see seagulls back there circling your spread, its likely you have a tot skiing back there.

In regards to color, i have many many favorites, but Blue/Chrome w black herring bone with a red gill slit and bill or "Charter Choice" as its called here on Saginaw Bay, is tough to beat day in day out. Other solid choices seem to be combos involving Chrome w/ black, green, purple and red. Gold w/black or orange back are also consistant producers. Perch patterns with gold schemes seem to peak walleyes interests. I also like to carry a variety solid metalic colors for dark days. I cant count the walleye ive caught on dark cloudy days on a solid purple metallic tot with a black back or "purple tuxedo". Finally, no walleye arsenal would be complete without Perch or Firetiger patterns. Other non metallic or "painted" colors as we've dubbed them produce well at times. Theyre more or less neutral tones. Baits with white or grayish bellies, they may have a dark green, purple, or blue scale side and lower back accented with a black strip along the very top of the back. Copper is a color that for whatever reason has had a slow following here on Saginaw Bay but has increased popularity in recent years. It seems to be a go to down on Erie.

I hope this helps, and best of luck with the toothy criters.:grin:

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A.B. has hit the nail on the head. I don't have much to add, my only contribution would be, that if you think something may work, try it. But A.B. has put together a recipe for a real :butcher:.

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Adam has the program for summer when water temps are above 45 degrees, but for colder water of fall and spring the stickbaits will usually prevail. I like the Rapala HJ12 or 14 best, but floaters and other shallow stickbaits like the Smithwick Rogue work well too. Trolling between 1-2 mph unweighted at night off inline planer boards, or rod in hand if using the electric motor for fishing the spot on a spot.;) Don't be afraid to troll the beaches and trofts looking for walleye too. Once the fish are located casting for them can be very effective and will not spook the fish away with the noise of boats and motors.

For daytime the fish tend to suspend 10-15 down and the deep minnows work well. Adjust your leads to depth and troll in between the pods of bait marking the pods with larger marks around them, this is where the walleyes will be. Let me know if you want to try it sometime Caz, should be on in a couple more weeks!

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Excellent points Treblemaker. Cool water periods definitely merrit a more subtle action bait. Rapala-like baits fit that bill perfectly. Deep and shallow versions are excellent choices. Gotta love that night bite!:cool:

Only thing ill add is that you can go a little larger on the baits if you wish. Walleyes will readily hit a big minnow bait. Like Treblemaker I use allot of the HJ14's, but i fish the Original Floaters in the 18's just as much.

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Ok,

Say I want to run a crawler harnes behind a board. How far back whould I have to run that before I hooked it up to my board. Also how much weigh should I put on.

Thanks,

Rich

Also thanks Crab Grass for the invite. I may have to take that sometime.

Rich

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I run harnesses behind inline boards and if I'm targeting the 30 foot range at about 1.5 MPH or less I would be back about 50 55 with 2 oz bouncers. Best bet is to let it back slowly and when you first feel it tick bottom bring it up slightly if you are targeting the bottom. If you want to be up 10 ft off the bottom you may have to reel in about 15 ft of line to take into account the angle of the line. I don't usually think of how far down the walleye are, I put my hat on backwards and think how far up from the bottom they are. I seldom run inline weights or snap weights with harnesses. Most of the time you will find the eyes suspended just off bottom, but at times they will be anyplace in the water column. :) This method has the lines not far out and about at a 45 degree angle. Most of the times this works well, but at times a lighter weights and farther back offers a different presentation. Everyone finds a method that works well for them. With walleye speed is very critical. Sometimes pulling harnesses we will be around 0.8 MPH. I tie my own harnesses and make them 4 or 5 ft long. I'm going to be trying some 1 and 2 oz Dive Bombs this year. The Stinger reps told me to expect about one and a half times more depth per oz using the DBs. I wish they would come up with a dive curve. Like always, "Find out what they want and give em lots of it".:)

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Hey, Rich, why dont you come out and spend a weekend and do the central basin sometime in the summer, all you need to do is show up, you will get to see lotsa walleyes and perch beyond comprehension

Yeah Rich, take a drive over and see us. I know between the two of us we can get you into some fine walleye fishing.

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Ok,

Say I want to run a crawler harnes behind a board. How far back whould I have to run that before I hooked it up to my board. Also how much weigh should I put on.

Thanks,

Rich

Also thanks Crab Grass for the invite. I may have to take that sometime.

Rich

I use a 1 oz keel/chain wt. 8' in front of harness. Its not an exact science but I use a 2-1 ratio, 2' of line = 1' of depth at 1 mph

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Where do you guys live?

Caz.

Very good and the best question you've asked yet. I was going to chime in earlier about your whole post question, being I know where you live and actually how beneficial any of these answers would be to somebody living on the Lake Michigan side of Michigan. And boils down to the same reason I'd head West if I wanted a good/productive day of salmon fishing. Not that all the answers provided are not helpful of correct in their intention and meaning, but apply very little to guys stuck fishing the very few areas that productive walleye fishing affords on that side of the state. The best walleye fishing I've ever heard about on that side is Hamiln Lake or Muskegon Lake and the many flooded impoundments above the dams. And only during those certian times of year that either becomes extra productive and worth fishing at all. And Hot-N-Tot's are the last crank that comes to mind if I'm fishing any of those areas during those narrow windows. Well, maybe trolling Hamlin in the summer. Your best bet if your going to spend the money to rig and fish for walleyes, is make the trip across the state over here to Saginaw Bay. The knowledge gained and the secrets learned would be put to very better use over here where walleyes are many and the standard. Just my 2 cent.

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When i run harnesses, i generally run inline weights or bottom bouncers. I fish Saginaw Bay, so for the most part the deepest water im going to encounter is 30-32', unless i get up towards Augres where you can hit water 35-45'. For water depths of 30' or less i use 1 oz inline wieghts. Ive fished them allot and konw where they are in the water colomn, so i dont mess with other weights a whole lots. Its a confidence thing and works for me.

And just as with any lure you use, distance back will vary depending on where the fish are in the water column. A good rule of thumb is 2' back, 1' down with 1 oz at 1.0 S.O.G. up to about 60' back. Anything beyond that and line drag starts to take over lifting the bait.

When i run BB im generally targeting fish that are tight to the bottom. To do this i like to lay my rods out flat like i do with dipseys. I let out enough line so that the BB makes contact with bottom every so often. I dont want it to drag, but a "tick" every now and then.

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