Fishing Questions

April 20, 2015 by  

By Bob Jensen


I was at the Walleye Classic at the Cabela’s stores in Owatonna and Rogers Minnesota recently.  I presented a walleye seminar at each store and spent a good amount of time talking with anglers about walleye fishing and fishing in general.  I always enjoy participating in these events.  I try to pass along some information that might be helpful, and I also always learn something.  At almost all of these events, the same questions regarding fishing frequently come up.  Following are some of the questions that are on the minds of many of the anglers that attend events such as Cabela’s Walleye Classic.

The question that I probably hear the most is “How do you know where to start fishing”?  That’s an outstanding question, and in my mind the most important factor in fishing success.  We can have the best rods and reels and baits, and we can be fishing from an expensive boat teamed with the fastest, most reliable motor out there, but if we aren’t fishing where the fish are, we’re not going to catch’em.  It truly is that simple: Before you catch fish, you’ve got to find them.

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Fishing seminars, School of Fish, and in-store events are great places to learn more about fishing. Mike Frisch is working one-on-one with a young angler at this Cabela’s/School of Fish activity.

My response to this question is the same every time.  Early in the year, when the fish are either getting ready to spawn, are spawning, or have just finished spawning, they’ll usually be close to shore.  Not always, but almost always.

The rest of the year, after they’ve recovered from the spawning ritual, they will be wherever the food is.  If they’re eating perch, they’ll be near perch.  If they’re eating crawdads, they’ll be where the crawdads are.  Find their food and you’ll find the fish.

The second most asked question relates to color:  Do I have a favorite color, and does color really matter?  My response is that I believe that color is an important consideration much of the time, but it’s only one consideration.  Lure shape, size, and speed are also equally important things to think about when selecting a bait.

I like smaller baits in the spring, larger baits in the summer and fall.

Longer, thinner baits seem to work better for walleyes, shorter, fatter baits seem to appeal to bass better.  I’ve caught many, many walleyes on short, fat baits, and lots of bass on long, thin baits.  But if I was limited to one crankbait shape for walleyes it would be long and thin, and if I was limited to one crankbait shape for bass it would be short and fat.

In the spring, a slower presentation is usually better, in the summer you can go faster, and in the fall you can go faster than you would in the spring but usually not as fast as you would go in the summer.

After we go through all of that, we would get back to the color question.  I like subtle colors in clear water and bright, gaudy colors in stained or dirty water.  But, if I was after walleyes and limited to one color, I would select something like firetiger for clear or dirty water, and probably a chartreuse/blue for bass in clear or dirty water.  Something with chartreuse in it is usually a good place to start.

I get lots of other really good questions at these events.  Some I can answer with a pretty high level of confidence, some I can’t, and when I can’t, I just say, “I don’t know for sure, what’s been your experience”?  That’s when I learn, and that’s what I really enjoy about being involved in events such as the Walleye Classic.

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