NY to MI Transition Fish: Slip Bobbering Walleyes

After spending 10 weeks doing ministry and fishing in Upstate New York, we came back to Michigan and snuck up to Lake Leelanau for a little over a day.  I had two guide trips on Monday and the fishing was white hot.  Here's the breakdown of our time on the water:

1.  Water temps were close to 77 degrees.  When I fish late summer pattern fish, the first thing I reach for is my slip bobber rods rigged with a 1/32 OFL (www.oldfartlures.com) jighead and a leech (Lyman's at Houghton Lake has the best leeches!!! www.lymansonthelake.com).  My second client got to experience why these jigheads are so good:  the hook is a 2/0 ultra sharp mustad thin (ish) wire hook.  Every 'eye he caught had that hook buried in the roof of the fish's mouth.  He commented on the quality of the hook with every fish we landed (and he ended up buying 40!)

2.  Target weed edges.  We fished edges and found a lot of fish on the inside turns and weed points.  We moved a lot - fishing the slip bobbers way more aggressive than most people.  Flip the rig out, let it sit for 30 seconds.  If nothing, lift it and drag it a couple of feet, let that jig and leech slowly fall.  Repeat.  If nothing, reel back in and make another flip.  If the fish are there, they bite.

3.  Importance of the jighead.  A lot of guys like to fish leeches with just a hook.  And I'm not saying that doesn't work.  But when the fish are a little sluggish, I don't want that leech swimming and wrapping itself around weeds.  I want it moving, but relatively pinned to one spot.

4.  Electronics are huge.  You have to be able to work the end of the weeds.  Years ago I plotted the edge with all the points and turns noted and it has been a huge benefit to finding and catching fish.  My Garmin GPSMap 7610 xvs's (www.garmin.com) are unbelievable helps to me with finding structure and ultimately catching fish.

5.  Spot lock and Talons (www.minnkotamotors.com) are a fisherman's best friend!  We use these tools a ton when walleye fishing.  Holding a spot is huge - especially after catching a fish.  Most of the time these fish work in pods, so when you catch one there's usually another couple close by.  So when we hook a fish we spot lock and talon down and quite often we're rewarded for it.

We ended up with quite a few fish - let some of the bigger ones go.  It'd be great if all you had to do was anchor and throw out a bunch of bobbers and start cranking in fish.  But more often than not, I'm hunting fish with a slip bobber.

Joe TestaComment