It’s been just over a month since we’ve seen Ice in this part of the country and I can honestly say I’m very glad to see it go. With the longer day light hours and wind we have had the water is warming up quick which has kicked the Walleye spawn into high gear. For most water’s the spawn is happening now or has already wrapped up across Nebraska, Kansas and South Dakota. Many will say that early spring is a tough time to catch a Walleye due to spawning habits and unpredictable and in-consistent weather. I would agree with the weather portion of that statement however there is always a Walleye out there to be caught it’s just that sometimes they’re a bit more challenging to pattern.
Over the past few weeks we have been able to compete in two Tournaments to kick off the season. The first one being a MWC (Master’s Walleye Circuit) at Lake Sharpe, SD. First time fishing this portion of the
Missouri river system and I must say it was a great place. Even though we
couldn’t get a big fish to bite during the tournament it was a great experience
and we will definitely be back next year. The difference in this portion of the
Missouri river system from what we are used to was the water clarity. We ran
across spots that had down to 15’ of clear water so clear you would spot the
occasional Walleye swimming away. We caught fish in the clear and the murky (warmer) water just about every spot we tried. But what we didn’t do was make adjustments soon enough on day two when the water cleared up on what we thought was our best spot to fish. We had the right techniques of pitching
jigs and trolling cranks just needed to make adjustments sooner as well as
locate a few more spots during practice, you know the “Just in case” spots. But when you catch a 30” Walleye pre-fishing it’s hard to leave that area in hopes of another lunker lurking around.
Just a short week later we were at Sherman Reservoir in NE (NWT, Nebraska Walleye Trail). The Walleye here were still spawning on the Dam and it was a tough bite. So tough only 8 fish were caught total and the 2ndday of
the tournament was cancel due to high winds which later turned into a bit of a
snow storm. The Walleye were found in Deep water (52fow) to as shallow as 1’ on the Dam. All three of our teams were able to fish this tournament enabling us to cover and eliminate lots of water pre-fishing. However with only one Walleye caught (an over/ 24”) pre-fishing we still struggled to find any kind of
pattern. We had a solid three days of good weather including the first day of
the tournament so I predict that as the spawn wrapped up the Walleye were in
transition to shallow water to feed but just haven’t arrived there yet. Team member Mike Woerth & James Paul were able to scrape up one Walleye on Day 1 good enough for big fish (2.88lbs) and 2nd place.
There is one constent in both of these tournaments.
Without using our Humminbird Side Imaging we wouldn’t have located the fiswe
caught. The side imaging was crucial at Lake Sharpe due to the clear water as
most the fish spooked as you drove over them. And Mike was able to spot a pod of feeding Walleyes fairly shallow with his side imaging to hook the up with the
Big fish at Sherman. Electronics now day’s give the anglers an upper hand but only if you know how to use them. There is definitely a
learning curve to get pass but once you understand what you’re looking at you
will be amazed of what you’ve been missing. Take a little time and read/watch
YouTube videos about how to use these new innovations. A little additional
preparation before hitting the water will just increase you odds that much
more. But don’t forget the best fish locator is the one located between your ears. So while the water warms and the spawn wraps up don’t over look those shallow (very shallow) warming water coves as a prime place to find some hungry Walleye.
Next tournament is at Lewis & Clark Lake near Yankton SD, May 3rd-4th. This is
always a good tournament and we expect plenty of nice Walleye to be caught then off to the NTC at Green Bay May 23rd-25th. The month of May which
we consider one of the best months of the year to be fishing is just around the
corner and we are almost completely booked with guided trips between
tournaments. So if you’re thinking of getting out there yet in May you better
book your next experience with The Walleye Guys while there are still a couple
dates available. We look forward to helping you “Get Hooked”