Sunday, April 19, 2015

What’s In Your Leech L. Walleye Opener Tackle box?

With Walleye opener coming up fast, most of us already have a short list of tackle and presentations to start out the season. While compartments full of tackle boxes and bags are the norm on my boat, I usually keep a small arsenal of go-to tackle close at hand for mid to late May Walleyes.

Jigs – Light 1/8 oz jigs in green, gold, white, chartreuse and blue combos are the standard for working main lake points and flats in the 5’-12’ range.  Sometimes, popping the jig is required to trigger strikes, at other times just dragging that jig will be the ticket. When fish are spooky, a 1/16 oz jig on a longer line can make a real difference. For deeper fish on windy days, I will sometimes tie on ¼ oz jigs to stay in the strike zone and help keep lines tight. Fatheads, Rainbows, Shiner Minnows and Leeches can all be good options for tipping these jigs.

Rigs – Jigs are the standard but at times, rigs rule. I keep things simple with 1/8 – 1/4 oz egg sinkers, a swivel and a #2 octopus hook for minnows and a #4 or #6 for leeches. A four foot, 8# fluorocarbon leader is a good start. As the water warms into the 60’s, floaters, longer snells, beads, and spinners will come into play but early on, I start simple.

Artificial Lures – Live bait is often key when Leech Lake water temps are in the 40’s and 50’s but playing around with “arties” can really pay off big time, especially for bigger fish. Jig and plastics are my #1 choice early on. Experimenting with action, profile, and color is the ticket for plastics. Once you find the combo they want, keep the net handy as it can indeed out-produce live offerings. Pitched or trolled stick baits, crankbaits or Jigging Raps can also provide “net results” for anglers willing to experiment.

So what might your go-to presentation be for May Leech Lake Walleyes?  Slip bobber? Blown up crawler?  Maybe you prefer to keep it under your hatJ Whichever presentation you choose (or the fish choose), have a safe and productive opener everyone! I’ll see you out there. 

                                                           Cheers and hook-sets!

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