I headed southwest early last week and met up with my tournament partner Jim to get in an early pre-fish on Lac Qui Parle Lake. Heading to the prairie to broaden horizons literally and figuratively, our goal was to break down this lake that we had never fished before and get an unfettered perspective before the other AIM Walleye Series anglers arrived.
A prairie reservoir with muddy water and current is hardly in my comfort zone, our main goal was to work hard and learn as much as we could.
We started at the well known spots that had produced big for tournament winners earlier in the season. We caught fish in these areas but ultimately decided that these areas were going to suffer from fishing pressure, and playing bumper boats is not our style.
It doesn't take long to get bites on LQP but they are not all walleyes. Me and Jim landed many sheephead along with sunfish, crappies, bullheads, pike, we never knew what was going to end up on the end of our line.
Finesse jigging the transitions between the rocks and the flat, soft bottom basins proved to be our best pattern in pre-fishing. Pitching and dragging our light jigs through the rocks in 8-10 feet of water and onto the soft bottom produced the bites we were looking for. These fish were literally sitting tight up against the last rock out in the rock piles and breaklines, most were in 9 feet of water. Dozens of casts to the same little areas were required to engage these quality fish.
The final day of pre-fishing was mostly spent running these transitions with sonar and side imaging looking for irregular features such as steep drops, inside turns, extensions in the rocky break-lines, and of course marking fish. Our final strategy left us willing to live or die in these 9' deep transition areas where abnormal features were located, and we stuck with our game plan.
Equal parts hard work and luck landed us second place in this competitive field, we couldn't have been happier...well of course another pound or two would have....we couldn't have been happier!
I would like to send out a special thanks to my partner Jim Kiley, Anglers Insight Marketing, and all of the support from my family for allowing me to fish this fun event.
Cheers and hook-sets!