The excitement is just killing me, the spring walleye hunt is drawing near. As I rummage through the multitude of baits in my arsenal for toothy critters in spring, the one that stands out is the Smartfish by Kamooki ltd.
The reason for my excitement? The versatility factor. The ability to fan cast key areas, vertically jig the Smartfish, bottom bounce or simply deadstick them is revolutionary to me. These baits are nose weighted and neutrally buoyant in the tail which means that the Smartfish stands up in an enticing, self balancing position which mimic’s a feeding baitfish. This is a “trigger” that creates a feeding response in walleye (and any sportfish). It’s unique spiraling, circular action when vertically jigged mimic’s an injured or fleeing baitfish, which is another key “trigger”. The nose down position coupled with the tight, consistent wobble indicative of the best rattlebaits means that I have the ultimate control to retrieve it as steadily or erratically as I see fit.
Trolling you ask? Absolutely. I’ll control depth with length of line and rod position or possibly the use of a dipsy diver in some situations. Heck, some walleye anglers attach crankbaits to 3-way rigs to run the bait a few inches off bottom which I might try as well. Having the ability to present these baits in such a wide variety of ways and situations means that my ability to deduce the depth fish are holding, and if they are keying in on vertical or horizontal presentations, becomes much faster (thus making me much more efficient on the water).
In clear water I’ll favor natural patterns like “Yellow Perch”, “Walleye” or “Natural Shad” while in murky darker waters, more gaudy color choices such as “Green Tiger” will get the nod. I’ll start my search in tributaries and their backwaters, river and creek mouths and adjacent humps and main breaklines in search of post-spawn walleye. During daylight periods I’ll search in deeper weed edges along these breaklines and humps adjacent to the spawning grounds, while shallow flats and points during dusk periods could be the ticket. In open water I’ll lean on 6’6”-7’6” casting combos spooled with 10-12lb fluorocarbon and when I cast and jig in and around heavier vegetation I’ll go with a 6’6”-7’2” med-heavy spinning combo spooled with 20-30lb braid. In all situations I will always use a high quality snap swivel to combat line twist.
As I write this my heart races and I just can’t contain my excitement! I’ve gotta run to my tackle room and continue to re-tool! See you out there,