Versatile Anglers Catch More FishBy Bob Jensen - April 1, 2013
I'm going to use plastic baits for all species of fish more this year. I've been using plastics for bass for as long as I've been chasing bass, and that's been quite awhile. In the past several years we've been experimenting with different rigging techniques. For instance, Wacky Rigging plastic worms has become very popular because it's very effective. Tradition always had it that you threaded a plastic worm on your worm hook: When Wacky Rigging you insert the hook through the middle of the worm. At first Wacky Rigging just didn't look right, but it sure caught fish. If you want to catch more fish, you need to do things differently sometimes.
I've been using plastics for walleyes quite a bit in the past ten years, and at times, plastics are more productive, for several reasons. First off, plastics come in a lot of shapes, sizes, colors, and actions. All of these features appeal to walleyes.
Second, plastic baits stay on the hook better than live bait, so you can fish them more aggressively. You can snap a jig rigged with plastic harder, and you can fish them through weeds better. Since there are lots of times when walleyes like a jig that is snapped hard, and there are times(more times than you might think)when the walleyes are in the weeds, a jig/plastic combination is the way to go.
We're also fishing plastics on spinner rigs for walleyes a lot more. Nightcrawlers on spinners has been the way to go for walleyes for years, but plastic crawlers are becoming a very good alternative to the live ones. One of the problems with live crawlers on spinner rigs in some waters is that small fish are constantly nipping at the crawler, and that ruins the crawler. The small fish nip at the plastic crawler also, but the plastic crawler is much more durable, so it's fishing more effectively for you. I started using Impulse plastic baits last year and have been very happy with them. They come in a lot of good shapes and colors and sizes and don't require any special care.
I'm also going to practice planer board techniques more this year. I recognized a long time ago how effective boards are for walleyes and have since become an adequate planer board angler. But after fishing with true board experts like Bruce DeShano and Dean Arnoldussen, I learned there is still a lot more to learn. This year I plan on learning more about reading the Tattle Flags on Off Shore boards and all the other little details about board fishing. The little details will pay big dividends.
There are other techniques that I want to learn more about this fishing season. The priority now is get rid of the snow and ice and get on the water. I wish I knew of a technique that I could employ to make that happen.