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Catch What Wants To Get Caught

By Bob Jensen - April 27, 2016
Another fishing season is here. Something you can do to catch more fish and enjoy your time on the water even more is to be flexible in your fishing goals. You'll catch more fish year 'round if you go after the species of fish that's most susceptible to getting caught when you're on the water. Here's what I mean.

When you start out your day of fishing, it's important to have a game-plan in place. If, for instance, walleyes are to be the quarry, you should have a rod rigged with a live-bait rig. Live bait is almost always a good summertime bet for walleyes. Check out some deeper water structure. Keep a close eye on your sonar for fish activity. When you find some walleyes, work your rig through them. Maybe you'll get bit, maybe not.

If you work your bait through several schools of fish with no action, try something else. Maybe something like a Baitfish Spinner Harness behind a bottom-bouncer pulled quickly through the fish will trigger them into eating. Maybe a crankbait worked through them will do the trick.

Maybe not though. If you're dead-set on catching walleyes you can keep trying other techniques. But if you just want to get bit, now would be a good time to switch species. Many of the best walleye lakes are also good for bass or bluegills or pike. If something pulling on the end of your line is the goal, tie a different bait on your line and head to a different area of the lake. A weedline would be a good place to head to. The weedline is home to all species of fish, and often the fish on the weedline will be aggressive biters.

If you've reached the point where you just want to get bit, tie on an eighth ounce Slurp! Jig and add an Impulse Ringworm. Anything that swims along a weedline will eat this combo, including panfish, bass, pike, even those walleyes we were looking for in deeper water.

If the bite is good, go to a larger worm. You probably won't get as many panfish pecks with the larger worm, but you'll also probably catch bigger fish.

If you like to jig for walleyes, this is a good way to practice doing so. Watch your line carefully as the jig falls along the weedline. Much of the time you'll just see your line "jump" a little. Reel down and set the hook: That "jump" was caused by a fish eating your jig-worm.

Eight pound test is about the right size line with the jig-worm. Try Sunline Assassin. It's nearly invisible to the fish, it's sensitive, and it handles easily.

For most of us, just getting bit is the reason we go fishing, and most of the time you will get bit along the weedline. And you never know what might bite your bait on the weedline. It just might be a few of those walleyes you were after in the first place.

Author Bob Jensen
Bob Jensen
Bob Jensen is the host of the Fishing the Midwest television series, a series of television fishing shows that highlight fishing locations and techniques throughout the Midwest. He also writes a syndicated fishing column and does fishing seminars throughout the Midwest. He is a former fishing guide and tournament angler. Visit Bob's web site at
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