This week’s topic is finding the fish in early season on The Bay Of Quinte
Many people have asked me lately if trolling in the spring is a better method than casting or Jigging? I think the best way is to utilize all 3 methods together. In order to find schools of walleye in the spring, you may need to cover a lot of water and this is when trolling can be a strong asset.
But first things first, remember to use the weather to your advantage. Before you leave your house make sure you know what the weather is going to be for the day and especially look at the wind direction. In order to give yourself the best chance for catching walleye, fish the windblown shoreline. For example; if there is a strong southerly wind, and has been over the past few days, you will want to find structures off the north shoreline. This is because the wind carry’s the baitfish and the feeding walleye won’t be far behind.
Any time you are not sure where the walleye are, it is a good idea to cover lots of area. Cover different depths in the water column, at different speeds, and of course different structures. If you are familiar with an area go to spots that have been productive for you in the past, examples would be defined edges, weedlines, and where there bottom changes (ex. where mud bottom turns to rock). The best way to do this with keeping a lure in the water, is by trolling. If you are unfamiliar with the area, a good place to start is a well known community fishing hole. You can easily find these spots by talking with the local tackle shops, locals at the public launches, and join a fishing forum. People will generally send you to these ‘popular spots’ if you ask.
When you begin trolling be prepared to use several presentations, using different combinations of baits, depth, and speed before you find the fish. If you are fishing an area which only allows you 1 rod per angler, get comfortable switching this presentation every 20ish minutes until you have a hit. In the spring, I try to keep my baits relatively small, so try a bottom bouncer with a single hook spinner bait tipped with a minnow, and a body bait suspended in the water column. Vary your speeds between .8 and 2 Miles per hour over the same spots before changing your baits. Also, if you are in an area that has been known to be productive and you are not marking any fish it may mean they are high in the water column and your electronics will not detect them, try something high in the water, 5 feet below the surface, and send this presentation out to the sides of your boat with planer boards as the boat motor may be spooking the fish at that depth.
Once you have found a couple biting fish it might be a good idea to throw out a marker, mark the spot on a GPS and start casting body baits such the CC shad, or Shad Rap around the area thoroughly . If you do not get a bite then try a jig and you will be surprised what you may find there.
Good luck this spring during the walleye opener.
I hope this Tip was helpful and come back to this site next week for you next Bay Of Quinte Tip Of The Week