All posts by Old Salty Dog

I am a long time Mariner with over 20 years experience of being on the water. I am a multi species angler, outdoors enthusiast who loves to share my stories and adventures with others.

Bay Of Quinte Guide to your walleye fishing tip of the week

Image

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

Spring Walleye fishing Tip Of The Week for The Bay Of Quinte

coldwater reel

This Weeks Tip Of The Week Is line counter reels.

I personally think that you must have a line counter reel when trolling for Walleye in general. This is not just a spring tip for The Bay Of Quinte, but a must have year round for all your trolling applications. when setting up your trolling set up it is crucial to know exactly how much line you have out, how far back you have put any diving apparatuses, and how far out your planner boards are. once you have figured out what the fish are biting on it is absolutely essential that you are able to repeat exactly what just caught that fish.

The only way you are going to be able to achieve this is by using a line counter reel. Once you find the right combination to catch the fish repeat it on all the rods in the boat and you will catch more fish.

Many of the lures you use have a max depth that they run at with a certain amount of line out. Much of the time they will come with charts telling you exactly how much line you need out and at what speed to achieve a specific depth for a specific lure.  So now, paired with your sonar, this can be a very effective combination to get those fish into the boat. All you have to do is look at your sonar find out the depth in the water column the fish are at, then look at the lure chart and find out how much line out you need to get that lure down to the right depth, then by taking any guess-work out of the equation use a line counter reel and you will be right on the money.

(However that said remember that Walleye almost always feed above where they are. I would far rather put my baits 5 feet above the fish than 2 feet below them)

When choosing a good line counter reel make sure that what you choose has a few of the fundamentals. Make sure it has a good loud clicker, this allows you to know there is a fish on the line.  You will want to make sure you have a strong gear and drag system, and know the species of fish you will be fishing for.  Reels come in many different sizes, this is important to know because you want to choose a reel that will hold enough line that you will be using for that species of fish, for example for Walleye I would go with a size 20 reel, while for Salmon I might go with a size 30 or even a 45.

I have used many line counters in the past from many manufacturers, and personally, for the price, durability, performance, and style I like the Cold Water series from Okuma

I hope this Tip was helpful and come back to this site next week for you next Bay Of Quinte Tip Of The Week

Spring Walleye fishing Tip Of The Week for The Bay Of Quinte

Image

This weeks tip is Bottom bouncers.

       I find using bottom bouncers paired with a worm harness extremely useful here in the Bay Of Quinte, especially in the spring when you are trying to get those small baits down deep when you are marking walleye on bottom. Bottom Bouncers are an easy solution. They come in many different sizes and it can be intimidating trying to understand which one to choose, well I’ll simplify it for you.

      1st, know the water you will be fishing in, take a look at some charts of the body of water you will be fishing before you leave your house, take a good look at the depth of the area on the maps. once you figure out the area you’ll be fishing in then all you need to know is, when choosing a bottom bouncer you need approx. 1 ounce weight per 10 feet of water

      when deploying the bottom bouncer you want to be travelling at your desired speed and quickly feed your line with tension behind the boat until you can feel the bottom through your rod. once that happens allow your boat to move ahead a bit until the bouncer comes off bottom then slowly let back a bit more line until you can feel bottom again then set the bail this should give you the desired 45 degree angle that these devices are meant to be used.

      Your worm harness will typically be anywhere from 1 to 2 feet behind the bottom bouncer in the spring. I personally like to use a Colorado or larger blade on my worm harnesses in the spring time because it slows the presentation down a bit. Either a live worm or a plastic worm will work well when paired with a worm harness.

I hope this Tip was helpful and come back to this site next week for you next Bay Of Quinte Tip Of The Week.

Spring Walleye fishing Tip Of The Week for The Bay Of Quinte

Image

Over the next few weeks leading to the Walleye opener on The Bay Of Quinte I will be writing helpful hints and posting them to my blog this week my blog is about Planer Boards.

If you fish for walleye in The Bay Of Quinte one of the most useful tools to get the job done is the Off-Shore tackle Planer Boards, these light weight boards are designed to take your lure away from the boat allowing you to get more lines in the water without getting tangled, also by taking the lines away from the boat your lures will run over the fish without your motor spooking the fish. These Boards come as either right or left running which means they are meant to run on either the right or left side of the boat. One major advantage to running these boards is that it allows you to put your lure in very shallow areas while keeping your boat in deeper water or (safer) areas. 

Many times when you run over fish they spook and move off to the sides of the boat which means as you run over them with the boat the fish actually swim away from your presentation, by using the boards you use them to your advantage in this case because as the fish swim to the sides they are now swimming directly into the path of your lures.

A great option that these board have available is you can buy a additional flag called a tattle flag what this does is when properly set up even if you have a small fish (bait fish, pearch, silver bass, or even weeds) on the line or if the fish is on a light bite, the lightest tug and the flag will go up and down repeatedly letting you know something is on the line otherwise it might be difficult to tell.  I would suggest this tattle flag especially in the spring time.

I hope this Tip was helpful and come back to this site next week for you next Bay Of Quinte Tip Of The Week.

Targeting Mid-winter walleye Sea’s The Day Fishing charters on The Bay Of Quinte

Image     Targeting those winter walleyes that are not necessarily in feeding mode, you have to find them where they spend the majority of their time in the depths. That’s not to say that they’re not out roaming the open basin of the Bay, but they will be close to it.  You will want to target staging areas where the deep basin runs close to the shallower areas where the walleyes are moving up to feed, Especially where the fish are holding in preparation for moving toward spawning areas as spring approaches. This may be a deep flat just out from the mouth of a spawning river, or even a basin area adjacent to rocky/sandy shoreline spawning areas. It could be a thirty foot flat that runs along a wall, or it might be the forty foot drop off the end of a main point.

I suggest several pieces of equipment that I think are crucial to finding these winter walleye.

1st a decent ice flasher. A flasher will help you quickly, after drilling a hole in the ice, figure out weather or not that area is holding fish . 2nd it will allow you when using different presentations, figure out what is making the fish strike that day. (when choosing a flasher take into consideration that a mapping system (GPS) is the second piece of equipment I will be suggesting) there are decent flashers on the market today with GPS capabilities that won’t break the bank.

2nd a GPS. Walleye will be found in a specific area on the bay and may hold that position for several day’s/weeks before moving to a new location.  A GPS will put you right back on fish you find, and takes any guess work out of it. If you have a smart phone you can download the Navionics apps for this tool and do not need to purchase an expensive separate unit.

check out  https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/marine-lakes-us-canada/id382815123?…  for details

3rd a decent tool to get you through the ice. (when choosing this item remember although a gas powered auger is amazing it is not always practical, or financially practical. when you do not have a vehicle such as a ATV, or snow machine a gas powered auger can be heavy to haul around the ice.)

As for the rest of the gear needed that’s a whole different Blog.  

Scouting, Scouting can be done any time of the year in the open water season, however the best times to do this is in the post spawn and late fall seasons as these are the areas that tend to hold good walleye in the midwinter months as well. Mark these areas on your handheld GPS units.

Once you’ve located a general area to scout out, it’s a matter of drilling several holes and using the flasher to scan the bottom for signs of life. Walleye’s tend to be rather slow this time of year, I often will go ahead and work the spot for forty five minutes to an hour before even thinking of moving to a new location. Earlier in the season I may only stay on a spot for 15 to 20 minutes.

In order to bring walleye in for a look I usually use a second line in a separate hole approx 2.5 feet apart from my primary jigging hole. In this hole I put on a Clackin Rap and jig it vigorously for a few seconds every few minutes. If any curious walleyes are in the area you will pick them up on the sonar. Sometimes they even smash the Clackin Rap instead of my primary jig.

Remember the more time you put in to catching these winter walleye the more success you’ll have good luck and Tight Lines