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Written by Wes Lavergne - Let's Talk Fishing   
Friday, 01 March 1996
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Slip-Bobbers And Jigs For Scoring On Walleye
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I knew of a shoal that had held large numbers of walleye the week before, and I was sure I would be able jig up a few in the first hour or so. Sonar helped me to pinpoint the shoal where, a week earlier, I had taken walleye in 20 - 25 feet of water off the top edges before it dropped off into 70 - 80 foot depths. After an hour of jigging the top of the shoal and around the edges before the drop-off, I had two small fish to show for my efforts.

Betting that the cold front had forced the walleye to drop down off the side of the shoal, I began to work my jig deeper and deeper as I circled the shoal. No fish. Puzzling. Concentrating on the sonar, I noticed that each time I hit the west side of the shoal, the unit was giving me a depth reading of about 70 feet plus and what I thought was echo or electronic clutter at the 25 foot level. After three or four passes, it occurred to me that the disturbance might be a school of fish, suspended 40 feet off the shoal and about 45 to 50 feet up off the bottom.

If they really were suspended walleye, I was in trouble because suspended fish are generally in a neutral feeding mode at best, and more often, just plain turned off. Problem number two was that these fish had backed off the shoal without dropping down from where they had been before the cold front arrived.

Without bottom or structure as a guide for my jig, jigging for these fish was next to impossible. I ruled out crankbaits because the fish were about 25 feet down, at about the limit for crankbaits. Besides, neutral or negative fish were not likely to be conned into chasing a presentation. Although downrigging would have allowed me to keep a bait down at the precise depth of these fish, I doubted that I would be able to slow the presentation down enough to trigger hits.

What I needed was a bait delivery system that would consistently put me at the right depth and slow enough to keep it in the strike zone for a long time, in the hopes of teasing them into action. I also wanted to be able to make long casts to allow long drifts through the suspended school.



 
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