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BobT

Suckers & Walleye

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BobT

I prefer a jig and minnow or jig and leech presentation for walleyes. My goto minnows for walleyes have been fatheads, shiners, or rainbows depending on where I'm at. Rainbows are almost unheard of around here in central MN. I have never really found one type of minnow that outshines the others. Recently, I decided to pick up some light northern minnows (suckers). I've never used these for walleye before. Anyone have any experience using them? Thoughts? 

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Wanderer

We had bought bait for pike fishing last winter, well I sent my wife in to buy it while I fueled the truck.  Scoop of crappies and a dozen suckers for tip ups.  She came back with a scoop of crappies and a dozen light pike suckers.  Those are for pike, right?

 

We couldn’t get on the lake we intended to so went to plan B for walleyes with friends.  I “gave em a try” and was really impressed how well they worked.  I’ll definitely do it again.

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Kettle

I've used light suckers when I couldn't get shiners or rainbows and was going after bigger walleye and they did work. 

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tacklejunkie

Agree with the above. But I've also caught plenty of eating sized walleyes with them, also

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BobT

One of the reasons I decided to try them is size. Can't find shiners here and the fatheads are small, almost as small as crappie minnows. The light pike sucker minnows are 4" - 5" and with the water cooling down and the later part of the season, I'm thinking the size will more closely match natural forage. We'll see how things go. 

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tacklejunkie

I’ve used smaller sucker minnows on spinners in autumn with good luck

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gimruis

I use artificials instead and the catch rate is almost unnoticeable.  Plus you don't have to worry about keeping them alive, stopping at a bait shop, or re-rigging all the time with a live one.

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BobT

I have never used artificial bait that outfished live bait. We go to the Lac Seul every spring in June and on a typical day we expect to boat at least 75 walleyes per day per person. We go through a lot of bait so one year I brought Berkeley Power Bait along to test it out and see if we could reduce our bait bill a little. 

 

I tried everything from finesse jigging to snap jigging over the five-day trip and the result was that live minnows out-performed the Power Bait by at least 20:1. It wasn't even a remote competition. 

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tacklejunkie
6 hours ago, BobT said:

I have never used artificial bait that outfished live bait. We go to the Lac Seul every spring in June and on a typical day we expect to boat at least 75 walleyes per day per person. We go through a lot of bait so one year I brought Berkeley Power Bait along to test it out and see if we could reduce our bait bill a little. 

 

I tried everything from finesse jigging to snap jigging over the five-day trip and the result was that live minnows out-performed the Power Bait by at least 20:1. It wasn't even a remote competition. 

 

 I tried  scented plastics on jigs one year while on Lake of the Woods and I ended up switching back to frozen shiners.   Tried it again on the Rainy River one fall and still ended up switching back to live bait 

 

 It’s live bait for me, also. The exception is   when on Lake Superior I use spoons exclusively. Another occasional exception is if I’m trolling the shallow flats on the St. Louis River and my crawlers are being picked the death by perch  I’ll then tie on a few crank baits 

 

 

I have also noticed that the last couple years the fat head chubs are getting smaller.

 

 But I have picked up the smallest sucker minnows I could find and have had no issues with walleyes snapping at them.  Walleyes eat minnows and they are minnows

 

Edited by tacklejunkie
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ozzie

I have used light pike and had success with them and catching walleyes.  As for the artificial...there are some that tend to work better than others, but they are a reaction bite just like a jigging rap is.   They have their time and place but also take confidence in catching fish.  I have been panfishing and had plastics out fish live bait, but that doesn't mean I won't use live bait for panfish ever again.

Edited by ozzie
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Rick

I have fished with some of the top anglers in the state. Some are very diehard livebait anglers during certain times of the year. Many of you would know them.

 

I've used plastics on Rainy, Rainy River, LOTW, Winnie, Leech, Mille Lacs,Tonka, and almost all of the top rivers and have yet to lose out using plastics during the spring or fall. Especially on the Rainy River in the fall. One of my live bait friends was so stubborn they still wouldn't switch when they couldn't buy a fish using emerald shiners on a jig while I was hammering them.

 

The way I learned to use plastics was to not bring any live bait on those early outings. It really is a confidence thing. Really.

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Bigfatbert

Quote Rick : It really is a confidence thing . really .  

 

I  totally agree 100% , but with that being said , I would also say that one does usually work better than the other at any given time  , usually not a 50-50 thing .

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gimruis

Live bait has its uses.  I don't disagree with that.  Some people are just so set in their ways using ONLY live bait they are wasting time, energy, and money buying it for every outing.  I have only used live bait once all season and that was crappie minnows one day when the water was still very cold in early May.  With the outrageous cost of live bait at times, its just one more incentive to use artificial lures more often.  Another thing I should mention is that I release 95% of the fish I catch so I am not targeting any one specific species on a trip to harvest.  Live bait results in a much higher mortality rate and I want these fish to be fully alive when I release them - artificial lures helps that cause.

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  • Your Responses - Share & Have Fun :)

    • rayguy
      Heading up to chain for a couple weeks.  Need some general info on the panfish bite.  They still shallow?  Got a couple grandkids coming up and any info sent on the panfish action will be appreciated.  Thanks   Ray guy
    • walros
      Maybe see if you slide the winch back on the tongue an inch or two. The roller needs to contact the boat to keep it from bouncing. Should check to make sure the rear bunk rollers line up with the rear transom for stability.  
    • gunner55
      Every rig we've owned the roller is above the eye & snug to the boat when it's loaded.
    • h8go4s
      https://www.dnr.state.mn.us/fishing_piers/index.html
    • Cheers
      I looked at my rig yesterday . It is a matched boat/trailer package from Lund . My roller is above the eye but snug onto the bow , probably an inch maybe more, higher than yours.
    • KidMoe
      If I have where you are right then lake Nokomis is near you. There’s lots of good walleye and crappie in there. If not I might suggest Medicine lake. There’s a handful of shore areas to fish and some easy to access kayakable areas. Lots of northerns and panfish in that lake. Look for weed edges and either cast spoons, spinnerbaits, etc for pike or bobber and work for panfish. Also some bonus walleye in there from time to time. 
    • JBMasterAngler
      Wild trout are more cautious, and basically smarter. I rarely do well with flashy or bright lures on streams with wild trout. But when I fish designated trout lakes up north, it usually doesn’t matter what color I use. But I’ll give the flashy stuff a slight edge.
    • JBMasterAngler
      Went wading on the upper croix today. Started at my secret spot, but high water made it tough to get around. Fish were fairly active though. Caught 5 decent bass and a little pike. Zipped up to highway 70 bridge and gave that a try. Caught 2 really nice walleyes here. But like the other spot, high water made wading not possible. Might come back here with my boat though 🤔  
    • Philco
      I just moved to Minnesota, I live in Maplewood and looking for somewhere near by to fish for catfish from the shore. Any suggestions?
    • ANYFISH2
      Nice to trip for the family it looks like. A round home here in central MN, the fish are very much in that phase of,    Bass- they are three phase right now, some are post spawn, some are spawning and on beds, other are still pre-spawn and staging.  Nice that most tactics can work on a single lake but each day is different.   Panfish are similar, most fish are still staging but alot of males are shallow and some beds are being swept.   Pike-have been all over the board here.  I have figures out a great system yet.   Walleye- are still preferring shiners and other minnows right now.  Leeches have not really produced well with the exception of the river bite.  Most fish still biting in less than 16ft of water.   Water temps- continue to be very lake dependent.  I have been seen 60-65 degrees on most smaller lakes and the bigger 2000 acre lakes I am seeing from 55-60 degrees main lake.
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