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I was directed to this forum by basscatcher. He said that there are some excellent fishermen on this forum that could help me out. Just by reading some of the threads on this forum I would have to agree. Excellent job moderators and everyone else contributing their knowledge to this forum!

I grew up fishing river systems and didn't know how much walleyes related to weedlines until I moved to Minnesota. I have been fishing these fish with limited success for a couple of years. I don't do alot of casting, mostly trolling. Spinners and cranks on the inside and outside edges of the weedline and shallow cranks on top of the weedline. Do any of you have success trolling over the weedline? What are your favorite lures/tactics/setups for weedline edges? Do you have better luck day in and day out with fast presentations (cranks/spinners) or slow presentations (lindy rig/jig/bobber)? How do your presentations change throughout the season?

Thanks in advance for your advice.

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You came to the right place there are a lot of guys on here that know what they're doing and are willing to help someone out. I personally pitch jigs around weeds. I use a lindy max gap jig tiped with a minnow either fatheads or shiners. This tactic allows me to cover tons of water in a short period of time. This method has produced fish for me both early in the year and into late summer, but for me nothing produces better in the fall then vertical jigging over deeper water. Don't be afraid to use plastics either on the jig. When the walleyes are really aggressive they will hit almost anything that is put in front of their face. I hope this helped, and for me I have had the most luck on madison and washington using these presentations.

Good Luck!

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Thanks for the reply Fishky. How do you usually work the jig around weeds, swimming, hopped off bottom, dragged on bottom?

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I work it slow. Pitch the jig right to the edge and let it fall. Maintaining bottom contact is important but not critical. It all depends on how they want it, I focus on watching my line when the jig is falling if it tops you got something. I have also had success on swiming the jig parallel to the weed line when they are more aggressive. try different presentations until you find something that is working on that particular day.

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I've been a jig/minnow guy myself over the years like Fishky. How I jig the combo depends on the time of year. Early season I'll take a slower, less aggressive approach where I'll either do a slow drag on the bottom, or I'll do a slow lift/fall presentation. Early on I'll use just a plain jig & minnow without a jig body. As the water warms I'll usually switch to crawlers harnesses or snells with minnows or leeches to cover more water more quickly, but if/when I jig, it's typically a fuzzy grub with minnow and I'll pop the jig more than drag or slow lift/fall. A bit more aggressive approach. I'll also put on a small piece of plastic from the tail of a plastic worm or something in order to keep that minnow on the hook for longer periods of time. Casting and jigging without one will make that minnow tear off in short order. Another thing I'll do is rip-jigging through the weeds or weed pockets, but I don't do this all too often. If fish seem to be biting short and are in more of a neutral mood, I'll go to either vertical jigging or shorter casts with rapid light jigging movements to make the jighead "dance" up and down off the bottom, yet move short distances horizontally.

But, to get back to the rapalas....I haven't really fished with those before, HOWEVER, there is a certain someone on here (TO!) who has gotten the point across to me that I'm missing out on some good walleye action. And that message I think has finally sunk into my thick skull! grin.gif

I'm sure TO will chime in here sometime and will have some excellent info for you.

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Trollneyes, welcome to the South Central forum! Expert advice, huh? That may be a stretch but let me see if I can help you out a little. grin.gifsmirk.gif

First off, targeting 'eyes in the weeds, in my opinion, is probably one of the most overlooked options out there for putting fish in the boat. Just with that being said is what intrigues me to trying to get these fish "to go" because more often than not, when you locate a school of these fish, they are ready to chomp! blush.gifgrin.gif Casting or pitching is the best way to make sure you're covering a whole area and it also allows you to focus in on a specific area if necessary. Casting or pitching to "hollow" pockets within a weedline can work well at times too. Pitching jigs generally has more of a place when targeting specific areas of a weed line, whether it be right in the weeds or on the inside or outside edge. You need to let the baitfish tell you where they are and generally the 'eyes are not far behind! Water temperature dictates whether I use a jig and minnow/leech/crawler or jig and plastic combo. A good rule of thumb I go by is from opener until the 4th of July I use a jig and bait and then swtich over to a jig and plastic through the fall until ice up. About this same time frame is when I start to aggressively cast shallow running crank baits (i.e. #5 shallow runnin' shad raps or #7, 11, or #13 floating Rapalas) to the shallow, <4' of water, inside edges of weed lines that are holding baitfish. I like to retrieve the crank bait back to the boat as close to the top of the weeds as I can and also try to mimic the actions of the baitfish. Baitfish is key for fishing these weeds, as is light penetration and wind. Surprisingly enough, some of the best action to be had is during mid-day when the sky is high and those fish are looking for cover. In that same breath, it's darn tough to beat an overcast day and casting to a wind-swept shoreline! grin.gif Now, if I was targeting 'eyes in the weeds in northern MN, then I would look to the deeper edges of the weed lines and drag jigs and crawlers or a Lindy-rig style setup with a Phelps floater and crawler/leech.

Basscatcher, glad to see you're referring people to this forum. I appreciate your willingness to have this forum grow and be used to its fullest potential.

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No problem. laugh.gif One of the things I like so much about the SCMN forum is that it is a lot like a good day of walleye fishing! Very active with lots of timely responses, there are various year classes of people from the young to the "not so" young, and there are people on this site who have not necessarily lived and fished only in this area...ones who can relate to fishing experiences all over the state. Not only that, but the willingness of people to share tactics, presentations, type of bottom structure they fished, lake conditions, time of day, lure choice, and all the other things that are important to helping others to have a successful outing as they have. That's what it's all about....sharing reports and sharing information (although I do get caught up in other non-productive conversations from time to time). smile.gif

Simply put, it's a great forum to be a part of.

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Thanks for the great input guys! What is the quickest way to find the weed edge and how do you stay on it (boat control wise) to effectively cover it?

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If water clarity is not an issue, the weed edge can be seen with the naked eye. Otherwise, you can always rely on your electronics to show you the edge. And, additionally, if you're fishing in shallow water, you'll have no trouble finding the weed edge. In regards to boat control, this could spark another topic but I'm a tiller guy. I back troll into or across the waves (when wave action is a factor) and then go at a snails pace using a drift sock out the front. I like to stay a comfortable distance from the weed line so not to spook any fish.

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TO - are you partial to a particular jig style/plastic? Have you tried the Northland Weed Weasels or Lindy Veggie Jigs in and around the weeds?

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I usually just stick with something simple, like a 1/16 oz. Northland Fireball jig when using bait and a standard, "run of the mill" leadhead jig when using plastic.

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TO - I noticed on an earlier post that you would incorporate a dragged jig or lindy rig setup on the deep weed edge if fishing in northern Minnesota. What is your reasoning for this?

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Those deeper fish that are relating to cover are typically not quite as aggressive as though shallow fish are. The deeper fish like to have a presentation "laid out on a plate for them" where as those shallow fish are typically more than willing to "help themselves" to a meal. The dragging or Lindy Rig technique usually does the trick because you can work that presentation a little slower.

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Great info TO, and basscatcher! Trollneyes I really hope these posts have helped you better understand Fishing walleys here in southern minnesota. TO said something about the use of a drift sock. I am a firm believer that when those fish are holding to deep structure a drift sock is one thing that I don't leave home without. You need to put the bait right in their face, and when you're moving slower the chance of that happening increases greatly. Drift socks are excellent tools to either control your drift, or to slow your boat down that extra 1/2mph while trolling which in some cases will make all the difference in the world.

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Im going too let you in on my favorite weed tactic. First of all when i go too a new lake its the first place i look, there are always walleyes in the weeds. I've had luck pitching cranks on these southern lakes but my favorite tactic is slip bobbers. Its worked for me on the southern lakes and its worked all the over the state on lakes such as Osakis and other lakes in that area. I get great numbers and i've stuck more than a few eyes over 26" with slips. What i like too do is go over the weedline a few times with my electronics too make sure im really seeing what i want. Then i go over the weedline one more time and when i see the weedline on the depthfinder i toss out a buoy marker right on it. I back off and anchor within casting distance. Now you have a reference too exactly where the weedline is and you can toss right up too it and your bait is right in the zone at all times. This has worked both during the day and all throughout the night. It seems the eyes cruise up and down this edge and that leech or minnow hanging right there as they cruise is deadly. This is my favorite opening night tactic, lighted slips on the weedline. 3 years ago by the time the sun rose we had boated over 75 eyes along with some dandy crappies. Nothing more fun the fishing lighted slips in my opinion, i love it.

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Trollneyes, I fish a few smaller lakes in the area from opener until late june and don't bring any live bait, I have the best luck finding weeds next to deep cover and cast a max gap jig with a berkley power bait(the 3 inch twister tail)and catch fish all times of the day. I did find that since they started spraying the weeds on Washington the past couple of years that its harder to find good weeds out there. I tend to do a faster retrieve and pause every five seconds and found when you start the bait they will slam it. I also have good luck trolling in the less than 8 feet of water with crackbaits at about 3 to 5 mph. Hope this helps.

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Posts about open water walleye fishing....I LOVE IT!!! grin.gif This warm weather has really got me thinking of open water, but I'm sure I'll come down out of the clouds when we get a blast of cold weather. Still though, I'm itching to get out in a boat. I'm just happy that the "countdown until fishing opener" clock isn't going yet...that thing will drive a man insane! crazy.gif

Great posts here though. I always enjoy talking about walleye fishing techniques and tactics....my favorite kind of fishing! (don't let the name fool ya) tongue.gif

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EXCELLENT information gang! I can't thank you enough for all your feedback.

TO, now you have peaked my interest on the depth issue. The lakes that I mainly fish have very little structure. The basin depths top out at around 28 feet and are mostly soft bottom. The weedline typically starts at 7-8 feet and continues to around 15 feet and the weed tops are consistently at 3-5 feet below the surface. Water clarity is fairly good but not good enough to see the weeds with the naked eye. Given these "weedline conditions" would your presentation typically be fast or slow, incorporating dragged jigs, lindys or slip bobber rigs.

basscatcher, by reading some of your other posts, I see that you are already struggling with the open water issue in waiting for your new rig. I apologize for making matters worse! grin.gif I grew up fishing the Missouri River near Bismarck/Mandan. Growing up, we always had a boat. In college I spent 2-3 days a week in the boat. When I moved to Minnesota (the land of 10,000+ lakes mind you), I went 6 years without having a rig of my own! Starting a new family and career got in the way of that. Now that the kids are older and money isn't as tight, the whole family can enjoy the lake experience, and dad gets to focus a little more on fishing. Probably more than you needed to hear but the point is I feel your pain and you will be cruising the lakes in your new Ranger in no time!

Thanks again to all of you for your shared knowledge on this subject!

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Trollin,

One way to cover that deep weed line is plot the edge of the weeds with your GPS or marker bouys--especially if you have a nice long stretch. Then pull spinners along the edge with bottom bouncers. You can cover a lot of water fast and find the most aggressive fish. Then you can pitch jigs, lindy rig or slip bobber areas where you pick up fish. Early June through summer is when I use this tactic.

Another tactic would be to take a jig and tie a stinger on the shank of the jig with an 8-10" piece of fireline to a number two snell hook. Hook a crawler through the head with the jig and run the stinger through the tail. Pitch this rig behind the boat a ways and you can troll the top a the weeds with a light jig or heavy it up and hit the outside weed edge.

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Yeah, I'm just going to have to "grin & bear it" for one season here. It's okay though as I can use my fathers boat when I want to get out. I'll keep it tuned up for him, since he only uses it for our Canada trip anymore.

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I would fish the 1 - 5' of water aggressively with quickly retrieved jigs or crankbaits. The water out past 15' I would fish a little slower, unless the fish tell you otherwise. A few passes of pulling bottom bouncers and spinners can definitely get you headed in the right (or wrong) direction and then you can establish a game plan from there.

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I second the fun of catching eyes with a slip at night that James mentioned. It's a great way to fish walleyes and crappies at the same time too. Dragging a lindy rig is by far my favorite way to catch walleyes, in deep water, shallow water, breaks and in the weeds.

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Let's see...

Watching a bobber go under the water, dragging a Lindy Rig, or having a fish just crush a crankbait in less than 2' of water. Sorry, I had to say it. Really, just playing around guys. I'd be the first guy to admit the other tactics that have been mentioned are very fun as well and I use them frequently too. I'm only partial (and is my first option around here) to the casting and pitching bite because those fish are so darn aggressive.

Lots of good information on here!

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Jigging and cranking and spinning, oh my! A plethora of weedline tactics, I love it! Now the mention of spinners and bouncers has sparked a few more questions. I have had decent luck with this tactic on the deep weed edge. I normally use a hammered nickle colorado blade with red beads on a crawler harness on sunny days and use brighter colors on overcast days. I generally pull at 1.2 mph and follow the 1 oz/10 feet rule with bouncer size. I do like this approach especially when the wife and kids are along, it is very easy for them to pull a spinner around.

Do you die hard spinner pullers find any patterns when it comes to colors or size of spinners? What shapes do you normally use (colorado/indiana/willow/dakota)? What speed and bouncer size do you prefer? Do you prefer floating harnesses around the weeds?

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I would like to make you guys aware of a product that I now use probably eighty percent of the time I fish weed eyes, and I fish them a lot. We now make a Weedless Floater called the Spongy Bug. I tie it on direct with either a split shot a couple feet up, or a small bullet sinker above it. You can cast it or troll it right through the weeds. Works great. Hope this helps.

Matt Phelps

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Weeds= action no matter what your tatic. All these southern lakes are stocked fish so I beleive they relate to weeds more than northen eyes do. I fish the weeds 80% of my time on the water, since the majority of shallow water is covered by weeds in our local lakes. Don't forget to become a bass fisherman when things get slow. 2 years ago we were having a terrible week on the lake and started throwing texas rigs in the thickest of weeds on washington for bass. Low and behold every other fish we caught was walleye. Was one of the best days I've had on the lake. Normaly fishing the inside of the weed line is great for action (bass, crappie, sunny, northern, walleye). Early in the season and becomes tougher when the weeds start to take over in early june. Then I move to the outside pitching big leeches and trolling shads, if that fails it's time to get the trolling rods out and find the suspended fish in the main basins. Good luck

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