Wade Watson
Jan 7

Big baits, big fish?

2 comments

Edited: Feb 9

 

 

I added my thoughts, and a quick story...wondering what other people think. Feel free to add your insight to this topic!

Wade Watson
Feb 1

No one wants to weigh in...well I have a few thoughts. I have learned and continue to be amazed by by fishing, I realize there are NO absolutes in fishing! I've had a guest put on the ugliest, twisted, stinky bait on the end of a hook and real in fish that would make you question why or what I'm doing guiding...

 

SO, i think that larger baits will typically catch bigger fish, simply because smaller fish can't eat that size of prey. As a biologist (U of MN fisheries degree) seems simple: bigger the bait would reduce the number of fish that could possibly engulf that size prey. Likely less fish, means less strikes, and knowing you are specifically targeting a size of fish your expectations should be realistic.

 

As a guide, my hopes are to catch LOTS of fish and have fun doing it. I know several tournament fisherman, and they have a completely different mindset. There goal is 5-10 bites...yes, they are targeting big, winning type fish. They don't want to find numbers of fish, they are quality over quantity, and to do this large baits, faster presentations, selective areas all are considerations to bigger fish.

 

Now we've caught HUGE walleye, HUGE pike, HUGE bass on tiny baits...but that's not the question. You could argue that the reason is location, presentation, and a little luck. I came to work for my uncle at Harmony Beach in about 1994...I learned the lake from Tim, Laurence Ball, and the guides and fisherman I encountered. I love fishing and tried to learn or steal the wisdom of these guides and fisherman. One stringer that has always stuck in my head over the years is LeVerne Oveson, who once shared a photo with me of a day fishing near Kettle Falls. He had 5 or 6 walleyes on this stringer and I think the smallest walleye was 29 inches, 9 pounds. The largest was 13 pounds according to him. Could be a fish tale...yes, but even if the numbers are off slightly, these 5/6 walleyes were trophies in any walleye angers eyes. I of course asked "what were you using", and honestly I'm not sure he divulged that info the first time I asked but eventually it was HUGE sucker minnows on large jigs...

 

I love putting a big sucker minnow on a hook, under a bobber and cast off a point or in the center of a bay. Just waiting for that 40+ pike to take that bobber under like Jaws did with those barrels in the movie...But HUGE suckers for walleye...on a jig, fishing off the bottom like I've done thousands of times, just with smaller minnows. If that story LeVerne told me is true, that is one mark for the side that big baits means big fish! I'm still in awe, and always will be...

Wade Watson
Feb 9

This monster was caught within 10 minutes of another 40+ northern pike on a guide trip with me. Brian K, was pitching a Booya spinner bait and definitely had the hot hand this day! It lure wasn't huge, the presentation wasn't different. What I found interesting with this fish or these fish (2 fish over 40 inches/20 lbs) was that they were in the same area feeding...Northern Pike are territorial and generally (my thought) is that they aggressively monitor and attack prey in their territory, so to have 2 big fish in the same small inlet or off the same point it rare in my eyes. Love to hear if others share the same thoughts or have a different opinion. See you on the water!

New Posts
  • Wade Watson
    Sep 8

    I really wanted to be better at weekly reports...I did provide a number of weekly fishing reports to Gateway General store, I just didnt get them on my own site. But like I always say, even if you don't need or want a guide, email me at kabfishing@yahoo.com and I would be happy to talking fishing on Kabetogama or Namakan. So, I have been fishing a bit lately...mostly long weekends. Guiding demand has been high lately. Here is what I found in the 3 days of guiding over labor day. Water Temps are 67-69 degrees which is still warm, but will be dropping soon. Cooler nights, but 70 degree days, and winds for 4 days when i arrived that had been out of the west/southwest. With wind I always start shallow, and typically fishing shallow I start guests on a lindy rig either with a plain hook and leech, or a spinner and crawler (you can do different combinations, i realize). It wasn't 30 seconds on our first spot that we had a fish in 10 feet of water. With wind, remember the food source is being blown up along rock or weed edges and those fish will stack up (especially if the wind has been blowing for days). We proceeded to stay shallow and have success in almost every spot we tried. Only one slot fish (18-26") but lots of 13-16" keepers. The second day was almost exact opposite. 70-75 and not a ripple on the water. I hoped the fish would be in the same location but that wasn't the case. After trying several spots in 8-12 feet we moved our Lindy Rigs out to 21-25 feet and found a couple keepers...anytime I in that depth or deeper I try a jig and minnow presentation or I've started to try jigging rap, or "drop-shot" techniques as well...all had a fish, bite or something...but nothing really brought them in steady. Overall we had one here, one there in the morning to middle of the day, and ended with 6-7 nice keepers, but overall slow. I had another group in the afternoon/evening and they simply wanted any fish, so we casted and chased walleye both! Still little to no wind, but somehow we got on a nice school of 14-16 walleyes using spinners and crawlers along a weed edge in Namakan...we caught nice fish and a good number. A few in other places but for whatever reason, this spot they were actively feeding. Pike came in steady on #4 mepps and also on 1/4 oz. jig head and BfishN plastics...nothing big, but very aggressive for both bass and pike. Sunday was overcast, 5-10 mph wind and most of our fish came from 24-27 feet of water. We found some crappies, walleyes and one hungry pike that was attached to a walleye...Overall, the fish are scattered...I think persistence and trying different methods helped us boat more fish then the people around us...remember to try different things!
  • William E
    Jul 14

    In our typical week long early June trip, staying on the west side (NLRO or Parkpoint), there is usually a day or two where the wind is creating so many big waves we don’t go out, or, have to wait until after 6pm, if at all. Last year we braved a day where the wind from N/NE created waves so big the trolling motor was coming out of the water as we tried to drag Lindy’s. Not a good situation. Thinking a safer/better approach to get some fishing time in would be to get behind an island on the leeward side. Not really sure if there is a fishing strategy or what type of structure we should be looking for that might produce some action on the leeward side? What do you think? Thanks.
  • Wade Watson
    Jun 1

    Well...it is june 1st, but i'm not fishing today and seemed like a better end of the week as most resorts rent Saturday to Saturday. BIG week...lots happening in the seasonal patterns. Early in the week or last weekend, Kab fisherman faced a cold front that slow the spring hot bite. Many anglers found cooler waters and tough bite. Water temps 55-57 degrees. Luckily I was chasing HUGE smallmouth in Door County and wow, what a system. But my timing was good as I returned to Kab on Tuesday, the 28th and found that cold front gave way in a big way. Most anglers has success at a variety of depths. Keeper walleyes are being brought in in deeper drop offs or areas that sand bars drop into 24-31 feet. Magic depth for me was about 27-30. Lots of small fish (reel them in slow, due to swim bladders), smile and enjoy the next one. Scattered in this success, every 3-4 fish you got a better strike on your jig and reeled in a 14-16" keeper. I know others were finding big walleyes shallow in the sand in the mornings and evenings. Casting small jigs tipped with minnows or plastics really produced in areas near Cutover, Sugarbush, 3 Sisters. Wednesday -Friday: sun shined and warm days, warmed that water into the low to mid 60's, and I began seeing minnows near shallow docks. This is great, the walleyes and pike will move up and feed in early and late hours. Follow wind patterns and find bays and points you would find minnows in...this will lead you to finding those walleyes. I think lindy rigs or live bait rigs tipped with minnows and leeches will really start to be hot. Slip bobbers are a popular option in these conditions as well and work wonderful with kids. Don't skip those mid 20's to 30 foot range to find a few walleyes and those tasty perch and sauger. I think a jig and minnow will keep producing in those deeper depths. Crappie hunters...I think we are close to them moving into shallower areas to spawn. Remember they are vulnerable and bite well, enjoy in moderation is all I will say if you find a school of these legendary slab Kab Crappies! Good luck, hope to see you on the water! Kab Kid
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