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Bush: Preparation and Versatility For Walleye Fishing

Bush: Preparation and Versatility For Walleye Fishing

By Marc Bush / Twisted Waters Guide Service 

I’ve been a fishing guide for a number of years and I often get asked what I’m using. I’ve even had people ask if they can take a picture of how I am rigging my gear. Primarily, they ask what color I’m using – especially for walleye. They ask other questions, of course, and I appreciate them asking. I do not, however, think of myself as the supreme holder of the knowledge crown.

One thing I have been able to do, though, is remove my dunce cap with confidence.

Bush: Preparation and Versatility For Walleye Fishing

How to prepare for a day of walleye fishing

For quite some time, I’ve approached walleye fishing by starting the day as if I’m fishing from a zero-knowledge base. I know what they were hitting on the day before – or at least the last day I was on the water – and I know what depth they were hanging out at. I also know how fast I was going, if I was trolling, which is more than likely what I was doing.

When I rig up my clients’ rods for the day, I start off with a different color on each rod. I know what was working the last time I was on the water, but that was the last time. Every day is a new day. Walleye can be a bit fickle at times, as many of you likely know, and we’ve all seen them go off the bite. Sometimes, however, all you need to do is change the color of the rig you are using to trigger to walleye to bite.

A retired guide, whom I know and respect, once told me to use “dark colors on dark days, bright colors on bright days and if that doesn’t work, then switch.” Luckily, we have a product manufacturer, Mack’s Lure, that produces products in a variety of colors and sizes that makes the switching much easier.

One of those products is the Smile Blade. I’ve tried a few different types of products, but the Smile Blade out-produces the rest, hands down. Simply put three or four beads between the hook and the blade and you’re in action. Now, does the color of the beads matter? You bet your sweat, ah yes it does! I have, on occasion, put together some rigs with contrasting colors that I thought would never work. But, guess what? They did – and now they’re each part of my starting lineup when walleye fishing.

Bush: Preparation and Versatility For Walleye Fishing

Be versatile, be organized

One thing I would recommend to anyone getting ready for a day of walleye fishing is to tie up a few leaders that are the same – the same length, same bead color and size, and same color and size of blade. Make sure you have extras on board. I’ve made the mistake of making only one of a rig and have it produce, only to have it hang up on a snag and be lost forever. Being a fishing guide, I tie up a minimum of ten per color combination. I don’t want to get caught on the water with a hot setup only to be able to run two rods with it.

This is not to say that, if you’re not a guide, you need to tie all of this extra gear – especially when you have a little friendly wager going with your fishing buddy and you want to honestly tell him that you only have one. The goal is to be prepared for what the fish are going to tell you. If it’s working, stick with it. If it’s not working, switch it up. It only takes a minute to change a leader out. That change could make the difference in eating fast food on the way home or having fresh walleye tacos that night.

This is not to say that if you are not a guide, you need to tie all of this extra gear, especially when you have a little friendly wager going with your buddy and you want to honestly tell him that you only have one.

The goal is to be prepared for what the fish tell you. If it’s working, stick with it. If it’s not working, switch it up. It only takes a minute to change a leader out. That change could make the difference in eating fast food on the way home or having fresh Walleye fish tacos that night.

Based out of the Dalles, Oregon, Marc Bush owns and operates Twisted Waters Guide Service specializing in all species of fish. Book a trip with Marc today at TwistedWaters-GS.com.

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