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Early-season tips and tactics for hammering first-ice walleye

Mike Hungle

First-ice fish

For some awesome action, take advantage of the unique early-season conditions

Mike Hungle
Mike Hungle

It was early December, and we’d driven our ATVs out to a set of GPS co-ordinates in the middle of Saskatchewan’s Last Mountain Lake. After drilling a series of holes over a submerged rock pile, I dropped a small jigging spoon down the first hole and watched the blip on my flasher as the lure descended. When the fluttering spoon was about five feet from the bottom, the flasher showed a solid red line starting to rise toward it.

Sensing what was going to happen, I let the lure drop a couple more feet, tightened my grip on the rod and waited for the strike. I wasn’t disappointed—a fish hammered the spoon so hard I didn’t even have to set the hook. After a quick battle, a chubby walleye flopped onto the ice, making a great start to my hardwater season. Here’s how you can also get in on the action for early-season winter walleye.

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