The author has flat-water walleye dialed in

No walleye chop? No problem! These 3 expert tactics will keep you on the fish, even when it’s dead calm

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The author’s daughter, Courtney Hungle, shows off a calm-water walleye

#2  THE WEEDS

On calm, sunny days, walleye may also move into weedy areas, seeking shade for their light-sensitive eyes. They also use the shadows and weed cover to hunt, darting out to grab a quick meal as baitfish and other aquatic creatures swim through the openings or along the edges.

The key to fishing weedbeds, therefore, is to run your offering over the tops or along the edges. As much as I’ve tried to fish over weedbeds, I still seem to find myself fishing too deep and getting snagged. To avoid that, I now use a slip-bobber rig to suspend my lure and bait just above the bed, where it’s visible to fish but doesn’t get fouled.

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When fishing slip bobbers, I hook my liveliest leeches on either a 1/16-ounce jig or a size 6 octopus hook with a couple of small splitshot just above it. The key is to add enough weight so that the slip bobber remains neutrally buoyant, with most of it submerged. That way, the fish won’t feel resistance when taking the bait, but you’ll still see the bobber move.

For fishing above weeds, try a slip bobber, some splitshot and an octopus hook

When your slip bobber does go down, reel in the slack and set the hook. The same goes if your bobber simply falls over onto its side. Why? When walleye take a leech over a weedbed, they’ll often grab the bait and continue swimming upwards for a moment. When that happens, the slip bobber falls over before the fish eventually pulls it under. So if you see that happen, it’s also time to set the hook.

As for fishing along the edge of weeds, I run bottom bouncers. Spinner rigs work fine here, but slow-death rigs often work even better—a slowly rotating piece of nightcrawler seems to really trigger walleye to dart out of the weeds and attack. Fishing slow-death rigs along weed edges is essentially the same as fishing them in open water. Simply use your usual set-up, maintain a speed of 0.5 to 0.8 miles per hour, and closely watch your rod tip for strikes.

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