The Eyes Have It

It took me 50 years to figure out one thing I consistently did wrong.  Do not fish after a low pressure has passed.  Wait a couple of days.  You should want the winds to calm down somewhat and switch from the east to the south to southwest.  The old rule “Wind from the east fishing is least, wind from the west, fishing is best.”  Another item I used to never pay any attention to was the moon.  When there is a new moon, fishing is best.  I have no idea who told me this, but periodically it seems to work.  This was the case on the weekend.

Pam caught this nice walleye earlier this year.

I have never had great success fishing Lake Manawa south of Council Bluffs.  When I was a boy growing up it was the place to go, but the lake silted in making it very shallow in spots.  Talking with the DNR at the winter shows, they always told me there is great walleye fishing in that lake.  Since I live close, driving over for a couple of hours was handy whenever I had some spare time.  Early morning or late evening I would sometimes pick up some crappies for sure, maybe a bass, a wiper, and usually a drum.   The decision was made.  I am really going to get serious and go hammer that lake in the fall till I catch a nice limit of “eyes”, and I am going to do it in the morning.  Tall order.

Berkley Flicker Shad Crankbaits

Berkley Flicker Shad Crankbaits
The Flicker Shad is the lure I have caught the majority of the walleye this year.  Click on the link for more information as to color and size.  I fished with the Blue Tiger.

The weather could not have been more perfect.  Southerly flow with light to moderate southwest winds was forecast.  There would be just enough breeze to put a good ripple or light wave on the lake.  Really windy days are tough on boat control even if the wind is in the right place.  A full moon was present.  The bait shop said crawlers was the choice.  I am really going to do this right.  The plan was to be on the lake by 3:30 AM, and this is a tall order.

Bass Pro Shops Gold Series Folding Landing Net with Telescoping Handle

Bass Pro Shops Gold Series Folding Landing Net with Telescoping Handle
After watching the video of Putin catching the big pike, I went and bought one of these nets.  I think it works better than the round one.

Next morning at 2:30 I was up, got the coffee going, grabbed a roll, hooked up the boat, and headed to the lake.  What a beautiful morning.  It was crisp, but not cold.  A light breeze out of the west, and a beautiful full moon glistened across the lake.  It can’t get any better that this.   I am on the lake by 3:30.
I started pulling spinners S turning into the shore then out to about 2 to5 feet of water.  I had some soft hits but nothing showed any appetite.  So I had no idea what it was that took a lick.

Bass Pro Shops XPS Walleye Angler Spinner Blades – Deep Cup Colorado

Bass Pro Shops XPS Walleye Angler Spinner Blades - Deep Cup Colorado
This is the spinner blade used mainly all season. 

 I was working the southeast bank and decided after 30 minutes to move.  Next I worked the south bank west of the boat ramp.  Again, I stayed with the spinner, like the one pictured above with a crawler, and S turned in and out working 2 to 5 feet.  There is a deep hole that goes down to 8 to 9 feet northwest of the beach, and I worked it also.  I picked up several crappie, but they were small and so lived another day.    

Bass Pro Shops Stainless Steel Hook Remover

Bass Pro Shops Stainless Steel Hook Remover
I keep one in the boat at all times.  When you get a hook buried, you can always twist it out.

After 45 minutes, I moved to the west bank.  This area has rip rap, and some points sticking out into the lake.  There is some weed and sunken timber close to the bank, and I got hung up a couple of times.  I adjusted my distance from the bank to stay as close to the bank without getting snagged.   I had a couple of hits, but nothing really strong like a hungry feeding walleye.   This bank stretches north and south about a ¾ mile.  I switched to a red and white spinner and put on a crawler.  I also sprayed the bait with fish attractant.  Nothing happened.

Mister Twister Electric Fisherman Fillet Knife

Mister Twister Electric Fisherman Fillet Knife
Any big fish I catch gets the electric treatment to turn them into fillets.  I prefer having a cord instead of the cordless just because of failed or run down batteries that do not re-charge.

I decided to change and use a flicker shad and fish like I was in South Dakota. That did it. I picked up two walleyes, one right after the other off one of the points.  The fish were not big, but about 10 inches, and  walleyes that size were thrown back.  Thirty minutes later, I picked up another and then  a couple of really small fish.  I kept working south along the bank, but moved out to a little deeper water.  As it began to get light the action close to shore stopped and I focused more out from the bank.  By day light, the action stopped.  I was done for the day.  Time 6:45 and it was time for breakfast.  The whole point of this exercise was to see if there were any “eyes” in the lake. Not a bad experiment.

Powerful read, and I highly recommend it.

Good hunting, good fishing, and good luck.  Hank


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