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Hot Summer Walleye Tactics: Expert Insights & Top Techniques

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Hot Summer Walleye Tactics

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Expert Strategies for Summer Walleye Fishing

In this insightful episode of Angling Buzz, sponsored by Omnia Fishing, seasoned walleye anglers delve into effective summer strategies for targeting walleye. From float fishing and live bait rigs to cutting-edge products and specific lake tactics, this episode is a goldmine for anglers seeking to enhance their summer walleye fishing skills.

Light Bait Rigging on Lake Vermilion with Billy Rosner

Billy Rosner shares his favorite summer walleye presentation for Lake Vermilion. He emphasizes the effectiveness of light bait rigs, ideal for anglers of varying skill levels. Key components of his rig include a VMC quick-change slip-sinker, a number seven barrel swivel, homemade fluorocarbon leaders, and a number four VMC wide-gap hook. Billy also recommends a fluorescent color bead above the hook as an attractor and suggests occasional rod pumps to trigger bites.

Jigging Rap Technique with Tony Roach

Tony Roach, an expert in fishing large lakes like Leech, Mille Lacs, and Winnie, touts the jigging rap as a highly effective bait. He underscores the importance of using the right rod-reel combo, like the St. Croix Avid series, designed for jigging raps. Tony details his technique, emphasizing snapping the bait up in the air and letting it fall on a slack line, crucial for enticing walleyes.

Slip Float & Leech Strategy with Jeff Evans

Jeff Evans, a Northern Wisconsin guide, advocates for a slip float and leech combination when fishing for summer walleyes. He outlines his setup, including a quarter-ounce slip float, egg sinker, and a foot-and-a-half length of fluorocarbon leader with a small hook. Jeff advises adjusting the slip knot to keep the bait just above the fish, letting the leech do the work.

Diverse Tactics at Leech Lake

Leech Lake, known for its variety of fish species, offers numerous tactics for summer walleye fishing. These include jigging, rigging, slip bobbers, crankbaits, and plastics. The lake's vast ecosystem means anglers can target walleyes feeding on different prey like perch, crayfish, mayflies, and minnows.

Cleaning and Maintenance Tips

The episode also includes practical advice for cleaning and maintaining fishing gear. Using products like Bugs Be Gone, anglers can easily clean their boats and tackle from organic matter, saving time for more fishing.

Regional Fishing Reports

Angling Buzz provides comprehensive regional reports, detailing effective tactics in various lakes and conditions. These reports include using swimbaits, bobbers, and leeches in Devil's Lake, targeting weed growth in the Alexander area, and slow tactics in Leech Lake.

Featured Products for Walleye Fishing

The show highlights several products tailored for walleye fishing. These include the Rapala Jigging Shadow Wrap, Northland Tackle's tungsten jigs, Offshore Tackle's planar boards, and the Hummingbird MegaLive Hand Control.

Technique of the Week

Joel Nelson discusses the best St. Croix jig rods for walleye, emphasizing the importance of rod length based on the fishing scenario, whether it's vertical jigging, pitching, or river fishing.

Sweepstakes and Aquatic Invasive Species Awareness

The episode concludes with a sweepstakes announcement and a reminder to help prevent the spread of aquatic invasive species by ensuring boats are clean, drained, and dry.

Transcript Summary with Timestamps

  • 0:00: Introduction to summer walleye tactics.
  • 1:30: Light bait rigging techniques with Billy Rosner on Lake Vermilion.
  • 4:45: Tony Roach explains the jigging rap technique.
  • 7:15: Jeff Evans discusses the slip float and leech method.
  • 9:30: Overview of Leech Lake's diverse walleye fishing tactics.
  • 12:00: Tips for cleaning and maintaining fishing gear.
  • 14:20: Regional fishing reports from various locations.
  • 17:40: Showcase of featured products for walleye fishing.
  • 20:05: Technique of the week with Joel Nelson on jig rods.
  • 22:30: Sweepstakes announcement and aquatic invasive species awareness.


Full Video Transcript


In this episode, we're focusing on strategies for summer walleye and going into detail on many different ways to catch them. We're talking about float fishing, live bait rigs, and more. We have an awesome lineup of seasoned walleye anglers sharing their expertise into the subject matter, as well as our current guide reports, some cool products for summer, and a segment on Leech Lake. This is Angling Buzz, brought to you by Omniafishing, a smarter way to shop for fishing tackle. Wall-eye are a versatile fish that can live in a wide variety of different habitats, depending on the body of water that you're fishing. Today, we have a number of pros sharing some of their thoughts on summer walley e patterns from around the region. First up, we have Billy Rosner up on Lake Vermilion. Billy, what would be your absolute favorite summer walleye presentation for this time of year? Being easy on me today, Troy, absolutely, you'd have to be the light bait rig, being a full-time guide, dealing with a variety of skill levels with my clients . It's really important that we get bent, and we'll rig up with a nice lively jumbo leech, or a nice creek chub, or a half a crawler, which is really the ticket. Find a nice transition area from rock to sand, or sand to mud, where you can pull these rigs without getting snaked up. It's usually pretty much guaranteed you're going to get bent on Vermilion. As far as the rigging goes, it's a pretty simple setup. I like using VMC, the quick-change slip-sinker deal, the number seven barrel swivel, and I tie my own liters up. It's advanced, the fluorocarbon suffix liter. I use either eight or ten pound. And then on the business end, I like using a number four VMC wide-gap hook, no matter what bait I'm fishing, that's just a good hook size. And then I like running like a fluorescent color bead above the hook. That seems to be a nice attractor for the walleye. It's simple as that. Then once in a while, if I'm seeing fish on my finder, I can't get them to go up and pump the rod once in a while, give it a little bit of a change in speed or direction, and that can trigger fish. It's the old guide secret, the lie bait rig up here on Vermilion. And remember, they're always biting somewhere on Vermilion. Well, thank you, Billy. Up next, we're joined by Tony Roach. Tony, I know you fish a lot of big bodies of water, like leach, mollax, and winny. How do you approach summer fishing on these larger lakes? The jigging wrap is probably one of the most effective baits for walleyes. Anywhere you go and all summer long. You know, I use jigging wraps in a lot of different scenarios, so I always have a jig wrap tied up in my boat at all times. What's nice about the bait is you can sharpshoot those fish. If you see them on your side imaging, if you see them on forward basing sonar, or even tooty, you could throw that bait on top of those fish. It dives down and boom, they're going to crack it. They love that erratic swimming action of the jigging wrap. Now, to effectively fish this bait, you know, for me, you've got to have the right rod real combo. This is a St. Croix Avid series. This was designed specifically for jig wrapping. This is a 7-1 medium power, but it's moderate fast action. That means it loads up really nice. So when you hook a fish with a jigging wrap, a lot of people will lose a fish if they have a rod that's too stiff. You need a rod that's going to absorb those big head shakes, so if that weight, you know, falls on a slack line, you're not going to lose your fish. That's really important. For me, the jigging cadence is probably the most important piece of this whole scenario. I let the jig wrap go to the bottom. I'm going to cast out there, let it fall on a slack line. And now when I'm jigging, instead of jigging it off to the side, if you're jigging it off to the side, that jig wrap is just going to drag the bottom and hook debris, what you're going to want to do is snap that bait up in the air and then drop that rod tip down. I'm not puppeteering that bait. I'm dropping it on a slack line, allowing the bait to swim freely to the bottom. As soon as it momentarily touches the bottom, I snap that up in the air again and then drop that rod tip. So rod positioning is key on this. You see, I snap the rod and then I'm dropping it back on a slack line. However, I'm still maintaining a bow in my line so I can see when a fish strikes that bait because most of the time with the jigging wrap, they're either going to hit it on the fall or they're going to pick that bait up off the bottom. Thanks, Tony, for your time and your insight. Up next is Northern Wisconsin guide, Jeff Evans. Now looking at Northern Wisconsin's Smotta Lake Fishing, Jeff, how would you approach Summer walleye there? You know, that's a hard question. We fish walleye throughout the summer months with a variety of methods and techniques, but if you made me pick one go to presentation, I'd probably go with a slip float and a leech. Here's my leech and if you look down the hatch, let 'em keep it. That was Jimmy's leech. It's just such an effective way to present bait in front of those walleyes and you really can't fish it wrong. You know, it works in any scenario you might have, whether the fish are deep or whether they're shallow, if they're over weeds or over rocks, and with the fantastic electronics that we have today, we can precisely pinpoint where those fish are located. And what I like to do, first of all, to get set up is I like to use a quarter- owned slip float, and below that I'll have a quarter-owned egg sinker. And underneath that egg sinker I'll have a small barrel swivel attached to that , about a foot and a half length of fluorocarbon liters and a small number two hook. Now sometimes I'll even use a small 16-thonce jig head, and it can make a difference, so you're gonna want to experiment with that. Now when you have the fish located, make sure you adjust that slip knot so your bait is going to be hovering about six inches to a foot above those fish. I like to make them come up to get it. And once you have all of that dialed in, there's one. - Got 'em. - Yep. Just cast out the float, let the leech do the work, and start catching walleyes . Look at that. Awesome walleye. ♪♪ ♪♪ I'm lucky enough to call Leech Lake home for my summer months, and when it comes to guiding fishing. You know, Leech Lake is a great summer destination, and what makes it very popular, the fishing. Leech has got so much diversity. Leech Lake has many, many different species of fish, and these are outdoor adventures. Our guide team focuses on walleye, croppy, sunnies, lots of panfish, bass, mom off, and large, northern pike, and of course, muskies. Perfect example of a Leech Lake muskie, but ultimately this piece is gonna be about summer walleye fishing. There you go, Sandy. How about you? The interesting thing the way this lake is laid out is that there are fish spread out all over the 112,000 acre system. There's shallow fish on rocks, shallow fish in weeds, shallow fish on sand flats chasing crayfish. And of course, there's fish over mud, deep brake lines, so you can catch them j igging, you can catch them rigging, you can catch them on slip barbers or floats, you can catch them on crankbaits in the evening, and you can catch them on plastics, so let's break it down. That's a nice fish, Jason. Look how fat that thing is. You think he's been eating? Oh, yeah. Fish are feeding on different species throughout the lake. There's younger the year perch, which are very popular amongst the walleyes. There's crayfish, and there's mayflies, and of course, there's different kinds of minnows as well. Walleyes are predatory fish, so wherever the food is, they'll take advantage and you can catch them with different tactics. Matching the hatch is very important. I think this one's been on the working out keto diet or something. It's the last little weight. As far as summer walleye patterns go, the techniques we do based on where we're fishing in the lake. And the lake we're on today is known as winter to best jigging walleye lakes. Leech Lake is simply a great lake to jig. There's big weed and rock flasks to j ig fish. Generally, the best jig bite is directly associated with the wind, particularly when you're fishing 10 feet of water and shallower. I like to use both just a plain jig with, you know, a overnight crawler. But I really like to go throw pettletails and big plastics. Of course, float fishing is very important and popular nowadays with side imaging and forward-facing sonar. So slip-overs with leeches and live bait are deadly tactics here on Leech Lake. Across the spans of sand flats where there's both sandgrass and sand. It's a little subtle bite. It's a leech blade for you. Spinner is in bottom. Balchs are a great tactic early to mid-June into the 4th of July early summer. Where you can get on those brake lines. Typically, that's when the mayflies are hatching. And what you can do is you can run the brake lines with a bouncer, spinner, night crawler or a leech. Drag it right in that mud to sand the rock transition where the mayflies are h atching and you're going to catch your walleyes. That's a nice fish. Last but not least, my favorite way to fish walleyes. Good old jig wraps. They work every time. Cast them out, aggressive jigs, work it back to the boat. There's tons and tons of little young of the year perch in here. And so I switched over to the perch-car jig and wrap. That's the leech lake transition. That's summer fishing. Early on, jig and minn ows transitions through corks, plastics, bottom bouncers and spitters. You can even catch them in crank pits in the evening. So I'm Topokaboyabog. This is leech lake. Leech lake is a really fun place to fish. Not only for walleye, but there's fantastic musky fishing, pan fish, large mouth and small mouth. We just got done with the long haul and the truck and the boat are an absolute disaster which need to be cleaned up. So I'm going to show you a little tip that we use to make the cleanup way easier. So what we're going to do is basically a pre-soak or a pre-wash to a few areas that really need some attention before we bring this to the pressure washer. We're going to use Bugs Be Gone and we'll show you an example here on the Talon which is a shell water anchor that's a great spot for collecting a lot of bugs. So to use this product we want to make sure that we're applying it to a cool, dry surface. We'll spray it down really well. And as long as Bugs Be Gone is in liquid form or it's still fluid, it's going to work to break that surface tension with any of the organic matter that's stuck to that surface. This stuff will work on metal, it'll work on plastic, it'll work on carpet, chrome, any surface, it'll work to loosen that bond between the organic matter and whatever it's stuck to. Now this stuff is water activated so you don't want to try to wipe it off with the dry rag. I've got a wet rag here and the water. With any luck here we should be able to just wipe this stuff right off. Look at that, this is amazing. If I was sitting here with a scrub brush and just soap and water it would take forever to get that stuff off. But after it sits for a little while all that stuff just wipes away. Just crazy, look at that. Awesome, gone. Now just remember apply it to a cool, dry surface. Let it soak in for a minute or two and make sure that you're using water when you wipe it away. This stuff really is amazing and I love anything that saves some time so you can get back on the water. It's time for this week's BuzzBite Reports. To kick it off we're going to head to Devil's Lake with Johnny Candle. Swimbaits on jig heads are still working but moving a little bit away from the shore out to the middle of the bays or the mouths of those bays where the fish are exiting out into the main lake. If you like to fish, bobbers and leeches now is a great time for that as well. Especially on days when the bite seems to be off a little bit. There's good news though for those of you that like to do a little trolling or drifting. The bottom bowser and spinner bite is picking up and picking up quickly. Flooded road beds hold a lot of walleye. They're really easy to troll on as in North Dakota every road goes perfectly north and south or east and west. Also sliding out to that 20-20-24 foot range following the old Devil's Lake shoreline before the flooding. And if you have any high quality mapping you're going to be able to find that shoreline. Thanks Johnny. Now let's head to the Alexander area with Joe Segura. Catch a lot of fish this week, a lot of sunfish, a lot of bass, a lot of walley e. They're still in that new weed growth. And those weeds are getting taller every day. Water temps over 70 degrees now. So every day there gets to be more and more fish into these weeds. And a lot of times it's not your target species. It's smaller juvenile fish that are moving into these areas which makes it extremely difficult to fish like bait. So you have two options. One, switch over to a hard bait, jig and wrap, rip and wrap, jig and a plastic. Those type of things. That way you can keep the small fish off of you. Other one is use your locator. You can move to certain areas of the weeds where we see just the target species. Maybe you're just your walleye, just your bass. You can tell in your locator what they are for the most part. And then target them with your live bait still. That's probably my preferred technique. But we're catching rock bass, large mouth, small mouth, walleye, big sunfish. Everything right in these weeds. Just target, switch over to some hard baits or use your electronics and you should be able to get the species you're after. Thanks, Joe. Now let's head north to Leech Lake with Tobey Kavali Vog. The fish are a little bit off. And what we like to do with that is we like to slow things down, bring out the leeches and live bait, find transition lines from 10 down to 14 to 18 foot. A lot of bug hatches are starting and that seems to be where the fish are locating. But slow it down. And for that, the old Lindy Rig. Simple slip sinker with a lively leech. You don't be super big, a medium to large. 0.4 miles an hour. You're dragging it right through that sand and bud transition around Leech Lake. And when you do find them piled up, maybe even side imaging or forward facing sonar, that's when it's time to get the leeches out on a bobber. Go ahead and set these fairly close to the fish. Bring them up just a little bit. Fish like to eat up, put a bobber in a leech on a plain hook. Or even a jig head with a leech is working real well. And last but not least, when you can't get them to eat either of those, get aggressive. This happens to be a number seven jig wrap, which is one of my favorite way to catch walleyes here on Leech Lake and the waters warming up and up. We're starting to work. Thanks, Tobey. Now let's jump up to Lake Vermillion with Billy Rosner. Mine's been pretty darn good up here on Vermillion for all species. The weed lines are setting up really good right now, so don't forget those for pulling rigs. Pulling spinners over them, find that 10 to 12 foot weed line and you should find some walleye action. Bass fishing's been good, both for large ball dance, small ball. It's really good topwater bite going right now. And also for the smallies, find those nice different sized rock. Throw some crankbait, some wacky wormum. Northern Pike also up on those deeper weed edges that eat the 10 foot stuff, throwing some spinner baits. Muskies are transitioning. They're on their points on those deep weed edges. They're out in their open water now too, so you got a lot going on up here. So have a great week and be safe out there. Thanks, Billy. Now let's head east to Michigan with Captain Chad Dilts. In the Greater Traverse City area on both Grand Traverse Bay and the Inland Lakes, the fish have kind of completed that second wave of spawning and we're starting to get a little bit of that third wave of spawners moving in. There are a lot of post-spawn fish that are in that transition zone. Kind of hard to find, but definitely some post-spawn fish to take advantage of it this time. On our Inland Lakes, the smallmouth are well into approaching the post-spawn. Some fish still on beds, but definitely a lot of fish that are working their way out to the break. We've had a small cold front come through, which has kind of changed things on the Great Lakes, so our salmon are pretty scattered high in the water column. The lake trout are high as well. There are a lot of guys running shorter cores and downriggers to successfully achieve good catches. If you're looking for walleye, walleye are still doing really well on the In land Lakes, shallower water at night, and a lot of these fish are moving into 20 to 33 water during the day. Guys don't want to throw jigs. Guys don't want to drift. Fish harnesses during the day are doing really well. And now it's time for our cool products brought to you by Omni-offishing. We're talking walleye. We're going to start out with the jigging shadow wrap from Rappla. This is a new take on the jigging series from Rappla. They come in some really bright, awesome colors like this. The jigging shadow wrap darts slower than the jigging wrap. That's because this is actually lead-free, so it does have a bigger profile. Also, you'll notice there's no front hook, so this will actually snag less. This is great for showing walleye. It's just a different presentation in the darting action than they've seen, especially in pressured waters, the Rappla jigging shadow wrap. And next, a great jig series from Northland Tackle. These are their new tungsten jigs. They feature a dual bait keeper, so you can use this with live bait or soft plastics. And this is lead-free. This is all tungsten, which is 30% more dense than lead, so this will actually fall faster. And the dense tungsten actually helps you feel the bottom structure even better , so when you're dragging along gravel and rock, you'll really be able to feel the soft spots, the hard spots on the bottom. And they have a wide variety of different colors that are great for walleye fishing. The tungsten jig from Northland Tackle. And next, offshore tackle has you covered for all things trolling. For their planar boards, they have a new clip. Now, this will hold your line securely in place. This also is adjustable depending on the water conditions, the weather conditions, the size of the baits that you're using. It's just a great option to have, again, offshore tackle as all things trolling , including a Tata Flag HD upgrade kit. And this is great if you're fishing spinner rigs, they have a spring system on here, so you'll be able to detect light bites if you snag the weed, or maybe a small fish grabbed your bait. And you'll be able to see that really, really well. Again, check out everything from offshore tackle. They got you covered on everything trolling. And next from Hummingbird, the MegaLive Universal Hand Control. And this is great if you're using a Terova or Altera trolling motor. And when you're spot locked in place, you can move this around to spot fish, 360 degrees around the boat. There's an easy still-and-deploy bracket, the Hummingbird MegaLive Hand Control . And from St. Croix rods, they have a lot of technique-specific rods in their icon series, and this is the Jig and Wrap model. This is a 7-foot, 1-inch medium-powered, moderate-fast action, which is going to allow your bait to kind of dart and dive and give the flexibility and the power for the hook set. This is a great all-around rod for a variety of different situations when you 're walleye fishing, but specifically for jig fishing. The Icon Walleye series, Jig and Wrap. And you can shop online anytime at omniafishing.com. And up next, it's time for our Technique of the Week. Hey everybody, Joel Nelson here, and I want to talk about three different kinds of jig rods from the St. Croix line-up. Specifically for walleye, the best jig rods are typically in the medium or medium light power range with a fast or an extra-fast action. Nobody puts out rods of that quality like St. Croix. And when you're talking about the rest of the details, so much of it comes down to three different lengths. I love fishing 6' to 6' three lengths when I'm vertically jigging. The closer I can keep that bait to the edge of the boat, the more control in a vertical presentation I'm going to have. So those short rods, 6' 6' 3", absolutely perfect for that specific scenario. Now pitching, when I'm going to go ahead and cast a bait, it's going to be really important to have a rod that gives me a little bit of control to reach one way or the other. So something in the 6' 8", 6' 9", 6' 10" range, St. Croix up and down their line-up makes a ton of different rods that throw a jig in plastic combination really great. Now what about when I'm fishing in a river like I am now? And I want to fish maybe way away from the boat if I'm pitching light jigs on flats or maybe I'm just dragging the jig and I want a rod to be able to reach the different parts of current seams. That's when something 7' 7' 3", even 7' 6" is really beneficial. So there you are, three different lengths of walleye jig rods in the St. Croix line-up that can make a real difference depending on the situation you're fishing. There's links in the description down below for the products featured in today 's show as well as the link to enter our sweepstakes with Dominia Fishing. You can win all expenses paid trip up on Lake Vermilion, that's a big fish factory. A guided fishing trip with myself as well as a hand selected tackle pack from Omnia Fishing. And we can help to avoid the spread of aquatic invasive species. Anytime you're leaving anybody water, remember clean, drained, dry. If you have any comments about today's episode, let us know down below and here 's another video from Angling Buzz. (upbeat music)

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