With walleyes, patience my friend

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“It ain’t over, till it’s over” --Yogi Berra

Montana Grizzly football fans remember the 2009 FCS Playoffs when the Griz trailed South Dakota State University 48-21 with 5 minutes left in third period.

Then Marc Mariani returned a kickoff 98 yards and the Griz scored 41 straight points to win 61-48.

I was at that game, returning from a steelheading trip in Idaho.

Last week, after a day and a half fishing on Tiber Reservoir, we had caught barely enough walleyes for a dinner in the camper.

At least we had plenty of Bush beans!


At 11:50 a nice 16-inch walleye bent my rod with the bottom bouncer.

“Let’s make one more pass,” we decided.

Next pass we caught two more fish.

Within the next hour, we both caught our daily limit of walleyes.

Why then?

Right spot? Right time? Right lure? Right bait? Right weather?

There probably hasn’t ever been a fisherman who hasn’t wondered why fish bite one minute, then not the next. And vice versa.

And how every doggone fish in the lake knows what the others are doing!

The hot lure was Mack’s Lure Smile Blade Slow Death baited with half a crawler. The offset hook makes the bait spin. Walleyes liked that action and the proof was in the live well.

We came within 10 minutes of coming home without walleye fillets.

I wonder if I should have made just one more cast to a steelhead ...

Jerry Smalley’s Fishful Thinking column appears weekly in the Hungry Horse News.

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