Cranking for walleye

Print Article

“Are you a walleye fisherman?” I was asked by the guy sitting in front of me.

“I love to fish for walleyes,” I replied. “I grew up in the upper Midwest and spent lots of time jigging for walleyes in the Mississippi River.”

Recently we were sitting in a packed house of anglers in the Events Center of Snappy Sports Senter in Kalispell where Bob Hickey, a walleye touring pro, was preparing to talk about crankbaits.

First emphasis from Hickey was safety.

“Check out your boat and your gear and make sure you have plenty of life jackets,” said Hickey.

“Trolling crankbaits is the fastest way to cover the water in depths from 1 to 30 feet,” Hickey went on, “but you must be sure your crankbaits are tracking straight and not wandering all over the place.”

Hickey and his fishing buddy, Jason Mundel, use a clip clevis to attach their favored Berkley Red Fire Tiger crankbait to 14-pound Fireline.

To tune the crankbait, Hickey recommends watching the lure’s action close to the boat, then pulling the line tight to the lure, all before using pliers.

“We run four lines (when legal), rigging two rods in the middle with 100 foot of line, then planer boards on either side with 50 foot of line. We use line counters to get consistent lengths.

“We generally start trolling at 2 mph, then adjust our speed depending on water depths.

“We’ve caught walleyes from 1 to 40 feet deep. The important thing is to cover the water column.”

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

Print Article

Read More Outdoors

Might want to pass this hike up, then again, maybe not

July 10, 2019 at 7:19 am | Hungry Horse News With the tourist season in full swing, now is the time for the local hiker who wants some solitude to seek greener pastures. Of course, greener pastures typically come with a lot of work, and a recen...

Comments

Read More

New waterfowl regs see changes

July 10, 2019 at 7:18 am | Hungry Horse News Waterfowl and webless migratory bird regulations are complete for the 2019-20 hunting seasons. The regulations are online at http://fwp.mt.gov/hunting/regulations, and hard copies will be available ...

Comments

Read More

Lions give a scare on Whitefish Trail

July 03, 2019 at 6:57 am | Hungry Horse News Hungry Horse News A brief encounter involving a mountain biker and a family group of mountain lions on a forested trail system north of Whitefish on Friday highlights the need to be aware of possibl...

Comments

Read More

Smalley no fan of snakes

June 26, 2019 at 7:46 am | Hungry Horse News There’s a %&$#% snake in the boat!” In over three-score and 10 years, the first time I ever put those words together in that order was two weeks ago during a fly fishing float trip on the Missou...

Comments

Read More

Contact Us

(406) 892-2151
PO BOX 189, 926 Nucleus Avenue
Columbia Falls, MT 59912

©2019 Hungry Horse News Terms of Use Privacy Policy
X
X