A wedding and a Weed line
Well, I must say I have caught a lot of big fish and very beautiful fish in my time. This past Saturday night I caught the “Big Fish” of my life. I was married to the most beautiful and amazing women this world has to offer…and she lets me fish like a wild man!!! So in preparation for our big day I was not able to hit the water the week prior. But I still had my radar turned to full strength waiting for the reports to come in.
The best reports I was getting from the local Helena area lakes (Canyon Ferry, Holter, Hauser) was pitching the weed lines in the back of bays. My pro staff member, Jim Muscat, landed a very nice walleye in the back of a bay on Canyon Ferry last week. I love this time of year because the walleye forage heavily on the weed lines ambushing prey that makes the fatal mistake of exploring out of cover.
To define clearly, to me a weed line is where the weeds stop and the open water begins. It is almost like your fishing against a giant underwater hedge. When fishing shallow, weed lines are very easy to see with the naked eye. If fishing a deeper weed line you will have to rely on your electronics to find the edge. For me, this can be the most fun and productive late summer method of walleye (and perch) fishing.
Tips for fishing weed lines:
1.) Targeting fish along the weed lines is usually best when the water temp reaches 70 degrees or more (this usually occurs right around the beginning of August.)
2.) We like to cast LIGHT jigs with LEECHES over the weed line and fish them back over the edge letting the the jig fall deep right on the line where the weeds hit the open water. This is where 90% of strikes will occur because the predator fish are waiting to ambush prey that sneaks out of the weeds. We stress very heavily on light jigs so you get a slow fall inducing more bites by being in the strike zone longer. And leeches because they are the main forage for the late summer weed line bite (just matching the hatch.)
3.) SLIP BOBBERS with a 1/8 ounce Kit’s Tackle Glass Minnow in the Fire Tiger color with a LIVE leech is about the deadliest presentation I can recommend. The action the live leech imparts on the jig and the undulation of the Glass Minnow makes this a gold metal combo. We recommend a live leech over artificial to give the presentation its action. Depending on the depth, I usually like to place the jig and leech about 8-10 feet below the slip bobber. Remember, you want to place your bobber right along the edge of the weed line.
4.) Even with the blazing heat, this presentation can be very effective all day long…even at high noon.
5.) And for any crankin’ fiends out there, running a planer board up against the weed line can produce huge. My favorite crank bait of choice for this application in the Rapala shad rap or Berkly flicker shad in bright colors (ie. Fire Tiger.)Trevor Johnson Kit’s Tackle www.kitstackle.com