Down-Size for Daytime Mid-Winter Walleyes



From first ice to mid-winter, it happens faster than one would think on the walleye waters we love to fish throughout the ice-belt. And just as fast, those first ice days when walleyes are strapping on their feed-bags, devouring anything you put in front of their grills, are gone as well. Now, just a week after the most amazing bite you’ve experienced, you’re faced with getting the fin from each walleye as it slides under your hole. Folks, welcome to mid-winter. These are the days you have been told to hit the ice for first and last light, hoping to catch what you believe is the only “flurry” of walleye action throughout the day. But, don’t be fooled, even during high-noon you can still catch ol’ marble eyes. The trick? Downsizing.

Total Solutions Technique
It is well known that walleyes are becoming more and more sluggish during this period and are feeding more heavily during prime windows. But, like anything in the natural world, place a tempting morsel in front of their yaps, and prepare to get bit. So, to maximize your presence during the non-prime feeding times, go small with your offerings to give a walleye a morsel it cannot refuse. And with the advent of smaller and smaller Berkley micro-ice offerings coupled with the invisible factor of Berkley Fluorocarbon line, the trick of fooling daytime walleyes with downsizing techniques has even become easier. We are talking about having you throw a rod/reel, or two, in your rod bag that you would consider using for Pan Fish. Then we are asking you to think the same in-regards to tackle. #10 to #12 size jigs, dropper presentations and anything else small enough to be considered a walleye snack, not a meal.

Total Solutions Equipment
Since their introduction, nothing has helped me more in icing more daytime walleyes than the Gulp! line of ice fishing products. Particularly from this family is the 1” Berkley Gulp! Minnow. Teamed on a variety of small horizontal ice fishing jigs this has been my go to for these finicky daytime walleyes. My favorite colors would be Watermelon Pearl for clear waters and Chartreuse Shad for dingy waters. Also, this tiny minnow works great on a finesse drop shot rig. Other Gulp! baits I would not be without for Mid-Winter walleyes would be; Gulp! Minnow Heads for tipping small (1/16 ounce) jigging spoons, Gulp! Fish Fry for tipping both horizontal and vertical jigs, and Gulp 1” Leech for dropper presentations.
On the line side of the presentation, I opt for using Berkley FireLine Crystal Micro Ice in 6lb test as my main line, but then add a two foot section of Berkley Vanish Leader Material in 4lb test by blood knot for stealth factor. I use the same leader material for dropper and or drop shot presentations.

 

1” Berkley Gulp! Minnow

 Gulp! Fish Fry 

 Gulp 1” Leech 

Berkley FireLine Crystal Micro Ice 

Berkley Vanish Leader Material