Walleyes on Artificials – I can’t hide it anymore!

I’ve been using Berkley PowerBait for about four years. At first, I purposely didn’t broadcast my success. People would get in my boat and laugh when I pulled out “plastic.” After about 20 minutes they were asking for some. When I was invited to fish the CAN-AM, I knew what I was going to use, and boy did it work – to even my amazement – as I won the CAN-AM $25,000 first prize. The tactics I used are ones I have good success with from spring right through fall when fishing on reservoirs and natural lakes.

Editor’s Note: Dan’s day one and day two total weight (36.83 pounds) set a new lake record for any two-day tournament on Wabigoon – and all those tournaments allowed live bait.

Total Solutions Technique

Fishing the 9 to 15 foot depths, I concentrated on about 50 yards by 200 yards of sand that ran up to rock hump edges throughout the area. I popped the jig by snapping the rod tip about 18 inches. Then, after one or two seconds on bottom, I repeated. Varying the retrieve cadence seemed to make a difference. I let the jig drop on a fairly tight line to feel the hits on the pause.

Total Solutions Equipment

During the CAN-AM, I jigged with the 3-inch Power Leech (now Gulp! Leech) and 3-inch Berkley PowerBait Minnows about 75 percent of the time, but occasionally went to a larger bait, in this case the Berkley Powerbait Jerk Shad. The key was a long-shank, 1/8th and 1/4th  ounce jigs with a big hook gap which allowed me to use larger baits like the five inch PowerBait Jerk Shads.  While the smaller baits got more bites, the larger Jerk Shads were especially effective at triggering bites from larger walleyes, most at least 20 inches or larger. I did incorporate a stinger hook on the jigs with the larger baits.

With the 1/8th and 1/4th ounce jigs, I fished 6-pound Berkley Sensation line on a 6 1/2-foot medium action spinning rod.



Berkley® 3″ Gulp!® Leech

Berkley® 3 inch PoweBaitr® Minnow

Berkley® 5″ Powerbait Saltwater Jerk Shad

Berkley® Trilene® Sensation®


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