Sunday, March 31, 2013

Spring Walleye and Shallow Water Fishing

I can't believe it's March already and in a couple months the ice will be melting and walleye season will be getting close to opening.  Although for me it's a busy time of year with the start of our tourist season, getting all the houseboats ready, it's also nice to have open water fishing to look forward to.  I love getting out on the water and doing some fishing.  So much, in fact, that a couple friends and I started an online fishing show to give fishing tips for the area.

Rapala, the staple for trolling shallow.
During our first few weeks we spend a lot of time hitting the shorelines for walleye coming off the spawning beds and hitting the shallows for the minnows to feed on.  Our target area is anywhere from 4 to 8 feet along the shoreline.  Just any lure won't do in that kind of situation, so we go with the trusty Floating Rapala, allowing us to get the lure up shallow quickly when we hit those 4 foot areas (or less if we missed our trolling run).  I've always run black and silver original and jointed Rapalas in the spring, but with the start of the show, I wanted to try and focus on using low cost alternatives.  My motto was "successful fishing on a budget".

Enter the Storm Lures Madflash Thunderstick in "Gizzard Shad" flavor.  I purchased mine at Walmart while looking over lower priced lures and decided to pit it against a Rapala.  My buddy used a Rapala during our nights out, and I used my Thunderstick.  Our first couple episodes details our adventures.  You can see our luck with walleye in episode one, and episode two shows more walleye, with a massive northern pike as random catch of the night.  By the time we were collecting footage for episode three, most of the walleye had moved to deeper water for the most part, and we were picking up bass coming in for the spawn, so it was time to move to a better target area.

Rapala vs Thunderstick - who will win?
During our time trolling the shallow shorelines we found the cheaper Thunderstick working better than the more expensive Rapala.  I was amazed at how well it performed for a budget lure.  After fishing with it for a season, the lower grade finish did show more wear, but it will easily stand up to another season or two, and if you lose one, it's not as big a shock to the wallet.  A Rapala can run almost twice the cost of the Thunderstick, but the different is in the finish.  My Rapalas have been around for years, with teeth marks embedded in the wood and there is no scratched paint, the colors are all there.  Not so with the Thunderstick, which suffers from paint scratches from teeth and hook scraping alike.  A Rapala will be in your box for years to come, if the underwater dangers don't claim it.  A Thunderstick might need replacing after a few years of use.  If the success rate of the Thunderstick we had is any indicator though, you might want one in your box to try out.  You can follow the link below to get yours from Bass Pro Shops.

STORM ThunderStick with MadFlash STORM ThunderStick with MadFlash
UV Bright or MadFlash finishOriginal ThuderStick swimming actions and rattleExternal scale pattern3-D holographic eyesThe Original ThunderStick with the added appeal of STORMs brilliant MadFlash holographic or UV Bright finish and external scale patters for maximum flash. Just like the Original ThunderSticks, the ThunderStick with MadFlash delivers the same proven fish-catching action, integrated lip and high-volume rattles. Whether you cast, troll, twitch, rip or jerk the ThunderStick,it will produce the results youre after in most fishing situations. Complete Premium VMC® hooks.

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