Hall of Fame Angler Gary Parsons lives to catch big walleyes, and with the techniques he covers in this article, you will learn one of the deadliest methods around for targeting the true trophies.
It’s almost a cliché’, "To catch big fall walleyes, use big bait", but the fact is, it’s true. Live bait techniques using large minnows for fall trophy’s has been standard fare for walleye anglers for some time. The refinements we would like to talk about here revolve around your choice of bait and a few simple yet effective tips to help you better ensure success in the fall.
Let’s start off by saying that not all minnows are created equal. Although bait choice can have it’s regional preferences, when it comes to attracting monster walleyes, the good ole’ all-American Creek Chub is hands down the best bait you can use. Be sure to check regulations in your state however, there are a few places where Chubs are not legal to use as bait. Even where they are legal, they can be tough to find and expensive when you do find a source, but if a trophy is your goal, it is well worth the effort.
Creek Chubs are native to most waterways of the MidWest and eastern states to as far south as Oklahoma. They can grow up to 12 inches in length with the most common size used by walleye hunters being in the 5 to 9 inch range. Chubs are popular for a few key reasons. First they tend to be a hearty bait on and off the hook. Kept in a well aerated bait or live well they can be kept for several days with little hassle. Where they really shine is at the end of your fishing line. Chubs are not just a lively bait, but with the right equipment, can actually "telegraph" when a fish is in the area. When a Chub senses danger from a predator fish, it begins swimming wildly, alerting you to be ready for a bite. >
Tips From "The Chub King":
Fellow professional walleye angler Dan Stier of Pierre, South Dakota is considered the "Chub King" of professional walleye fishermen. While doing some filming a few years back, we linked up with Dan on South Dakota’s Lake Oahe for a Chub Fishing lesson.
"I’m from the old school" Dan says, "Big bait means big fish". One of the first things Dan pointed out was that you need to think big when it comes to bait and hooks. Hooking up a 7 inch Chub on a snell with a #2 hook ain’t gonna cut it. "It really depends on the size of the Chub, but for the most part I’ll use as big a bait as I can find, 7 to 10 inches on at least a #1 or maybe even a 1/0 hook to be sure there’s enough gap to get a good hook up in the fish", Dan explained.
The Right Equipment:
In order to feel everything going on at the end of your line the right equipment is essential. A highly sensitive rod and reel combo is important for any livebait presentation. High quality graphite rods like the Walleye Angler Signature Series HM85 Riggin’ Rods coupled with a spinning reel spooled with no-stretch FireLine is a perfect set-up offering the ultimate in sensitivity. For most rigging