Q: Two years in a row now we've had some odd fall weather – a week of real warm, sunny conditions in early November. When such an event happens, does it affect walleye location? Any tips for exploiting a freak fall warm front?
Member Bill Lutgen
A: What you've described is in fact the best late-fall situation you can get--not just for the fish, but for you too.
In the late fall, walleyes start congregating again to fatten up for the winter, and it's often the best time to catch a trophy. The classic, and I feel best, approach is to Lindy rig a big chub on sharp breaks--especially those along inside turns on points. You'll want to work the rig real slow up and down the edges of the break.
Warm days are perfect because they get the walleyes a little more active, but more important, it's easier to stay out in warmer weather and you'll usually have more patience for this type of slow fishing. Patience, comfort and confidence during a trophy window is about the best situation you could hope for.--Ted Takasaki
Q: Can one of the pros tell me why or when I should use a swimming jig instead of a crankbait?
Member Steve McCredie
A: I personally swim a jig a lot--more often now than I ever have. I like to so it, instead of throwing a crankbait or spinnerbait, around the post-spawn time when the bass seem to want a subtler presentation. Whenever they don't react to the wide wobble of a crank, of the noise and flash of a spinnerbait, it's a great time to swim a jig.
I do think bass become conditioned to certain baits, and swimming a jig is something different.
And although the post-spawn is the most obvious time to swim a jig, I really use the technique through summer all they up until mid-fall. That's because one of the technique's big advantages is you can skip or pitch the jig into places you just can't put a spinnerbait or crank. You can get it way up underneath docks, right into lily pad fields--it comes through anything, and covers a lot of water.
I actually designed a signature series swim jig from Strike King that's sold exclusively through Bass Pro Shops. One version comes with a lightwire hook for open water or sparser cover. The other is designed for thicker cover.