Rippin' & Retrievin' for Rowdy Walleye
Last summer Istumbled upon a fantastic tactic for catching walleye. Believe it ornot, I uncovered the technique while targeting northern pike... butI'm not picky about the results.
It was a hotafternoon in July ? the sky was clear and the sun was shiningbrightly. I had just finished splitting a pile of wood and decidedthe hard work was to be rewarded with some time on the lake. With thewater being warm, my thoughts were that the big northerns would havea heated bite. At the very least, I figured the nice weather was sureto generate a feeding frenzy amongst the largemouth bass. With a planin mind, I gathered up my gear, loaded up the canoe and set outinto the bay.
My strategy wasthis: I stationed myself in approximately 18ft of water and about 40ftaway from a large weed-bed with the intent of casting toward theshallower water. Considering big pike will eat about anything, mychoice of lure was not exactly limited; however, without live baitand a depleted stock of soft-plastics, I decided to turn to a goodole crankbait.
My pick was ReefRunner's Rip Stick
. The baitof choice is 4-5 inches long with a curved, minnow-like body thatsports a dark, purple-flecked design. It also comes in varyingcolours and sizes, but currently I only have two in my arsenal(figure 1).
The Rip Stick
dives between six to ten feet deep and will slowly rise to thesurface during a pause. Also, this lure has AMAZING action, but I findits true calling lies within the Rip and Retrieve method. Oh, and didI mention it rattles?
Knowingthat pike are driven into a beserker's rage by erratic movements, Icasted toward the weed-bed and put my thoughts to the test. Once thelure hit the surface, I gave three quick jerks of my rod causing thebait to dart down into the water. I then began to reel in my linenormally for a few feet before initiating another three or four rapidrips - for added presentation I would add a pause sporadically beforeretrieving the lure.
Withinfive casts I had my first fish on. And to my surprise, it wasn't thesmall pike that I had suspected it to be. It was a 3lb walleye!After a few more casts, I caught another one, only this 'eye wasslightly smaller; in fact, this beauty was the perfect eating size.Needless-to-say, I continued to fish with the Rip Stick
in the aforementioned style for a couple of hours. Before succumbingto hunger, I reluctantly packed it in but felt elated by the successof the outing. I had caught five walleye, the biggest being 4lb andthe smallest being 1.5lb, and a dozen or so largemouth which were ofa decent size and offered a good fight.
Forthe rest of the season I proceeded to utilize this lure and the Ripand Retrieve technique - every time I was rewarded with spectacularresults. Funny enough, though, I only managed to catch one pike whichcame off the Hot Tamale versioned Rip Stick
. Regardless,I wanted to share this tactic with you so that you could benefit fromits glorious results.
BeforeI leave you, here are a couple of things I would like to makenote of:
- I caught walleye ANYTIME of the day - whether it was morning, mid-afternoon, or night, Rippin' and Retrievin' the Rip Stick produced fish.
- These fish were HAMMERING the lure - it was not your typical walleye nibble, it was a full-out strike every time.
- The hit would more often than not come directly AFTER the rip sequence ? the fish attacked the lure either during a pause or right before normal retrieval.
- The Rip Stick has THREE triple-pronged hooks ? having a set of forceps handy is highly recommended.
- This tactic and lure works well for a VARIETY of fish - I caught Walleye, Pike, Smallmouth and Largemouth bass
Thanksfor reading and happy angling folks! Remember,always follow the laws set forth in your area of fishing. This meanskeeping fish within their allotted slot size, proper quantities, andso on. Let's make it possible to fish for life!