Monday 23 May 2016

Walleye Opener

Walleye opener in the Bay of Quinte and Lake Ontario region marks the beginning of a new fishing season for a lot of anglers. This area is considered Zone 20 in the fishing regulations. It is a huge region stretching from Brighton Bay to Picton Bay and Lake Ontario as a whole on the Canadian side of the border. Zone 20 opens on the first Saturday of every May. Not only does the walleye season open, the northern pike season opens as well. Every year on the opening weekend, there is a walleye and pike tournament held by the Trenton Kiwanis Club. This tournament brings in anglers from all over Ontario who have the itch to set the hook on a walleye and/or pike to kick off their spring fishing season. The "Kiwanis Walleye World Live Release Fishing Derby" was sponsored by some really great companies this year. Pro Tackle offered walleye charters for two including gear worth $2000 and Rapala offered prize packages worth up to $700!  

I spent my opening weekend fishing the Picton Bay area of Zone 20. I focused on targeting walleye with worm harnesses and hard body baits. I fished 35' of water using the snap weight 50/50 method on my worm harnesses and I ran a Rapala Scatter Rap Tail Dancer, both behind Off Shore planer boards.   

The snap weight 50/50 method is a very simple way to get your worm harnesses down to the desired depth. You can use this same method for getting hard body baits down deeper as well. I wanted to fish the middle of the water column on opener weekend. So knowing I was in 35' of water and knowing I wanted to be about 17' down I turned to my Off Shore snap weight 50/50 chart. Trolling at 1.5 mph for walleye and wanting to be down about 17', my chart showed me I needed to use a 1 1/2 oz. snap weight. I simply tied my worm harness to my main line, let out 50' of line, snapped my 1 1/2 oz. weight on, let out another 50' of line and clipped on an Off Shore planer board. 

Using a Rapala Scatter Rap Tail Dancer on my other rod, I tied it onto my Sufix 832 braided line and let out the desired amount of line and clipped on another planer board. Both presentations were very productive this weekend. The Scatter Rap is designed to be very erratic. Pulling it behind a planer board can be very effective. On this particular day, the waves had picked up a bit. Every time the planer board hit a wave it would surge forward. Running braided line and having no stretch, the bait would have been surged forward at the same rate as the board. In-turn the bait would have sped up and really kicked out to the side just like it's designed to do. I specifically remember making a turn and hooking a fish on my outside board. My boat was traveling at 1.5 mph so my inside board would have been going slower than this and my outside board would have been going faster, intensifying the surging action of the planer board and the lure. 

Next time you think about heading out walleye fishing, give the snap weight 50/50 method a try on your worm harnesses or body baits. You won't regret it!

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