The fishing on Green Bay during the Masters Walleye Circuit event there was simply incredible. Our tournament finish was no indication of how well the fish cooperated. We place 39th out of 103 teams just two pounds out of the money and 5 pounds out of the top 10. All we missed was one big bit over the course of two days.
Pre-fishing went very well. We started our search on the west shore of the bay north of Oconto and south of Marinette. The word on the street was that fish were shallow and in the warmer water. We search for the warmest water we could find and began fishing in 57 degree water. Day one ended with only 6 fish, but they were all over 22 inches with a 26 inch beauty being our largest of the day. The fish bit on both crawler harnesses and crankbaits. They day gave us enough information to build a plan.
From the data gathered the first day, we continued to expand our search. Switching between crankbaits and crawler harnesses we eventually put a good plan together for the tournament. By the timet he tournament began, our strategy was to fish an area well south of Oconto on a break between five and seven feet of water. This was right on the newly emerging weed beds in the area as well.
The plan was to run #5 Berkley Flicker Rigs in Pink Shine and Blue/Silver on one side. 50 feet back with no weight or with one small split shot put the baits in the zone. These were fished on the deep side. On the shallow side, we ran #5 Ghost Blades in Whites and Pinks 30 feet back with one or two small split shot. This kept baits just over the emerging weeds.
The speed that got the most strikes was just above 1.0 mph. The I-Pilot link made navigation while fishing a breeze. Cruise control and auto pilot used together was the ticket. By the end of the event, we had more than enough way points to create a route and let the Terrova do the driving for us.
Over the two tournament days we landed over 100 walleye and weighed 5 each day over 22 inches. Again, the large Kicker fish that eluded us was the difference. If there was a bite we missed it was the deeper fish of shore. It looks like we got sucked into the shallow bite and ran out of time to explore anything else.
Not a bad start to the year and nothing to be disappointed about. The next stop is Devils Lake, ND in August.
Johnnie Candle – Crestliner National Pro Team Member