Walleye fishing presents unique challenges

REED CITY — Walleye fishing presents its challenge but it’s a sport that anglers can master with the right approach.

That was the message from Eric Lund, the owner of the Esnagami Lodge of southern Ontario who focused on walleye, pike and trout and advanced fly fishing during a seminar recently at Triggertime Outfitters in Big Rapids.

“There’s some great local location with the Great Lakes, Saginaw and that type of thing,” he said, noting that fishing in Canada for walleye tends to be in shallower water. “Your tackle selection has a lot to do with your success. For walleye fishing, you want to go to a medium action pole, something that will handle an 8- or 10-point testline. I like using fast action. What that means is the tip of the pole, which is a much quicker tip. Where we are, the fish are aggressive. When you’re jigging along, when you get a hit you set the hook right away.”

Walleye usually like to hit the bait while it’s falling in the water. Trolling can also be an effective method, Lund added.

“You adapt to your situation,” Lund said. “I got into fly fishing about eight or nine years ago. The main reason was some of our guests would come up a certain time of the year would out-fish everybody else with their fly rod. As a lodge owner, it got my attention. Fly fishing is no different that lure fishing. It can be good when an area gets a lot of pressure.

“You don’t have to be a fly fisherman to use a fly. You can also just use it with a bait caster or casting rod. It’s an interesting thing to do. The fly is a slower presentation. It’s a fun way to go, a tool, another way to catch a fish.”

FISHING UPDATE

The Department of Natural Resources points out that as of April 1, all anglers 17 years of age and older are required to have a 2014 fishing license. Anglers are reminded to pick up a copy of the 2014 Fishing Guide when they purchase a license.