Spring will happen pretty quickly now , and fishermen’s thoughts turn to the spring walleye opener , as with all fishing there are many tactics that will work here in southern Ontario ,
jigging is a very popular technique , jig and minnow while vertical jigging or in lighter weed cover or rocky areas , tie your jigs directly to your line or floro leader , plastics can be fished alone or with a minnow , edges of weed lines and transition areas from weed to gravel or gravel to mud are areas to pay attention to , next is rip jigging with bucktail jigs , like Gremlin or Big Jim Jigs , target areas with light to medium weed cover , and pick the area apart with short 30 to 40 foot casts , just cast the bit along edges and let it settle , the use strong 1 to 3 ft rips and let it settle , the repeat , braid is the preferred line for this method as it will tear through the weed for the most part , jig weights will vary on situation from 1/16 to 1 oz , again this is just scratching the surface of jig fishing and it’s variations ,
Crawler harnesses , again many techniques , here are a few ,
the spring standard is a bottom bouncer and crawler harness ,takes as many eyes as anything else in the spring , standard application is slow trolling ,backtrolling or drift fishing , use enough weight to try and maintain a 45 degree angle entering the water , trolling speeds will be between 1 and 1.5 mph , a good rule of thumb is 1 oz of weight for every 10ft of depth ,
blades are preference , I use Colorado blades most , willowleaf blades , hatchet blades and smile blades ,color is also preference too , walleye will gather in the shallows and a crawler harness and a split shot or 2 is an excellent shallow water search tool run off Offshore planer boards , shortish leads are common at 25 to 40ft behind the boards , weedy flats are good places to start as are river mouth areas , walleyes will also gather in deeper areas as well 20 to 40 ft areas with rocky bottoms are prime , some will suspend off bottom and for these I use offshore tadpoles and the dive curve charts , run behind offshore planer boards , a tadpole and harness are a deadly combination on suspended walleye , give these tactics a try , you will be pleasantly surprized ,
weather you cast or troll these versatile baits , you really can’t go wrong , again your going to want to target the same general areas as with crawler harnesses , but with crankbaits instead , an invaluable tool is Precession Trolling app it covers the dive curve on a huge selection of crankbaits , set your baits just above where you are marking fish and stagger lines , troll anywhere from 1.2 to 2.5 mph , ensure your crankbaits are running true beside the boat before you put them out , when casting cranks, target high percentage areas , weedlines , rocky humps , structure areas , riprap shoreline areas , anywhere from 5 ft to 20 ft deep , as a general rule use smaller baits in the 2.5 to 4inch range as most of the baitfish are going to be smaller at this time of the year .
Again this is just a starting point , there are many other variations to each of the techniques above .
Remember catch your limit but limit your catch , try and release the bigger fish as they are the breeding stock for the system , a pic is worth a thousand words, a dead fish feeds you for a short time , and replica mounts are better and last longer than skin mount fish ,
Have fun , enjoy the outdoors , stay safe and take a kid fishing if at all possible