Fine points on color and action
Color is definitely a factor when fishing. I see it on rivers,
lakes, and reservoirs, everywhere I wet a line. Walleyes,
especially, have preferred food sources, depending on the
environment they live in and what’s available to them at the
moment. And there’s a time frame when we’re “matching the hatch”
for a current forage. You want your bait to resemble what the fish
Use perch-colored or fire tiger when they’re targeting
young-of-the-year perch, for example. If gizzard shad are the
primary target, maybe on a river, then consider some of your silver
or white crankbaits. If you’re not encountering success, then don’t
die with it. Switch!
Two years ago, green jigs and spoons were the top color, but last
year they did not produce well. So to find the color that’s
working, have two or three people in your boat switching it up
until you find the pattern.
The same applies to live bait. When you buy leeches, you’ll often
have a choice of black or brown. Generally, I’ve found that black
leeches are more active, and the brown ones are – for lack of a
better word – lazy. When choosing a leech, mix them up with a
finger and pick out the most active ones. The same rule applies
with minnows: Always use active bait!
Work with different sizes of fatheads and shiners. In my
experience, shiners almost always outproduce fatheads. Maybe not on
every lake, but it’s amazing how often we find a shiner-only
That said, don’t be afraid to invest in more than one type of bait.
Bring minnows and leeches for opener. They’re easy to care for
during the early season. Finally, switch your bait early and often,
and don’t re-use your bait!