Wednesday, February 8th, 2023
Wednesday, February 8th, 2023

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How to bring a big walleye onto the ice

Getting a large walleye through the ice successfully seems to be about a 50/50 proposition for me. Some I’ll land and others I won’t.

I have my own style when a big fish hits, and I’ve had success by following a few guidelines. Here are tips on getting a big walleye through your ice-fishing hole.

Don’t panic

It’s easy to panic when you see an 8-pound walleye swim beneath the ice with your spoon in its mouth. Thus, many anglers tend to freak out and “horse” the fish into the hole. Bad idea.

I keep my drag set right in the middle, and this allows the fish to power-dive without snapping my line. Take a deep breath and go slowly. Let the fish take all the line it wants and give it plenty of time to dive and struggle.

Get the transducer out of the hole

Many big walleyes are lost right at the hole because they become entangled
in the transducer cable. I always have a plan ahead of time that once a
fish is hooked, a fellow angler gets over to the hole and gets the
transducer out of the hole while you fight the fish.

This buddy system makes a huge difference. Trying to get the transducer out
of the hole while you’re tangling with a big walleye is tough, and
having slack in your while retrieving the transducer will is a good way
to lose fish.

Get the head started properly

The biggest key to landing a big walleye is to get the head positioned so
it’s straight up in the ice hole. If you’re patient, the fish eventually
will tire and you can maneuver the head straight upward.

Once the head is pointed up, grab the back of the head with a firm grip and you are good to go.

Tie a good knot

I recently caught an 8-pound walleye, and I was successful in landing it
because I had just re-tied my knot at the spoon. Before that fish, I had
caught a couple of smaller walleyes and figured it was prudent to

It’s a good thing I did, because I was using 6-pound test mono. Even after jigging for an hour, re-tie your knot.

Whatever happens, happens

Chances are, most of us will release these big walleyes to fight again.

If you happen to lose the fish at the hole, no big deal. More chances will come your way. Don’t beat yourself up about it.

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