Terry Tuma

Post-turnover casting tactics

Casting is very productive for fall walleyes, but I don’t see many people doing it. The same summer rules apply: Position your boat so you can cast at angles toward structure, vary your retrieve, and work with different colors and styles of crankbaits.Boat control is always important, and it needs to be very precise this time of year. You can’t go…

Top techniques for hammering autumn walleyes

There are a number of 'best' ways to catch fall walleyes. Crankbaits via leadcore line or longline trolling lead the pack in my opinion. You'll also find me casting crankbaits at rock piles, reefs and green weed flats. When trolling cranks, I'll sticks with No. 5s, 7s and 9s, depending on how thick and troublesome weeds are. For casting, I'll…

Walleye locations in the early fall

During late summer and early fall patterns, walleyes can be deep, shallow or anywhere in between. If I've tried to convey one message to other anglers the past few years about fall walleye fishing, it's that walleyes likely will behave differently from one lake to another. People ask me about walleye depth in late summer. That's easy! The depth of…

Summer sunnies and bluegill locations

I’m getting more questions about where to find big bull bluegills in the summer. For midsummer sunfish, I start in deep water locations. Monitor those spots near spawning structure.Sparse weedflats, deep water near spawning grounds, sand locations: Those are logical places to start and, of course, will vary a little especially this year thanks to all the rain that has…

Summer crappie locations

Too many anglers associate crappie fishing with spring, then give up in the summer. Via some common sense, and a little help from your electronics, you can find crappies during the summer.There’s a myth that crappies strictly school and suspend during the summer when they actually can be belly to the bottom this time of year.Start by searching deep water….

Finding, and Catching, Your Own Fish

Anglers I respect always recommend choosing your spots before you arrive at a lake, and I agree. There’s an old saying that still works for me: “Find your own fish and fish them.” Via lake maps, chips, and software, locate some high percentage spots before you leave your house.Heavy fishing pressure will shut down fish activity, and when it does,…

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…

Top early season baits and lures

Here’s a quick rundown of what I’ll have in my arsenal for fishing walleyes in May and June. My top presentations include: jig and minnow, live bait rigs, three-ways, a Guppy weight system, and crankbaits. Now, allow me to elaborate on some of these techniques.Crankbaits are an underused option, but more productive than many people realize. In colder water temperatures,…

Pulling that boat and trailer from storage

As hard water fishing wraps up, it’s time to start thinking about spring river fishing or inland open water seasons. Here’s where those boat storage tips from last fall really pay off. For starters, before embarking on an ice-out crappie adventure, make sure that battery is charged. You don’t want to arrive at the access with a dead battery, and…

Late ice safety

Many anglers bag on ice fishing by mid-March but if I can find good ice, I love late ice fishing for crappies, sunfish, and perch. It’s a great time for fishing, but attention to ice safety becomes paramount.Fishing’s good because snowmelt has rejuvenated oxygen levels, but that running water can cause problems, too.To monitor conditions, learn to read the ice. You’ll…

How many ice rods and why?

Many attendees at my seminars ask how many rods I carry when going ice fishing. My answer: If you own four or five ice rods, take them all. That’s the easy part of the question. Now the part that requires effort: What species will you fish? Decide, then have rods pre-rigged at home. If you’re pursuing panfish, take all of your…

Jumbo perch March tactics

I love targeting jumbo perch in March via spring bobbers and waxworms. Use a No. 12 ice lure, a panfishing lure, for tougher bite finicky perch. And don’t be afraid to bring the maggots!This winter, I’m using a standard minnow head on a small jig or vertical jigging spoon. I’ll vary the distance we pinch off the minnow head as a factor…

Hooking grubs for crappies and sunfish

For years, dedicated readers and attendees at my seminars have heard me explain that I always hook maggots through the beveled end. That’s changing a bit, but one rule that’s not changing is the need for a sharp hook. Why? Because you want to pierce that outer skin on your grub, not annhilate it.I take my hook and slip it just…

Jigs for walleyes

There’s a lot of misunderstanding about what type of jigs to use for walleyes. In winter, short-shanked jigs are the way to go, not long-shanked. The latter are for adding a dressing, particularly in an open water fishing situation. Short-shanked jigs are for live bait only, and we want to use the lightest jig possible to be in contact with…

Putting it all together on ice

Let’s focus on how to target a specific species on a specific body of water. Different scenarios require different equipment, plus we need to understand fish behavior and the water we’re working. Water clarity, weather, fishing pressure, type of lake, and availability of food sources all play a role here.Before hitting the ice, ask yourself: What do I think is going…

Cold-water stimuli for multiple species

How does cold water affect aquatic creatures? Understanding this will help us learn how to target fish under the hard water.Fish adjust to water conditions. Their metabolism slows in cold water, but they still react to light, sound, temperature, feel and smell. The reaction time of these cold weather creatures has slowed down, but they still need to eat.It’s hard…

Northern pike early ice locations

During early ice, weedlines are very productive. We still have some green weeds producing oxygen, so this sets up a food web. Green weeds are key, so generally, these fish are going to be shallower, though this is all relative to lake construction. Here’s how to target northern pike under such conditions.Work one rod with a leadhead jig or vertical…