NBS Outdoor Fall Issue 2020

revolving around a straight wire extending from the head to the hook. Some come with feathers, fur, or soft-plastic trailers for more enticement. “Pike like thick cover,” noted Jerry Steinke with Lake McConaughy Guide Service in Brule. “Northern pike are mainly in the shallow coves in two to eight feet of water. We run spinnerbaits through the flooded brush about a foot or two below the surface and the pike come up to nail it. We also catch them on crankbaits like Shad Raps and stickbaits. Spoons also work great. Most people simply reel spinnerbaits steadily back to the “ Northerns eat almost anything including ducklings, small mammals, birds that perch too low to the water, frogs, and whatever else they can catch. ” boat, but a little erratic action can entice more strikes from such aggressive predators. When running a spinnerbait over a submerged grass bed, through flooded bush or another likely spot, shake the rod tip to make the skirt flair and contract. When fishing thick flooded brush, occasionally bump the bait into a branch and let it fall a foot or two. As the bait sinks, the blades continue whirling. This action simulates a dying baitfish. Anything out of the ordinary could provoke a brutal attack from a hungry pike. “The fun part about fishing at

Lake McConaughy is that people can catch a lot of different fish a lot of different ways, whichever is their favorite,” Rowland remarked. “Walleye spawn in April near the dam. That’s when we fish crankbaits for them. Once we get into May, we use live bait on the sand flats. We rig a Lindy rig with a leech or a bottom bouncer rig with a nightcrawler. In the spring of 2020, people caught a lot of 22- to 25-inch walleye. They’re right at six pounds. People catch some bigger ones too, those in

the 27- to 30-inch range.” In late summer, walleye

traditionally go deep, perhaps 40 to 60 feet down. When walleye go extremely deep, vertically jig chrome spoons. The weighty, compact baits sink quickly and flutter down like a dying shad. Fish often hit spoons as they fall. After the spoon hits the bottom, jig it up and down a few times. If nothing happens, pull it a little higher off the bottom. Keep fishing different depths to locate the most aggressive fish. This method

46 • NBS OUTDOOR • Fall 2020

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