Advertisement

You will be redirected to the page you want to view in  seconds.

Loading Photo Galleries ...

Being a successful walleye angler takes a lot more than luck, knowledge or ability. Obviously, those things are critical ingredients to becoming successful, but there are other characteristics of successful anglers that most observers never notice. I call it garage preparation.

Garage preparation is the countless hours spent onshore preparing for the trip. Many average anglers believe a quick de-weeding of the boat, a vacuum of the boatís floor, and putting away the loose baits are enough prep work for the next water adventure. This is just the beginning.

More on fishing: Fishing news from around the state | Your fishing photos | Build a map | Read fishing reports | We're blogging about fishing

Avid walleye anglers understand that consistency is one of the single largest factors to fishing success. Find something that works and duplicate the concept.

Prior to departure on your next trip, several things should be examined. Are your trolling rods spooled to equal line lengths? A counter reel counts the revolutions of the reel to determine your depth. A reel spooled with a half spool of line has different running line counts than a reel with a full spool of line. For example, if you let out line on the half spooled reel, the distance will be shorter than a full spool, even through your counter reads the same.

Why is this important? Consistency. One rod may be fishing 7 feet down in the water column, while the other may be at 10 feet down. If the walleyes are suspended at 7 feet, and your line runs at 10 feet, chance are the walleyes will not be aware of your deeper presentation.

Take it from my experience, check your leaders before every trip (and several times during the trip). Small nicks and abrasions result in compromised lines. When an 8-pound fish is caught on 10-pound test line, there is little margin for error. By having untainted leaders, you greatly increase your odds of landing the trophy.

Here are some other Garage items:

1. Change damaged or bent hooks on crank baits

2. Check your oil levels for your Mercury motor and your battery levels for your trolling motor.

3. Prepare multiple presentations for the day. Set up slip bobbers rods, jig poles, cranks, harnesses, or rigs in the garage and you can maximize your fishing time on the water.

4. If you have a starting location ... .find other areas on the lake map which duplicate your method and depth in other parts of the lake. If you know it is a reef bite, then pick several reefs of similar depths and DNA. If the fish are not at your honey hole, you now have plan B in your back pocket.

5. Read fishing reports and avoid message boards. Find a trusted local source with a reliable fishing report. I suggest myfishingpartner.com for Lake Winnebago (my site). Message boards are often full of bickering fishermen, anglers with agendas (guides), or just plain bogus reports. Use message boards as an overview of the system, but get your specifics from your local bait shops or trusted web sites.

6. Adaption plan: Make plans for alternative choices on the water. It seems every time I plan to use a specific method on Lake Winnebago, the system has changed. Be a chameleon, and be ready to change. Things as simple as a wind shift or water clarity change can result in completely different tactic required to catch fish.

7. Donít ever believe the wind forecast. Check it and forget it. Itís almost always wrong. The flag in my back yard accurately tells me more than any weather service can tell me.

Garage preparation is not simply restricted to these items. Adequately using the time in the garage will make you more successful on the water.

More In

Don't Miss

Join Our Team!

If you are interested in working for an innovative media company, you can learn more by visiting:

Gannett Careers

Wisconsin Day Trips

See all Day Trip Videoes


A new video will be shared in this series every Thursday

Get Published

Report on your outdoor group's news! Wisconsinoutdoorfun.com's Community Newsroom is a free service provided to clubs, nonprofits, schools, churches, families, scouting groups and civic organizations to publish their news, events and happenings on our website. Wisconsin residents with an interest in the outdoors are invited to write articles that Wisconsinoutdoorfun.com edits and shares with our readers online.

Submit an article today

Blogs