Making the most of being home

After being on the road for six weeks, it was very nice to return home to Sunset Country last week.
Spending as much time travelling as I have this year has been a great experience that I have enjoyed, but I love where I live more than anywhere else.
The nice temperatures, friends and family, and, of course, the top-notch outdoor adventures that exist here every day.
Although I’m back on the road this week for one more tournament in Tennessee, I made the most of my time at home over the past week. I spent a couple of days chasing walleyes on Lake of the Woods, including a great Friday evening with my fiancé, August, followed by a nice shorelunch at home that night.
I also got out on Shoal Lake for a day with my buddy, Scott Dingwall, to catch some bass. It was pretty crazy to fish on Shoal Lake, where we caught more than 100 bass in one day, after fishing all the different lakes that I have in the U.S. this winter that see so much more angling pressure.
I can tell all you bass anglers out there that though we have a shortened season, we have some of the best fishing opportunities in the world! I could say the same for walleye, pike, musky, lake trout, and crappie, as well.
Reports that I had been hearing heading into last weekend were that the walleye fishing was tough in general across the region. Most of my friends reported catching fish in deeper water as walleyes were recovering from the late spawn they had this year.
When August and I hit the water last Friday night, we focused our efforts shallow—in some traditional spots that I like to fish every May and June. I kept the boat in about 12 feet of water and we were pitching jigs tipped with soft plastic minnows into four-10 feet.
We focused our efforts around places that had a sand, rock, and weed mix of bottom composition. The key to finding fish is to focus your efforts on some of the shallow bays in the lake you are fishing.
Though the weeds were not yet visible, we could feel them as we crawled our jigs across the bottom. A quick pop of the jig when we hit a weed would keep it clear—and sometimes would trigger a walleye to bite.
We were fishing weed beds that I have marked in the past on my Humminbird GPS unit.
The soft plastic we were using was a Jackall Clone Fry in the Ghost Minnow or Threadfin Shad colours. This is a very realistic-looking, three-inch soft plastic minnow (by far the most realistic-looking bait that I have ever seen).
If you get your hands on any, I guarantee that you will catch walleyes on them. They are made with really soft plastic so one thing that you will want to do is keep some instant glue handy so you can glue the bodies onto your jig.
Do this and you will be able to catch upwards of a dozen walleyes on each bait.
I’m really looking forward to getting back home after this last FLW Tour event next week because I get to fish bass tournaments all four weekends in July at Lake Despair, Shoal Lake, Rainy Lake, and Lake of the Woods.
Summer is going to go by fast, but you can bet I’m going to make the most of it and have as much fun as I can!