Tough fishing? Head for the woods (Lake of the Woods)

The key to finding Lake of the Woods walleyes is to locate one of the many various-sized reefs, or mid-lake humps. Many reefs are not even marked on the map but still can be found by using my Pinpoint 7520.
They all seem to attract walleyes, with the larger reefs attracting the most walleyes. Mobility while fishing various reefs allows you to catch the active walleyes in similar structure.
Walleyes are a structure-oriented fish–most of the time. These walleyes will be tight to the bottom, lying in the holes between rock and cuts in the bottom. They may be feeding, or waiting in ambush to find an easy meal that comes their way.
When fishing structure, you have to be able to stay tight to it or your lure presentation will not be in the strike zone of the fish. Move just a boat length away and you will be out of luck!
Fishing the shallows with diving Shad Raps or casting Risto Raps at rocky points and humps can be very effective. And don’t overlook slip bobbers while fishing shallow rocky spots with live bait.
If the slip bobber is part of your live bait delivery system, you will need to make adjustments if you want your bait to be presented to the fish in a “natural manner.”
To use your slip bobber properly, you first will have to determine depth. If the slip bobber lies on its side, then I readjust the (float) bobber so it rides off the particular structure from one foot to six inches.
If you use this slip bobber method, it will enable you to jig your bait vertically without positioning yourself over the top of the structure. With little or no wind, you’ll have action on the bobber. This easily can be achieved by sweeping the rod about a foot at a time.
It might seem simple, and it is, but the results will astound you.
When the walleye inhales your bait and your bobber slides slowly underwater, remember to take all the slack out of your line without putting pressure on the fish. When you’re ready to feel the fish, reel as quickly as possible putting pressure on the fish.
At the same time, “set the hook” by lifting the rod tip towards the sky (this will allow the hook to penetrate the bony roof of the walleye’s mouth).
If possible, stick to the round head Fireball jigs in the 1/16 or 1/8-oz. size. They are far more snag resistant than heavier 1/4-oz. jigs and work better in rocks. Swim, slide, or crawl your jig across the rocks or give it a few quick hops. Try letting it sit if the snags aren’t too bad.
It always pays to experiment with retrieves.
The flash and vibration of crankbaits makes them natural for these conditions. The fish can sense them a long way off and be ready to strike as they approach. All in all, they are far more effective on walleyes than most people realize.
The crankbait I prefer to use on weeds and walleyes is the Husky Jerk. It is long, has a slow wobble, and the flashy colour catches the eye of the walleyes. And if you let it sit over the top of the weeds and twitch it ever so slowly, it will drive those walleyes crazy.
Where jig or rig-eating snags are bad, switch to a bottom bouncer teamed with either a Rainbow spinner or a live bait rig like a Roach rig.
For jigging or rigging, drift or troll your baits or lures as vertically as possible, trying to hold them just off the bottom to minimize snagging and losing tackle.

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