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Fishing Articles by Sam Anderson
No Snagg'n Timber Doodle'n
By Sam Anderson
Fishing flooded timber is an overlooked structure that more fishermen should look for in the spring of the year. There are three ways you can fish flooded timber. One is Carolina Rigging over and around the wood. The other is by working live bait over, around, and through the trees. The third method is to use Thill Slip Floats to over the top of the flooded timber.
You will need a good depth finder with a large picture, to not only see what is directly below the boat but also what you have past over. You will also need it to mark where you caught that last fish and on what side of the log, so you can come back and fish your way out. Or better yet, just allow yourself an easy escape route by following the plotter to the point where you entered the flooded timber. The Lindy No-Snagg Carolina Rig slip sinker also adds a new dimension to your fishing harness. I will put a Lindy No-Snagg on my line and then attach a short leader of lighter line, maybe 6 or 8 lb. test Berkley XL or Sensation line. The Lindy No-Snagg acts as a brush detector and keeps my jig out of the snags. If you do snag bottom, give the line some slack, and then give a sharp tight line yank which will pull it free. Of if you feel a tug on the line, set the hook on a fish. The method is easy, just simply drop your rod next to a log and wait until your Lindy No-Snagg touches a limb or brush. If by chance it touches nothing allow it to drop all the way to the bottom, walleyes like to hang on the edge of the timber also.
Unlike the more familiar and traditional bobber that snaps in place and is held stationary on the line, the Thill Float has a hollowed out tip for ease of line attachment. The stopper is a rubber snubber, rubber band, pretied knot, or a spring device that is placed on the line at the desired depth. The stopper can be reeled onto the spool and does not interfere with casting or retrieving. A split shot a foot above a small hook completes the outfit. Changing depths is a simple matter of sliding the float stop up or down the desired distance. Probably the most effective and useful slip bobber that I use is the Thill Float.
These floats are pencil designed, but for using in shallow, windy, or over the top of a gravel bar you can't beat them for performance. I like to attach a 1/16 or 1/32 ounce Timb'r Rock jig to the end of the line instead of a plain hook. The Timb'r Rock jig allows you to present live bait or plastic in all kinds of cover without fear of snags. Due to its unique "weight centered" design, it lands upright every time.
The patented seven strand wire guard protects the hook point from hang-ups. I like the color that a jig head adds, plus I need to add a little extra weight to pull the line down to the preset depth when using a jig head. 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 can easily 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 the following tips: 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", lift the rod tip towards the sky and this will penetrate the bony roof of the walleyes mouth.
Thill Floats may be one of the most simple yet efficient and effective ways to present bait that there is. They can be fished at any depth, with a variety of bait, and on most equipment. Although the Thill Float can be used effectively on walleyes throughout the season, anglers will encounter the most action during the spring.
Shortly after ice-out, male walleyes in the 1 to 3 pound range will move into shallow spawning areas. The best spawning sites are large sloping shallow bars with a bottom composition of gravel. The aggressive male walleyes will hold over these areas for a month or more and feed aggressively during, before and after spawning. The larger walleyes are most always females, and although they can be taken during the pre spawn period, they are virtually impossible to take while spawning and reluctant to bite for a two-week period following the rigors of procreation.
Probably the best method, or my favorite is, to timb'r doodle them with a jig. The No-Snagg Veg-E-Jig from Lindy is without a doubt the best way to fish timber. This jig allows you to penetrate the toughest brush pile on the water without getting hung up. The front eyelet position and the slender profile allows the Veg-E-Jig to slip through all weed vegetation and timber without all the frustrations of snags. Like the Timb'r Rock jig it also has the seven strand wire guard that protects the hook from snags, but this jig has the super strong, ultra sharp Gamakatsu hook and that makes for an awesome live bait delivery system. By dipping your bait into various spots in the flooded timber you will find that many walleyes are present and willing to bite.
This spring get out and enjoy some fishing in flooded timber and you
might find that using the No Snagg'n Timber Doodle'n technique work? If
you would like to discuss this method or any other spring walleye
techniques drop me a line at on the web at www.samanderson.com.
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