Now whenever it comes to fishing, those that know of me, know that you really don`t have to twist my arm all that much. So when I received a nice invite on Facebook from my friend Pat Gallagher, to have a go at jigging for Walleyes in the `Yaks,… well…..let`s just say no wasn`t even an option! The fact that I had never attempted this type of fishing, coupled by the fact that Pat who is an expert at this style of fishing, made this very appealing to me. So plans were made to meet up at Greenwood Lake, a waterway that I had never been fished. The only thing that I knew about this lake was the fact that it holds some monster Muskies and that my other friend, Walt Quirk always post some really nice pictures of `Eyes that he catches in warmer weather up there.
A little cold front blew in on Saturday, so I thought this might dampen our fishing plans a bit on Sunday. When I got to our launch, it was a “balmy” thirty-three degrees and didn`t get above thirty-five the rest of the day.
Pat knows the lake like the back of his hand, so once we launched, he explained what parts we would fish and he also explained the type of structure at each one of these spots. At the first spot, I watched him attentively as he explained the proper technique to “horizontal jigging” to me. Getting the proper cadence between jigging the blade bait and reeling was key. I have to admit, it took a little getting used too, because as I said earlier, I had never attempted jigging at all. And this wasn`t vertical up/down jigging, this was casting, letting it sink to the bottom, then “jig” the blade bait, let it go back to the bottom and repeat. Was all about developing a cadence to this method fishing.
We fished for a couple hours without any luck. Pat said, “the bite definitely seems off today……. going to be little tough” – I replied, “Well hell Pat, that`s why they call it fishin` and not catchin`” as we both laughed a bit.
The “Jigging Master” Pat working the water intensely.
Then just before we pulled up, “Fish On!” Pat yelled! “Not what we`re here for though” as he reeled in a nice slab size Crappie. We moved on to the next location as he explained how it was a sort of “shelf” and that we were going to fish the drop-off of it. I think it was only his third cast when again he yelled, “Fish On Ken!” and reeled up the first Walleye of the day.
1st jigged `Eye of the day!
Pat then jigged up another nice crappie and another small walleye. As for me, well…..to be perfectly honest, I was starting to doubt my “jigging” abilities a bit at this point. I turned to Pat and asked, “Hey you wouldn`t happen to have another one of those blade baits would ya? `Cause I really think mine is a bit too heavy” – Pat graciously replied, “Sure sure….. here you go,….hook that on Ken”
Within ten minutes, I barked “Fish On Pat! And a good one at that!” …….. and just as quick as I announced it, he was off! “Son-of-a-bitch!…damn he felt good!” – Now by this time, there were actually flurries starting to fall from the grey clouded sky as the November air seemed to be getting colder.
As I worked a bit closer to shore, I cast the blade bait towards a pile of huge boulders and slowly worked it back after it hit bottom. Suddenly a solid strike! I reeled back as I set the hook “Hey Pat I think I`ve got a good one! I yelled. As I went for the net, the Walleye dove deep under the kayak! I quickly sweeped the tip of the rod around the nose of the bow, hoping to catch a glimpse of the `Eye. Within moments, I brought the cold-water walleye to the net! I had just jigged up my first fish…… a nice, cold-water Walleye! I was ecstatic!
A real nice 21 inch Walleye!
Wasn`t too long before I had another smaller walleye in the `Yak. This one was a bit small, so he went back in the pond.
While it certainly was a tough bite all day, we ended up with five Walleyes, two Crappies and a White Perch. Considering the conditions, not a bad day at all.
I had such a good time fishing with this gentleman and I can`t thank him enough for inviting me and sharing his knowledge and expertise. There`s nothing quite like a day on the water, especially when someone shares the same passion for fishing as you do. Thanks again Pat. Looking forward to many more Fishing Adventures!