Crankin’ Night Eyes

by Captain Marty Papke

It’s after the supper hour and you finish your meal, don’t become a couch potato, as some of the most active fishing of the day will soon commence. Night-time walleye fishing is coming on strong. In many areas throughout the Midwest there are lakes that receive heavy fishing pressure. The waters we fish of both Little and Big Bay de Noc are excellent fisheries and combining a one-two punch of both day and nighttime fishing can up your fish catching potential greatly, let’s examine a method of fishing we refer to as “our Ace-In-The-Hole” method!

This daytime fishing may be combined with boating traffic and an alternate approach is fishing at night to eliminate all of these factors. The percentages can be put into your favor by following some easy fishing tips. Let’s examine this simple method and the positive results!

When it’s cranking “night” eye’s many crankbaits rank high as fish catching baits. Looking probably as one of the most natural baitfish replicas on the market the choices are simple: vibration, size, color and scent Berkley Frenzy is your bait. Shoreline fishing combining rock, gravel and sand as well as rock humps choose a bait that will run near bottom and occasionally bump bottom. This action turns into a search tool and triggers strikes from mobile fish. The Frenzy Diver for example in Perch color casts easily, dives 8 to 10 feet and will bump and grind across them in a slow methodical retrieve. Billed baits will get you into that zone that occupies fish. Walleye’s tend to be a schooling fish and many times will push large schools of baitfish into shallow water areas at which time they will feed on them. Matching colors to baitfish present will produce best for you.

Rattling baits are also very good night produces and have become a choice of this guide as highly productive bait. Casting over the weedbeds and working down to just ticking the weed tops triggers strikes. Many times this weed ripping action creates pandemonium as walleye’s will strike and become air born as if almost a bass. Scent factors can help in catching night walleye’s. Walleye’s do have a very sensitive nose and rely on scents in most of their feeding behaviors. Combining a scent attracting, vibrating and rattling bait and Berkley’s Power Rattle with all it’s top notch colors will get high marks in the fish catching category.

Speed of fishing will enhance your catching ability. Mobility ensures catching fish because always there are active biting fish. Fishing “fast” but not using a “fast” presentation will let you cover large amounts of water. Remember these walleye’s are moving themselves in search of food.

Spring through fall having an extra “ace in the hole” always helps and the night angle of catching walleye’s is a simple tactic.

Night fishing most definitely means bigger fish. Knowing that some of the biggest fish in the lake, river or reservoir system you fish come out to feed at night. This is where knowledge of your water can mean greater success. Remember safety at all times and lights should be operated at all times. Throughout the evening you will acquire a night vision that will allow you to see quite well. A black light can increase night vision as well as allow ease of landing fish, tying and retying. Small cross-lock snaps will save time and not hamper fishing. Keeping a clean boat at night eliminates those problems like getting hooks in fingers as well as tripping over things while in the boat.

KEY POINTS! Sizes of baits, vibrations (noise the bait produces), types of structure and slowing down your retrieve will net “night” eye’s and turn into some of the best fishing you’ve had!

Editor’s Note: You can visitCaptain Marty Papke at http://www.littlebaydenoc.comor email him at


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