by Glenn Summers
June is one of the best times of the year to target walleyes while trolling the Columbia River. I could feel the
questioning looks from my clients as I urged them to continue to let their lines roll off their level-wind reels. The
constant chop of the 3-foot waves on the Columbia River rocked the boat as we idled upstream, just below the
John Day Dam.
"Yeah," I said. "Let 'em out till you hit the second black streak marked on your spools." I told them that they
needed to get those Wiggle Warts out about 120 feet behind the boat, along the gravel bar where they were
deep enough to tempt finicky walleyes. Deep enough" was about 15 to 18 feet down. That would put our lures
within 1 1/2 feet of the rocky bottom -- right where ole walleye is most of the time.
The bottom undulated here as it does anywhere in the Columbia. But our Wiggle Warts would drag rocks and
be a foot or so above the bottom the rest of the time. This is a technique I've used to catch walleyes for better
than 30 years, and it's a consistent producer in the early summer months in the Pacific Northwest. The guys in
my boat were old hands at salmon and steelhead fishing in both the Pacific Ocean and coastal streams, but
they were new to walleye fishing on the Columbia River.
My techniques seemed extreme to anglers used to fishing for silvers 20 or 30 feet behind the boat. With light
lines that test 10 pounds or less, I've found that trolling lines out more than 100 feet will drive even
shallow-diving lures like Wiggle Warts down to 15 feet or deeper.
Read the rest of the Walleye fishing article here.
Article: Columbia River Walleyes
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