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Education In America Authors: Darrah Deal, Student Lance, David Miller, David Miller, Chris Pentago

Blog Post

The Eyes Have It

It took me 50 years to figure out one thing I consistently did wrong

 

 

It took me 50 years to figure out one thing I consistently did wrong. Do not fish after a low pressure has passed. Wait a couple of days. You should want the winds to calm down somewhat and switch from the east to the south to southwest. The old rule “Wind from the east fishing is least, wind from the west, fishing is best.” Another item I used to never pay any attention to was the moon. When there is a new moon, fishing is best. I have no idea who told me this, but periodically it seems to work. This was the case on the weekend.

Pam caught this nice walleye earlier this year.

 

 

 

I have never had great success fishing Lake Manawa south of Council Bluffs. When I was a boy growing up it was the place to go, but the lake silted in making it very shallow in spots. Talking with the DNR at the winter shows, they always told me there is great walleye fishing in that lake. Since I live close, driving over for a couple of hours was handy whenever I had some spare time. Early morning or late evening I would sometimes pick up some crappies for sure, maybe a bass, a wiper, and usually a drum. The decision was made. I am really going to get serious and go hammer that lake in the fall till I catch a nice limit of “eyes”, and I am going to do it in the morning. Tall order.

 


Berkley Flicker Shad Crankbaits


Berkley Flicker Shad Crankbaits

The Flicker Shad is the lure I have caught the majority of the walleye this year.  Click on the link for more information as to color and size.  I fished with the Blue Tiger.

 

 

The weather could not have been more perfect. Southerly flow with light to moderate southwest winds was forecast. There would be just enough breeze to put a good ripple or light wave on the lake. Really windy days are tough on boat control even if the wind is in the right place. A full moon was present. The bait shop said crawlers was the choice. I am really going to do this right. The plan was to be on the lake by 3:30 AM, and this is a tall order.

 


Bass Pro Shops Gold Series Folding Landing Net with Telescoping Handle


Bass Pro Shops Gold Series Folding Landing Net with Telescoping Handle

After watching the video of Putin catching the big pike, I went and bought one of these nets.  I think it works better than the round one.

 

Next morning at 2:30 I was up, got the coffee going, grabbed a roll, hooked up the boat, and headed to the lake. What a beautiful morning. It was crisp, but not cold. A light breeze out of the west, and a beautiful full moon glistened across the lake. It can’t get any better that this. I am on the lake by 3:30.

I started pulling spinners S turning into the shore then out to about 2 to5 feet of water. I had some soft hits but nothing showed any appetite. So I had no idea what it was that took a lick.

 


Bass Pro Shops XPS Walleye Angler Spinner Blades - Deep Cup Colorado

 

Bass Pro Shops XPS Walleye Angler Spinner Blades - Deep Cup Colorado

This is the spinner blade used mainly all season.

 

I was working the southeast bank and decided after 30 minutes to move. Next I worked the south bank west of the boat ramp. Again, I stayed with the spinner, like the one pictured above with a crawler, and S turned in and out working 2 to 5 feet. There is a deep hole that goes down to 8 to 9 feet northwest of the beach, and I worked it also. I picked up several crappie, but they were small and so lived another day.


Bass Pro Shops Stainless Steel Hook Remover


Bass Pro Shops Stainless Steel Hook Remover

I keep one in the boat at all times.  When you get a hook buried, you can always twist it out.

 

 

After 45 minutes, I moved to the west bank. This area has rip rap, and some points sticking out into the lake. There is some weed and sunken timber close to the bank, and I got hung up a couple of times. I adjusted my distance from the bank to stay as close to the bank without getting snagged. I had a couple of hits, but nothing really strong like a hungry feeding walleye. This bank stretches north and south about a ¾ mile. I switched to a red and white spinner and put on a crawler. I also sprayed the bait with fish attractant.  Nothing happened.


Mister Twister Electric Fisherman Fillet Knife


Mister Twister Electric Fisherman Fillet Knife

Any big fish I catch gets the electric treatment to turn them into fillets.  I prefer having a cord instead of the cordless just because of failed or run down batteries that do not re-charge.

 

 

I decided to change and use a flicker shad and fish like I was in South Dakota. That did it. I picked up two walleyes, one right after the other off one of the points. The fish were not big, but about 10 inches, and  walleyes that size were thrown back. Thirty minutes later, I picked up another and then a couple of really small fish. I kept working south along the bank, but moved out to a little deeper water. As it began to get light the action close to shore stopped and I focused more out from the bank. By day light, the action stopped. I was done for the day. Time 6:45 and it was time for breakfast. The whole point of this exercise was to see if there were any “eyes” in the lake. Not a bad experiment.

 

 

Powerful read, and I highly recommend it.

 

Good hunting, good fishing, and good luck.  Hank

 

 

 

 

More Stories By Hank Huntington

Hank Huntington, Esq., is a native of southwest Iowa, healthcare professional, entrepreneur, accomplished pilot, hunting and fishing enthusiast, connoisseur, father and husband. He developed this web site for people to share their fun and excitement about the great outdoors. The best part of this hobby is, after a successful hunting or fishing trip, you are able to dine on fresh game or fish, after all, “ How do you eat a golf ball?” asks Hank. Hanks father and grandfather were both avid outdoorsmen so Hank learned his hunting and fishing skills from them and has passed the tradition down to the fourth generation. Plus the love of the outdoors, and a craving for exquisite dinning, would round out the package.

As a small boy, he fished a local oxbow lake formed by the Missouri River. The lake is primarily old river bottom mud, is not real clear, and has a lot of vegetation. The southeast corner holds a huge lily pad bed, and it was there Hank learned to drag through the water and across the tops of the pads, a Johnson Silver Minnow, with a pork rind attached. This was the place for big mouth bass, and there were lots of them, and young Hank loved to catch them.

At age of 12 Hank started going with his Dad hunting, and by age 14 he was an accomplished shooter with a 12-gauge pump. Shortly after that he was given his first shotgun a Winchester Model 12 pump; he still has it today. It looks like almost new, but the gun is never to be hunted again. Duck hunting in the late 50’s had little pressure after the first two weeks of the season, and when the north wind blew and it got really damp and cold, the big Canada Mallards came.

After graduation from high school, Hank attended Midland College in Fremont, Nebraska. There he met a fellow outdoorsman, and their friendship developed in the fields and streams of central Nebraska.

Hank had little time for hunting and fishing while attending professional school at Creighton University. After graduation he married his college sweetheart and they settled down to career, family, and as often as possible, hunting and fishing.

Hank and his family frequently flew their plane north to Canada to the legendary Canadian fly in lodges to fish for Northern and Walleye. Here he taught his son all the things his father had taught him about fishing. Most of the time the two went alone to the north woods, but when camping was not involved, his wife Pam went along. She always enjoys the fact that she has caught a bigger Northern Pike than Hank, and he has been fishing for 60 years. Today along the Missouri River valley, the deer population increased to the point that in many areas they are a nuisance. The duck, goose, and turkey has also population have also soared.

Area lakes have been well stocked. Many even have a walleye stocking program that makes outstanding fishing. Several are within easy driving distance of Hank’s lodge-like lakeside home. All packaged together is great dining. By the way, Hank harvests only what he will share at a table with family or friends.

Hank says, “Whenever I am on a lake, in the woods, or in the blind, I am always reminded of God’s great bounty and His constant presence. And whether in the great outdoors or at home with my wife, I strive to be a good steward of nature and all that God has given us.”

Good hunting! Good fishing! Good day!