When fish aren’t active, it’s time to do the Chang-Up, the author, gary Howey, used this rig mentioned in this column to catch several nice fish.
(Outdoorsmen Productions Photo)
Well, we finally got a decent rain this morning and we really needed it, in this column, I’ll talk about doing the Change Up when the bite is slow. This event occurred while fishing open water.
What I’m writing about happened to me numerous times over the years and I’m sure it will happen again, where I have spent a lot of time running from one old hot spot to another looking for fish.
When I was beginning to think that there was not a walleye in the lake and about to quit for the day, I finally located some active fish with my locator.
I had my eyes glued to my locator as I was working my way back and forth over this one particular area several times when suddenly, I spotted fish in 15 feet of water, those big lazy arcs indicating the presence of fish and by the size of the marks on the locator, these were good ones!
Since they were located right on or just a foot or so off the bottom, I guessed they were active walleyes and immediately saved the spot.
Grabbing a couple rods set up with live bait rigs, I probed the 15’ along the drop off where my locator indicated the fish were holding.
It didn’t take long for me to realize that these fish were in a negative mood and were not interested in what I was offering.
I started going through my tackle bag, switching from one walleye bait to another, going with my old standards, a spinner with a crawler, leech and even a minnow, a Northland Roach live bait rig with a crawler, throwing a jig and leech and finally a crawler on a plain hook with just a split shot, all to no avail.
These fish were not in the mood, no matter what I was shoving in front of them they just laid tight on the bottom refusing to move.
Once again, I started digging into my tackle box, looking for something different the walleyes may not have seen before, looking at baits used for some other species, something, which might get the fish’s attention, and to pull them out of their negative mood.
That is when I decided to do a Change Up and try “The Old One Two Punch”. It was a method I had used a couple of times in years past while fishing in Kansas to get lethargic walleyes to bite.
The One-Two Punch isn’t anything fancy; it’s just something different that most walleye may not have seen before!
I pulled a # 1 red Stand- Out lever action hook from my tackle bag and started thinking about how it may work to get the fish to bite.
Bass anglers have known about Tru Turn, Red Alert Standout lever action hooks for years, using them on drop shot rigs.
These hooks come in several sizes with one that will work for walleye and panfish, and they come in several sizes from size 1-6.
I attached the, these hooks stand or sticks out away from the line.
Then I added a jig at the bottom of the line, using different weight jigs ranging from ¼ or 3/8-ounce, the size, depends depending on the depth of the water I am fishing and the amount of current I will be facing
On this bottom of this rig, I prefer using a stand-up jig as it holds the bait up off the bottom, putting it right in the face of the fish.
Now I had the One Two Punch rig ready to go where the Standout hook and bait leisurely gliding along a couple of feet above your jig.
This rig works in several ways, as the jig drags along the bottom, kicking up bottom material, with the business end of the jig is off the bottom. This type of jig not only catches fish, but it also acts as an attractor to the bait riding higher in the water.
The disturbance caused by the jig attracts the fish lying on the bottom and will take active fish, while the Standout hook catches those fish cruising higher up in the water column.
On this trip, after switching rigs, I managed to take some excellent fish, several in the eighteen-to-twenty-inch range with the largest coming on the “One Two Punch rig tipped with leeches.”
There are days on the water when your old standby may not work, use these when you have to give the fish something different in order to entice them to bit
Gary Howey, Hartington, Neb, originally from Watertown S.D. is a former tournament angler, fishing & hunting guide, an award-winning writer, producer, photographer, broadcaster and was inducted into the “National Freshwater Fishing Hall of Fame” in 2017.
He developed and was the Producer-Host for 23 years of his award winning gary Howey’s Outdoorsmen Adventures television series, the Host of the award-winning Outdoor Adventures radio program carried on Classic Hits 106.3, ESPN Sports Radio 1570 in Southeastern South Dakota, KWYR Country 93 AM and Magic 93 FM in Central South Dakota, As well as on KCHE 92.1 FM in Northwest Iowa. If you’re looking for more outdoor information, check out www.GaryHowey’soutdoors.com , and www.outdoorsmenadventures.com, with more information on these Facebook pages, Gary Howey, Gary E Howey, Outdoor Adventure Radio, Team Outdoorsmen Productions.