How to catch big fish

Shetek is aerated in the winter time so it doesn’t winter kill and it has an abundance of forage for walleyes and northerns. Biggest northern I caught in Shetek was 17 pounds. Not a huge northern but much bigger than average.

The technique I used to catch the big walleyesand northerns was bottom fishing from shore with huge baits. Live bait seems to catch more big fish than lures for some reason. Anyway I’d use creek chubs or suckers from 8 to 10 or 12 inches long. Never smaller than 8 inches. Yep, the bait is bigger than some of the perch people keep.

When fishing with large suckers I used a quick strike rig so I didn’t have to wait for the fish to run with the bait and finally stop and swallow it. What’s a quick strike rig?

It’s simple and deadly plus it takes all of the guesswork out of when to set the hook on a huge fish. Add a couple of small treble hooks to a 3/8ths to 1/2 ounce jig head. Lots of jigs are now setup to do this so it’s easier than making your own.

Hook the sucker thru the lips with the jig and then take the trebles and hook one, lightly, just ahead of the dorsal fin and if using two hook the other halfway between the dorsal fin and the tail. I discovered you don’t need huge trebles either. If you want to use only one treble hook then hook it right towards the center of the dorsal fin.

With that rig you can set the hook the moment you know you have bite and be pretty sure you are going to hook the fish. No waiting forever for the fish to run and then stop and swallow the bait. I use this same technique when ice fishing for northerns except I use huge smelt with Dr. Juice on them.

So what’s the other method to find lakes with big fish in them? Most states have a website for their Dept of Natural Resources, Game, Fish and Parks or whatever your states lake management or management of outdoor resources is called.