When do walleyes like bass lures? An obvious answer to this question is — when they eat ’em! Professional walleye anglers John Campbell of Florida and Ted Takasaki of South Dakota both used White/Chartreuse 1-ounce Booyah Blade spinnerbaits to win two separate tournaments this past summer at Lake Oahe reservoir in South Dakota.
Campbell cashed a $50,000 first-place check at an FLW Walleye Tour event and Takasaki won the prestigious 38th Annual South Dakota Governor’s Cup in July, 2012, with his partner, Jammie Koepp. Takasaki and Koepp’s winnings came out to be over $21,000 plus two gold rings worth $3,000 apiece. Both of these events were conducted during the heat of July.
Campbell and Takasaki have been fishing walleye tournaments since 1988 when they started fishing the Masters Walleye Circuit together. In 1991, they climbed to the top of the MWC by winning the coveted Team of the Year title.
Spinnerbaits for walleyes may sound like a weird tactic. But tactics must be judged by the only factor that counts — their ability to produce fish. Walleyes apparently were never told they aren’t supposed to eat bass lures!
Lake Oahe is a reservoir, which rises and falls during years of drought or floods. Trees will often grow along the shoreline during times of low water. When the reservoir rises, these trees become prime habitat for walleyes.
Fishing Sunken Trees Is Tough
But fishing trees are hard to target. They generally demand a vertical presentation to avoid snags and, for years, local anglers and the pros who visited would use slip-bobbers or jigs to get down into the tree tops. But, slip-bobbers are a slow process, especially when walleyes are spread out. With a fish here and a fish there, trolling is a much better tactic. But traditional walleye spinner rigs and crankbaits tend to hang up far too often. Enter the bass angler’s favorite weapon for woody cover — the spinnerbait!