Was invited out to fish for some big walleyes by Mark Currie, who runs Advanced Bassin plus fishing charters. Despite the name, Mark specializes in various species, including big trophy sized walleye. Though Mark was only added to my recommended guide page recently, he is a veteran guide, and extremely accomplished angler, having fished many big bass and walleye tournament circuits. Always great to fish with guides that are on top of their game, and Mark is definitely ranks with some of most knowledgeable fishermen I've met so far.
Ari and I headed out to meet Mark around 7:30 AM. Though the weather forecast was what one would hope for on a nice summer day, it was the worst possible conditions for walleye fishing. Namely, bright sunshine, high heat, and no wind at all, causing the river's surface to be smooth and mirror like. Just was well, I figured it would be a great test of Mark's skills, as most fishermen would have abandoned the species and gone for bass or pike instead.
Mark didn't seemed fazed by the weather at all, he was confident that we'd have a good walleye outing, and possibly some other species mixed in as well. First tactic we used was drop shotting a small goby like swim bait. Mark used his sophisticated electronics to find large schools of walleye. Sure enough, when he found the first school, it didn't take long for us to get on the board with our first couple fish:
A few minutes later, I hooked into a nicer walleye:
That's when I started getting the idea that this guide is for real, and he wasn't kidding about the ability to put us onto some good walleye fishing despite adverse weather conditions for walleye fishing.
Another thing that struck me about Mark was his ability to discern fish species simply by looking at his sonar. While it may be easy enough for someone with experience to differentiate between bait fish and game fish, Mark called the arches on his sonar from perch to walleye with accuracy. If that weren't enough, when he called "bass" for the first time, I hooked up to my first smallmouth of the day within a few seconds after:
While I was hooking and landing fish after fish, Ari was having a tough time getting use to hooking up to walleye with their extremely subtle takes. I felt bad for him, but wasn't able to figure out what he was doing wrong, being that I'm not much of a walleye angler myself.
Mark however, cued into exactly what Ari was missing, one pieces of the puzzle at a time. From drifting deeper, to getting a proper hookset, Ari learned the proper adjustments to make. When he finally hooked up with his first walleye, so did I, and we had our first double header of the day:
Needless to say, Ari was all smiles,,,
After catching some more keeper sized walleyes, I hooked into my biggest walleye of the day at 4.5 lbs:
Eventually, the fishing slowed down a bit, with the high heat and blazing sun. Mark set up the Bimini top roof to provide us with much needed shade, and we decided to try trolling for a while. The troll was tougher, but Ari landed the first Northern Pike of the day, followed by another walleye that I landed:
Eventually, we went back to drop shot fishing, as it proved to be the more productive tactic of the day, with us landing more walleye as the afternoon rolled in, including some more double headers:
Mixed in every now and then were some energetic bass, and Ari landed another decent pike:
Unfortunately, it was tome to call it a day just as some cloud and winds moved in. I have no doubt that Mark would have put us onto to some real trophy sized walleye with those condition rolling in for the late afternoon. I guess those big trophy sized walleye will have to wait for our next outing.
I highly recommend Mark as a walleye guide, as well as for other multispecies swimming in our lakes and rivers. His 21 foot ranger is equipped with a 250 HP motor, as well as a smaller 9.9 kicker for trolling, along with electric trolling motor, latest model sonar/gps with side imaging, etc. Contact Mark by clicking here.