Larry Bollig

Minnesota Fishing Hall of Fame member Larry Bollig is a successful tournament angler, guide and lecturer. He's considered by many to be one of the state's premier multi-species anglers.

Posts about Fishing

Weed Walleyes

Posted by: Larry Bollig Updated: July 5, 2009 - 1:37 PM
Weeds offer shelter, oxygen and food for insects, minnows, crustaceans and panfish and that attracts the bass, northern pike, walleyes, musky, etc. You get the point--any lake that has weeds and a walleye population you can bet the weeds will hold fish.

This is especially true in stocked lakes. These are usually waters with no or marginal spawning habitat. Those lakes are usually lacking rocks and gravel so most of the structure is weed beds. Walleyes will go where the food is and that means they spend a lot of time around and in the weeds.

Next week I'll discuss techniques for fishing in and around weeds. 

Good Fishing!

Think Shallow for Bigger Walleyes

Posted by: Larry Bollig Updated: June 28, 2009 - 3:33 PM
Just because it is summer, it does not mean all the walleyes are deep. I have a rule and that is always fish the shallowest part of the structure you are fishing especially if the weather is good. Clouds, wind, humidity and rain help make the shallow bite better. Here is an example: yesterday I was catching walleyes on a rock pile that topped out at five feet. It was a calm day without much humidity--most of the fish were caught in 28 feet. Today the weather changed--clouds, more humidity, and a nice breeze--the change in weather means I will check out the top of the reef first and then work my way down.

When the bite is good, the biggest fish will go shallow because they can. The smaller fish are a little more shy.

Walleyes see color

Posted by: Larry Bollig Updated: June 21, 2009 - 9:46 PM

Light determines the best color. Years ago, scientists dissected the eyes of walleyes and counted their color rods. They determined they could see blues, greens, yellows, oranges, and reds. Blues, greens and yellows are best used during bright sunlight and clear water conditions. Red is only red in shallow water. It is the first color to disappear as it gets deeper into the water column and it literally turns black..

Fluorescent yellow and fluorescent orange are best during low light and dingy water conditions. Black is not a color--it is the absence of color. Black is most visible to a fish as it is looking up. Think about it--without exception, all species have white bellies and dark backs. That way, because of their white bellies, they are less visible when their predators are below them and with their dark backs, they are less visible when their predators are looking down which is their basic camouflage

Since fish generally look for prey above them, including walleyes, black then becomes very visible and therefore, a good choice.

Footnote: I never use black leaders. I want the fish to see my lure not my leader.

The Best All Around Lure

Posted by: Larry Bollig Updated: June 13, 2009 - 5:21 PM
Jigs are the most versatile lure of all. They can be fished shallow or deep depending on the weight of the jig head. When planning a trip up North, let's say the boundary waters or Canada--you should take a variety of jig heads and plastic bodies to go on them. You can buy jig heads at any good tackle store or bait shop. They come in many colors and unpainted as well.

I, personallly, do not think color is that important. I usually buy black jig heads. Their weights will range from one-sixteenth ounce to one-fourth ounce for casting and up to one-half ounce for vertical jigging. The plastic bodies will range from three to six inches long and I prefer swimming tails, i.e., Mister Twister style. Best colors for me are black, white and chartreuse.

If I was allowed only one lure to fish with, it would be a one-eighth ounce jig with a six inch worm (swimming style) , white for clear water or black for darker or stained water either cast or trolled. All species of fish will bite it.

Tips and Tricks for Fishing with Leeches

Posted by: Larry Bollig Updated: May 30, 2009 - 5:11 PM
Leeches can be kept for many weeks in cold water.  That is why you buy them in refrigerated containers. Water temperatures between 35 to 40 degrees are ideal. After buying your leeches, most people put them on ice until they arrive on the lake. Some fishermen keep them in the cooler even while fishing--digging into the cooler for a leech every time they need one.

When I arrive at the lake, I take my leeches out of the cooler because I want them to warm up so they will be active. I add lake water periodically to keep the water close to the temperature of the lake. A small styrofoam cooler works well.

Black leeches that are swimming are the ones I use. The brown leeches, especially if they are curled up on the bottom of the container, are the ones I give my brother-in-law, or mother-in-law. I am not kidding and I am not alone in believing that the dark leeches work better.

When you watch a leech swim, the small end or head, is forward, so why do most people hook them through the suction cup, i.e., foot. This method works ok if you're using a bobber, but when you are trolling or drifting, it's unnatural to drag it backwards and the leech tends to curl up. I hook mine through the head and they seem to swim better. It is definitely a more natural presentation.

Use small hooks, number 8 or 10--light line--6 lb or 4 lb and your leech will act more natural and trigger more bites.


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