The inaugural H2H Professional Walleye Series tournament on the Detroit River was history in the making.
But for most of the 32 anglers it’s already ancient history as they prepare for the next qualifying event at Lake Wisconsin. With 47 miles of river connecting the 7,200 acre reservoir and fish expected to be scattered from one end of the dam to the other, there should be plenty of room to fish – if you can get there!
The spawn is long past, so post-spawn fish should be back in the lake by now. Of course, some walleyes and sauger remain in the river year-round. But are there enough of them in enough places to warrant a run up the river? Maybe. The river is full of baitfish this time of year and like most rivers that flow into large lakes, some walleyes linger to fatten up on the huge supply of minnows, small panfish and gizzard shad. Some live there year-round. But they won’t be in every deep cut, current break or sand flat. Just some of them. Finding those fish will take precious pre-fishing time especially with low water levels and navigation hazards.
Our anglers will be dealing with scattered bunches of fish anywhere from the shallows to the deepest dropoffs in the lake, with some fish suspending in open water as well. Submerged wood, stump fields, rocks, weeds with silt/sand/rock transitions will also hold fish. Wind direction changes will be a major player that will force anglers to make day-to-day adjustments and perhaps even hour-by-hour decisions.
Almost every walleye-catching presentation could come into play at Lake Wisconsin and in the river. Vertical jigging, casting jigs and crankbaits, trolling cranks and even spinner rigs. Casting or vertical jigging blades or spoons could be sleeper presentations. An angler might do all 8 presentations before the week or day is over. Areas with fish, instead of spots with fish will be the order of the day unless an angler finds enough key spots holding enough fish without wiping them out the first two days while trying to make the cutline. Fish management will be huge in this one.
It’s going to be educational. It’s going to be challenging. It’s going to be intriguing. It’s going to be entertaining. And it’s going to be fun – at least for some of us. This one could have more twists and turns than the road to tournament headquarters in Lodi. Lake Wisconsin here we come. Let’s all enjoy the ride!