Walleye By Big Slough

All those house and cabins along big slough, and some on the Iowa side, the ones who watch other fisherman with spy glasses, then race to the spot after they leave, seem to struggle to catch Walleye, so this is for them. The walleye are there in all those wingdams you’re fishing but they are hard to catch. The rest of us struggle too. Sometimes catch 2 fish is a good day, some times we get skunked, sometimes when they’re biting we might get a limit. I have watched Iowa DNR shock those wingdams just outside of the main cut to the main river on the north end of big slough and dozens of big walleyes surface. Just look at their website and see all the 27-28″ walleye they hold up for photos. Sometimes they put tracking devices in them. But here’s the secret, they don’t always bite or there wouldn’t be anymore fish.

When the water is high, which seems to be the norm any more, the fish hang out in big slough, sometimes in the slough feeding, most of the time in the stumps and weed beds.

I like to fish that area by cooks island up to Savanna but it’s just too far for me being a on retirement budget. That is where most of the big fish are. If I could fish it everyday I would be looking for new spots besides wingdams. There are many side sloughs that are deep with decent current and full of bait fish. From lower lake all the way to Bulger hollow it has been dredged out for the rail road tracks. There is so many place for fish to hang out and no one fishes there, because no one looks for fish in those spots. All along Subula is a magnet for bait fish and walleye, but again, no one fishes there. All those wingdams around the railroad bridge, hardly anyone fishes. All you have to do is figure out the secrets to the spots. Those secrets could be where fish move through, or where they sit all the time. Most of the wingdams above savana never get hit, it’s a no man’s zone because it’s too far for everyone.

I mostly take photos anymore, I don’t catch many fish, I just like to get away from everyone and look for photo opportunities. I also like to look for new spots, which is what fishing is all about and I don’t like it when people follow me around. I figure they can do their own work and consider it stealing. I lose any desire to look around if people are just going to steal everything I find. If you think it’s harmless to fish where you saw me, well other people see you and then they fish there. Pretty soon I can’t even fish in spots I found on my own. It makes fishing not worth the trouble, and why I am getting away from fishing and getting more and more into photography.

The other day I was watching 2 eagles, hoping they would catch a fish in front of me and there was mink around I was watching. Then someone saw me, changed course, cut me off and scared everything away. This is so irritating and it happens all the time. There are plenty of places where fish where no one fishes, waiting for you to find. I have spots so secret I don’t even fish them unless I’m sure there are no boats on the river and people run right by them all the time without trying. They just run “to the spot” where they saw someone, heard someone was fishing or where they caught fish once before where they saw someone fishing. People think they aren’t good enough to find fish. Well there is no better satisfaction than finding fish and figuring out how to catch them. We are all amateurs doing that. I also do a lot of bass fishing just to get off the beaten path and fish where I might see some wildlife because walleye fishing is so tough for me. I can’t afford nor do I want to chase fish. Like I know the best place top fish right now is mid pool, but I stay away to save money.


About Dave Tackett

Dave Tackett is from Sterling Illinois. An avid fisherman since childhood, he has fished all over the Midwest, mainly the Mississippi River pools 8-19. His home waters are pools 13 & 14. After fishing Bass tournaments for many years, he gave it up to fish for Walleye year round. He now guides and fishes for fun. He likes to take photos of the scenic places he visits on the river and likes to keep a video camera running to get footage for his Walleye DVDs. Photography is now where he most of his time working, using professional DSLR cameras and lens. These photos include landscape around the Mississippi River and the Rock River, river birds like eagles heron, egrets etc.
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