The mayfly hatch of 2017 is on! In the days of yesteryear, the old-time walleye anglers would claim that the bite would shut down during the hatch, but au contraire mon frères. That’s French, which loosely translated means, not so fast my brothers. In all actuality, it’s the opposite, the walleye of Lake Erie are putting the feedbag on and it’s one of the best times of the year to head out and catch some limits of eyes.
I like certain blades a little more than others, depending on the time of the year. Does it really make a difference, I would certainly say yes. One of my favorite “buggy” blades to rig up during the hatch is Northland Tackle’s Golden Shiner in the Baitfish-Image series of colorado blades. I choose the colorado during the hatch because I like that slow turning thump sound while fishing low, versus the willow blade. While fishing higher in the water column, the willow is more effective due to what I call the flash factor, which with the longer blade, gives the fish the best possible chance to see it. Point is, that the gold and brown mix in the Baitfish-Image finish is a walleye-catching pattern….its very buggy.
Another hatch category I like is what I refer to as “Anti-Freeze” Patterns. This term refers to metallic yellows, oranges, and greens like those found on the Mr. Walleye Crawler Haulers from Northland. Specifically, the Hex Sunfish and Firetiger patterns offer the perfect mix of match the hatch color patterns.
Gold and copper, can’t get any more simple or buggy when it comes to these two metallic blades. Either is good on its own when rigging a harness yourself, but I have a little trick to share. I will interlock a pair of folded clevises so that the two blades are turning in tandem while running through the water column. Not sure what I mean, look at an inline muskie spinnerbait that has two blades on the wire, that’s what I am talking about. You get the gold and copper flash going on at the same time and you make your own mayfly catching rig with the components available on Northland’s website.
In conclusion, which is English for the end of the article, if you are an angler who struggles during the mayfly hatch, think about getting buggy with your blade patterns. For myself, these are all patterns that have proven their worth during the hatch. In the mornings cover the whole water column, as the walleye will be actively feeding, and as the day progresses and the sun rises, start running your blades lower and watch your catch rates increase. Watch your speeds and for what it’s worth, try that 1.2 to 1.5 mph range to put more walleye in your cooler, or livewell as the case may be.
By: Northland Pro Charlie Mason