Fox Chain Walleyes React as Mother Nature Moves back to Springtime
Apr 20th, 2005 by OutdoorsFIRST
Modified Apr 20th, 2005 at 12:00 AM
The Mercury dropped 20 degrees in a few minutes, and the Fox Chain of Lakes walleyes reacted negatively. The bite slowed considerably as temperatures in the 60’s dropped into the 40’s, seemingly in a few minutes about 10 a.m.The In-Fisherman Professional Walleye Trail anglers fishing the Berkley/Optima Pro-Am faced adversity on the first day. Several overcame the conditions by slowing their presentations. Day one pro leader Rick Franklin, Park Rapids, Minn., had a limit by 8:10 a.m He was fishing with amateur/co-angler Jim Cranmer, Engelwood, CO. They weighted 11.54 pounds.Pro Dave Adnerson, Apple Valley, Minn., PWT tournament winner and MortorGuide division winner in 2004, holds second place with 10.95 pounds. He fished with Jim McDonald, Mundelein, IL. A limit gave pro Scott Ziegler, North Platte, NE and amateur partner Jerry Graske, St. Charles, IL. 9.06 pounds and third place.Local favorite Mike Gofron, Antioch, IL., scored 6.47 pounds and holds 12th place. Coleman big fish honors went to Dryden, Ontario pro John Butts and his amateur/co-angler partner Bryan Doering, Fond du Lac, WI. They will split $1,000 for a 5.42 pound walleye.This is the first visit to the villages of Fox Lake and Antioch, where the anglers explored every nook and cranny of the Fox Chain. After low water (minimal snow run-off), the dam was closed last week, which brought water levels up a foot. Some walleye anglers caught fish in a foot of water; most were caught in less than five feet.Popular tactics were shallow-running crankbaits, jigs with Gulp!, PowerBait or livebait, and various combinations of 3-way livebait rigs. Trolling crankbaits also produced results in three feet to 10 feet of water. The Chain is relatively shallow and water clarity is rated in in inches. The north Lakes are deeper and clearer.Angler suffered sunburns with 80-degree temperatures for several days, until the cold front rolled through this morning. The weigh-in crowd numbered in the hundreds, despite the conditions. Warmer afternoons Thursday and Friday, April 21-22, should bring out the region’s many walleye fans for the final two days. The fans enjoy meeting the pros and learning about the Fox Chain.The PWT was hosted by villages and Chambers of Fox Lake and Antioch, and the pros were involved in numerous youth activities via the State Bank Group.The PWT works with marketing partners Mercury Marine, Lund, The Outdoor Channel, Berkley, Optima Batteries, Realtree, MotorGuide, Lowrance, MinnKota, Trilene, Frenzy, Blue Fox, Powerbait, Northland Fishing Tackle, Lindy Legendary Fishing Tackle, GULP!, Coleman, Storm, Boat Buckle, Smooth Moves Seat Mounts, Kwik Pfyt, E-Z Loader, Raymarine, Rapala, Matzuo, Pflueger, Ram rod holders, Gerbing’s Heated Clothing, Aqua-Vu, Save Phace, Plano, Stowmaster.net, Navionics, Access Roll-up Cover, Yellow Bird, DOW Chemical, Dave’s Lures, The State Bank Group, Yo-Zuri and Reef Runner.The PWT is an integral element of the In-Fisherman Communications Network headquartered in Brainerd, Minnesota, and PRIMEDIA, America’s leading producer of targeted media.