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A bite that recently emerged on Leech lake has been the pencil reed bite. By recently, I don’t mean it was just discovered, rather the baitfish moved in there and the walleye and perch have followed. Too many the idea of fishing here, especially for crappies, is nothing new. However, it is worth looking at for a fall tactic. Walleyes and Jumbo perch are in here gorging as the temps start to drop. Take advantage and enjoy a great mixed bag fun!
Reeds, like any area with structure, need a little help. On Leech, wind is king and provides a lot of help to enhance any structure, including pencil reed areas. If I know that baitfish have been using these areas, I am going to look first for those in the wind driven areas. The wind will also help concentrate that ball of baitfish so when I find the areas where walleyes are feasting, it should be game on!
When in search mode, I am going to start with jigs, moving rather quickly as I search for fish.; ⅛ stand up jig or an ⅛ long shank Kenkatch jig are my go to jigs. I will be looking to make casts to open pockets within the reed areas. If I don’t find them there I will begin probing the weed edges. Rainbows and fatheads are all the a person needs in the fall. If, somehow, you could find leeches, try those to tempt finicky walleyes or perch into biting.
Another technique that is overlooked come fall is slip bobbering. Slip bobbers and pencil were made for each other. Slip bobbers allow tremendous precision when making casts and keep the bait above debris, often dead pencil reeds. When shifting to bobbers, you may find it helpful to back off a bit and make longer casts to avoid spooking the fish. Rainbows and fatheads are still the bait of choice, but also try tail hooking the minnow to create a little more fish attracting struggle.
In the fall, most boats will be probing the depths, fishing steep breaks in search walleyes. And, while they will find some for sure, they will not find the mixed bags of jumbos and walleyes that you will by picking through the pencil reeds!