By Steve Weisman
As we move toward mid-March, anglers begin thinking about open water and that first trip walleye fishing. What better time to schedule a day devoted to “talking” walleye fishing with one of the most respected and successful touring pros on the Masters Walleye Circuit (MWC)?
On Saturday, March 16, Johnnie Candle, the 2010 MWC World Walleye Champion, will present a day-long Walleye University at Bev’s On the River (1110 Larsen Park Road) in Sioux City, Ia. Registration begins at 8:30 a.m. with the “University” kicking off at 9 a.m. and lasting to 4 p.m.
Candle, who has been offering the Walleye University series for 13 years, says, “Although I’ve always updated the day’s activities each year, this year’s University consists of entirely new topics.”
The morning’s opening segment covers marine electronics. “Technology is more affordable than it has ever been, but for a lot of anglers, it’s also become more intimidating. We’ve had so many advancements from down imaging, to side imaging and now 360 imaging. My hope is that during this hour-long discussion, we can alleviate much of the fear and give insight into how to utilize the options that the modern sonars present.”
As Candle discusses the new technology, he will provide visuals of what things look like below and help those in attendance interpret what these visuals mean. “I plan to discuss interpretation until everyone feels comfortable with what they are seeing under water.”
Techniques and locations
The second segment is what Candle calls “What do you do when the fish aren’t where they are supposed to be?” Candle admits it’s a long title. However, it’s probably one of the most frequent questions he fields as a pro. “We’re all good when the fish are where they should be, and they bite the way they should. It’s when things aren’t the way they should be, that’s what we’ll cover.”
Candle likens it to the adage “thinking out of the box” and will share the progression that he uses at different times of the year. “We’ll talk about where to look and what to do when it’s really windy or flat calm, or when the lake is incredibly low or flooding, when the fish have gone into the shallows or dropped off into deep water, or when a severe cold front hits or surface water temperatures soar into the 80s.” So much to talk about that Candle will devote the rest of the morning to discuss techniques and locations.
Local walleye hotspots
After lunch, the afternoon’s presentations begin with something Candle thinks anglers will appreciate. “We are bringing in a biologist with the Iowa DNR to discuss walleye populations in bodies of water close to Sioux City. All too often, except for a few locals, we overlook some quality walleye fishing right in our very own backyard.”
Following this, M. Doug Burns, the Iowa Guide, will discuss walleye techniques and locations at the Iowa Great Lakes (East and West Okoboji and Big Spirit Lake). Candle says, “Doug has great knowledge of these lakes and spends much of the open water season putting his clients on fish.” This segment will be especially appropriate with the opener of the walleye season set for the first weekend in May.
The afternoon concludes with what Candle says is tailored to answer the questions of all the anglers. During this final segment, the three presenters will be part of a panel discussion with the goal of “answering anything about fishing. In some cases, the question might be for just one of us or it might be one that all three will answer. The audience might hear a unified answer or even three different answers. To me, that’s what will make this segment so valuable for those in attendance.”
Cost for the University is $50. Candle says participants will receive a workbook with PowerPoint presentations and areas for taking notes. “We’ll also have several door prizes, plus each person will receive a $20 Scheels gift card and a Berkley coupon sheet with special prices,” adds Candle. “I am really excited to bring Walleye University to Sioux City.”
For more information or to sign up, contact Candle at (701) 371-9431 or email him at email@example.com.