If you’re a walleye tournament angler then you’re probably a bit off the wall like me. Ever since I started fishing tournaments many years ago, I started paying attention to so many minor details than I did before. Let me explain…
Custom Walleye Crankbaits - The Beginning
Let me be clear from the git-go. Myself, I am NOT a painter. I probably should’ve failed art class as a kid because I couldn’t draw a stick figure. I am a CONNOISSEUR of custom crankbaits. I buy and fish with them…that is all.
But I do remember my first set of custom crankbaits around 15 years ago. I had a buddy who got into some painting and gave me a handful of Rapala Shad Raps (#5) that he custom-painted.
At the time, I spent MOST of my time in the summer on Lake Oahe in the southern portion of North Dakota (the North portion of Lake Oahe, essentially). They were feeding heavily at that time on young-of-the-year white bass and crappie. So naturally a #5 Shad Rap was a good choice.
The patterns themselves were like a small crappie/white bass, with a little bit of fluorescent color to boot. I couldn’t count how many fish that those boated back then. But at the same time, it was kind of a suicide bite anyways but you know how confidence baits go…
Custom Flicker Minnow For the Win
I’ve fished a lot of walleye tournaments through the years. When I moved to my current and probably til death parts home of Bismarck, ND, I had a goal of learning the rivers and lakes in the area. And while being a weekend warrior is great, I figured I could fast-track the process by fishing tournaments.
2 things I learned right away being a tournament angler in new waters…
- I got my butt kicked, a lot. It was never about winning or losing as much as just getting better. While I could say it gets better, and it does, you can also have bad seasons at any time (I’m experiencing one this year).
- It DOES in fact, force you to focus on minor details. I quickly learned different lake tendencies, when I think it would’ve taken years otherwise. Also, I didn’t grow up fishing rivers via boat. That is a learning experience all of it’s own…
Over the years, I’ve worked hard at learning new tactics and forcing myself to fish outside the box. I’ve gotten away from bottom bouncers and numbers to finding a few of the big girls, instead. There’s just something about the pursuit of pigs that gets a tournament angler excited.
But persistence pays off. I love walleye trolling, more than most I feel. I’ve written a lot about it through the years in various publications. And when the walleyes slide deep, that’s when the options become almost endless for trolling targets.
I was fortunate enough to win a big walleye tournament a few years back, and of course, I’d love to be able to do it again. Why am I telling you this? Because we won the tournament on a custom #11 Berkley Flicker Minnow.
The main forage base in the lake is smelt. As the season progresses, so do the numbers of 4-5 inch smelt as food options. So you know how the old saying goes, “Match the Hatch”.
So with a “Whitish” colored crankbait that was close to an actual smelt, we felt we couldn’t lose, and we didn’t. The crankbait is called “Cheap Date” by a friend and painter, DH Custom Baits.
It not only caught A LOT of fish during the tournament, it also boated the biggest of the tournament.
Where Custom Painted Lures Are Today?
If you haven’t noticed, there are a TON of custom painters out today. And I normally just pay attention to walleye crankbaits, myself. When you slip into the bass custom crankbait market you’ll lose your mind on options.
That’s where Fish Food Tackle comes into play. We’re working hard to make the buying and selling process of custom crankbaits easy.
No more shady buyers on Marketplaces (with a million questions), no more ridiculous marketplace fees such as eBay or Amazon..just simple transactions.
We feel we can bring the custom painters, together, under one marketplace. This will make the selling/shipping process easy for the painters, and the finding/buying process for anglers simple as well.
Keep your eye out in the near future for the Fish Food Tackle Marketplace release!