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Discussion Starter #1
As a "newbie" to wiper fishing, i learned some things last year, i guess the basics maybe, of catching them. But i did have some questions on it. One thing that i noticed with the people around us who were fishing for them was that they had these huge sinkers, and sometimes two sinkers on their lines, i guess to get it as far out as possible from the shore. Is that neccessary? I tried a big sinker and wondered if it kinda hindered they way the rod felt when you had something on your line. I don't know. I know that it was harder to reel in with a bigger sinker, and if you have a good sized fish on your line, would that also effect the way it is reeled in?

Also, someone told us that wiper swim in schools, and make rounds around the lakes. So if you start getting good hits its because they are in that location at that time, which is why they seemingly stop biting after a bit, and they will be back at that location again however long it takes them to go around the lake. Is that true or was someone just making that up?

What i did learn was to leave some slack in your line so that when they bite they will take it and run with it, and that they pretty much set the hook themselves, to keep your rod tip up because they have a knack for spitting out the hook. I lost a nice size one just as we were getting ready to net it because it spit out the hook and flipped itself right out of the net.
 

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They do travel quite often around the lake. In fact, they're sometimes unpredictable especially if you're fishing from shore. At Union, I've had stringer days and days where I only stayed to patiently wait for a school to come by and still got skunked. The best and most predictable times to get bites are at low light times such as early morning or late sunset. But don't be surprised if you start hooking them during high noon.

The reason why these folks use the large sinkers is for casting distance. I personally use a 1 oz or 3/4 oz egg sinker. I just go with the usual catfish rig. I slide the sinker freely up my line on top of a # 7 to # 10 swivel. Below that, I have about a foot to a foot and a half of line with a # 1 or # 2 hook on the end. Anything between 10 and 14 lbs of line should be good. Put either a 1/2 a mussell (I like the half with the tongue), a freshly peeled crawdad tail or a nightcrawler on and cast out as far as you can. Try different distances because if the wiper are running shallower than expected, you may want to cast out only about 30 yards. At Neenoshe Reservoir down south, there was one time when I waded out to barely past my waist and was catching wipers and white bass casting back towards the shore with a zara spook top water. That shows how shallow they will go sometimes. Last year at Bonny, with the low water conditions, my cousin was catching small wipers and white bass on jigs in like 3 ft of water. Times like that are definitely possible at Union and other wiper waters around here.

It all depends on you if the weight of the sinker bothers you or not. It doesn't bother me and I don't notice too much difference. You may already know this, but he reason this rig works out well is because as the fish pulls on the bait, the line slides through the sinker and the fish doesn't feel the tension. By the time the fish realizes it, it will feel your weight on the other end of the line. Or perhaps, you'll notice your rod heading for a swim if you don't pay attention. :p

I'm sure as a catfish enthusiast, your rod holders secure the rod well. So far in my fishing career, I've lost two rods for not paying attention. Luckily the second time, it got tangled with another dude's line and he reeled in my rod so I fought the fish in after that. And get this: the wiper was only 20 inches!! That was at Jackson Lake near Ft. Morgan.
 

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One of the best ways to spot where the wipers are is to watch for shad breaking on the surface of the water or watch where the gulls are swarming on the water and diving. These areas will hold a large quanity of baitfish and the wipers and other bass will be pushing the baitfish schools and feeding.
This technique works great in a boat and may be a little harder to do from shore, but if your catfishing and see the shad schooling make a cast out that way.
 

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Hey Koni

You just need enough weight to get it to where they are swimming through...and on some days they do seem to swim in a pattern so it does help to pay attention...there are times at Aurora on the dam where you  can stand on top and watch schools swim up and down the dam...sometimes it is just a heavy rise that will give them away...like they came to the surface to murder a 12 inch stocker trout that was lazily looking up for bugs unaware of what lurked below him before he became dinner...on the subject of weights I like to use the plastic worm weights that look like a cone...dont get snagged and the line runs freely through them...I used use a split shot to control the length of the leader between the weight and the hook until I came upon a product made by Lindy/Little Joe called Soft Stops...they are a plastic bead and a peg that the line goes through that you can adjust the length of the leader and it doesnt slide like a split shot does with a heavier weight...sometimes I will use a tylenol gel cap sized floatie (they come in various colors) between the weight and the hook to keep the bait in the visual strike zone...away from crayfish and away from being buried in the muck or fine weeds so the fish can find it...especially a cruising fish like trout and wiper that cover lots of area looking visually for food...

So yes I do believe wipers make some type of "rounds"...maybe not the whole lake...but set daily patterns wherever the food is prominent...which leads to time frames between bites and boredom...so your tactic of leaving slack in the line when shore fishing is just what the doctor ordered...I leave huge amounts of slack in my line and with a sliding sinker they never feel anything (dont drop the bait or pull it off if I dont notice immediatly unlike with a tight line)...I see the line speeding off...gives me time to get into position...make sure the drag is set properly while waiting for the line to get taut so I can set the hook...I used to go to some of Joe Butler's seminars on fishing for large trout...he always said big old fish have hard boney mouths so you need to hammer the hook home...I think this is some of what you are seeing with the wiper spitting hooks...it was never buried in their jaw...I have lost wipers to broken lines but never throwing the hook...always make sure you set it firmly...I hope that wasnt too wordy...and anyone one that doubts the ability of light line...I once saw the 4 pound line class world record wiper at a sporstmans show in denver...it was stuffed and I believe it was caught from Big Mac in Nebraska...I think it was 44 pounds...on 4 pound line...
 

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Discussion Starter #5
I'm going to have to get a journal to start writing all these tips into. Some good info and thanks. I usually have my line rigged almost like you said, but without the swivel and sinker being loose on the line, so i will try it the way you suggest here. I did make notes. lol. The drag. The dreaded drag. ha! That is where i run into some problems i think, is because i still don't quite have an understanding of how the drag works or how to work it right. I know how to loosen it and tighten it but how do you know what to set it on? Not to sound like a complete idiot...lol. My reel is a penn jarvis walker, a salt water reel, and it holds 24 to 30 lb test line. the other one is an abu garcia that also holds up to 20 lb test line. I don't think i can use smaller line on them can I?

As for rod stands...when i do go to Union i fish on the pier so there are those holes drilled in the railing for placing your rods. If im not on the pier then i try to just hold my rod, if i can't do that then i try to find a place where i can anchor it to something. I've nearly lost my rods a few times by just setting them down and propping them up.
 

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so anybody using circle hooks to catch wipers because i know when we go fishing for cats we catch some nice size wipers and the circle hooks work real good on them because they pick up the bait and run with it and hook themselves so was wondering who all use circle hooks
 

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My favorite pattern for catching wipers is throwing Kastmaster's. Most people think Kastmaster's are a trout lure but I use them for wipers with great success. The key to using them is finding out and matching the size of the baitfish. I usually have to do this by trial and error, though sometimes I'll get lucky and spot some baitfish. When wipers are boiling on the surface there is not a better bait out there, you can get a fish on every cast. ;)
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Katmasters eh. I don't think we have any of those so will have to pick some up. I'm looking forward to March 1 when union opens up to do some wiper fishing so am getting my gear ready and trying to figure what we need.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Oh i forgot...on circle hooks...my son sent me the hugest circle hooks and I'm not sure about using them...they are what he uses to catch big flatheads...so not sure about using them here because they are pretty big hooks. Those are strickly for going after the monster size fish right?
 

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hey koni what size of circle hook did he send you when i go fishing i us a 4/0 and 5/0 circle but i have some 15/0 that i tell people that is what i catch the fish on just to see the look on there faces
 

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Discussion Starter #12
??? I don't know the size...they are in a package but there is no label with any info on it that tells me the size...measured them with a tapemeasure and they are about 1 1/2 in length from the eye to the bottom of the hook. That's the best i could do on size.
 

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Koni,

just a bit of a guess here. That size might be about a 1/0 hook. Maybe okay for wiper, but much better for catfish. In that regard, I asked the local Bass Pro Shop operator what worked well for Wipers and he pulled out this little....barely 2" long Rebel or Rapala something or other that imitates a shiny silver shad. If you can imagine how tiny the sets of trebles are on those, as a comparison, the circle hooks you have would encompass the entire treble. ....but, what do I know? I can't even catch the family dog (Pomeranian) let alone big fish!!! :p
 
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