Outdoors Angle: Dealing With Zebra Mussels

Steve Carney Outdoors
Steve Carney Outdoors

The Flag Outdoors Expert Steve Carney has your weekly Outdoors Angle right here!

     As we slide into the summer months, the invasive zebra mussels have become a real pain. These invasives have been found in numerous lakes in our region and we have to learn to adapt our walleye presentations. These invasives attach themselves to deep water vegetation which makes pulling a live bait rig or jig through the area a tough endeavor.

     First off, you need to streamline and downsize your live bait rig and make adjustments. This means moving towards a "bullet" style sinker which can slide through the vegetation much easier than the traditional walking style sinker. Even bottom bouncer style weights (lead and wire version) are not workable in zebra mussel areas. Also I downsize my swivel at the head of the leader to the smallest one I can find. This also allows you to pull through zebra areas much easier.

     I have run into zebra mussel infestations as deep as 25 feet. I run into pockets of these infestations in many areas but not entirely throughout a given lake. It's unfortunate because the walleyes tend to hang around these mussel areas.

     As anglers we must make the proper adjustments and learn to deal with this invasive as it looks like they are here to stay.

Steve Carney is The Flag WZFG Outdoors expert. He can be heard every Thursday morning at 8:05 on AM 1100 and 92.3 FM WZFG. Check out his weekly podcast on am1100theflag.com and hear his Outdoors Angle reports every Friday on AM 1100 and 92.3 FM WZFG. You can also visit stevecarneyoutdoors.com for more information.