When you think of championship caliber walleye pros, the name Mark Courts should come to mind. He’s been hoisting up giant walleye for years and has a resume loaded with impressive credentials and several major tournament wins. Courts will be the first to admit that today’s competition is fierce, and to stay at the top of the pack, you need to always be learning, making adjustments and staying up with what’s new in the industry.
Courts has always kept a close eye on new trends and products that surface in the world of walleye fishing. He also pays attention to what is going on in other fishing circles such as bass fishing, crappie and saltwater. The common denominator is that we are all chasing predator fish. No matter what species you are after, you’re hunting for a hunter and what works on one game fish may certainly work on another. It’s up to you as an angler to convert that into your gameâ€”something Courts does very well.
Courts may be known for his walleye catching ability, but he can definitely hold his own with the best of them in the bass game as well. It was here that Courts starting hearing of The Hydrowave that called in minnows by using finely tuned baitfish sounds and playing them through a speaker under water. Using his angler intuition, Courts knew that there was something special behind this technology and quickly added one to his Ranger. What he found was not only did this thing work to catch bass but it worked just as good at catching walleye too.
“Walleyes are generally a spooky fish”, explains Courts. “Today’s zebra mussels are making the water very clear which is making these fish even more spooked
The Hydrowave will offset that pulling out the true predator demeanor in these fish”
Courts has played with different mounting options for the speaker and sees a key difference between where bass anglers mount it and where he gets best results for targeting walleyes. Most bass fisherman mount the speaker on the trolling motor, as they tend to cast forward. When targeting walleye, Courts find it best to mount the speaker at the transom, as he does a good amount of his fishing using trolling methods.
“Whether I’m jigging or trolling big cranks, the use of my Minn Kota Terrova with i-Pilot allows me to sit in back and have more control of my bait,” Courts said. “By having the Hydrowave speaker at the transom, it calls walleyes right into the strike zone. Walleye will always be located where the bait are, generally hanging off key pieces of structure. The Hydrowave activates the environment and gets inactive fish to start looking and hunting bait, pulling them up off the structure and allowing me to get a few more bites that I wouldn’t have gotten without it.”
Courts acknowledges that at times the Hydrowave may seem like it’s just something you turn on and the fish jump in the boat, but in most cases it takes some fine tuning like anything else.
“I’ve had some incredible days with it I have to admit, but the reality of it is that I
can always count on it to get me one or two bites,” he said. “That’s the beauty of it. For a tournament guy, those couple bites a day turn into many over the year, which result in higher finishes. For the weekend angler, the Hydrowave will maximize their fish count too, making for better days on the water.”
The Hydrowave may be a staple in the bass fishing world and is clearly making waves in the rest of the freshwater and saltwater scene as well. According to Courts it doesn’t end there either as he mumbled the words “ice fishing.”