We believe that at our core, Fish Explorer is our lake and river pages and up-to-date conditions reports. You provide the reports helping out your fellow anglers. Skippers are an important part to the quick approval of quality of information here and this blog series highlights these members who go the extra mile to rep, check, and share their favorite water.
If you have any skippers you think should be in upcoming Spotlights (I really will try to do these twice a month, I know I haven't been consistent enough) email me
and let me know who and why you think they should be in the spotlight. Also send me any more questions you think would be good for this series. It's hard coming up with new questions, but I know there must be more good ones I can ask.
James, aka Neyet Stalker
, joined FxR early. As a skipper for Chatfield Reservoir
, he helps keep this very popular water consistently up-to-date with reports and quickly checking and approving reports coming in from you guys. He also knows how to catch walleye
, big walleye. And he knows WHEN to find them. A few years ago James wrote a very informative and comprehensive article about Walleye Tips and Tactics of a Nightstalker
. I think it's a must-read if you're at all interested in catching big walleye.
As usual, I asked James some fishing questions to get to know him a little better:
What’s your earliest memory fishing?
I recall a few times fishing with the family as a child. Since I grew up in Aurora we used to spend the day at Cherry Creek Reservoir
. No serious fishing just bait dunking for anything that would bite and spending family time. We did not have a father that taught anything about the outdoors. I did not pick up fishing until much later in life. Had a good friend fishing partner in the late 70’s, we would travel around and mostly bait dunk for trout, catfish, and anything else.
Why do you fish?
Fishing provides many benefits that are good for the heart, mind, and body! I fish because its part of whom I am. It brings fulfillment in so many ways. Going fishless is part of the learning curve, and I still learn. I will always hunt and hope for the next PB eye, but just getting out and catching a keeper or two keeps me content. One never knows what may hit on the next cast! I hope to continue to shore fish night time walleye into my early eighties. Hoping diet and exercise help to achieve the dream.
What’s your favorite species/technique? Why?
Marble Eyes have long been my chosen specie and I still have a passion for them to this day! They can be a challenge to catch consistently from shore and are great tasting too. Many suggest they are not a hard fighting fish. But, most have not caught a big eye in cold water close to shore. Big fish are aggressive and provide a good decent fight. But, I don’t fish them for the fight; I hunt them from shore for the challenge. Over the years trial and error has taught me to carry a variety of lures. I have good success with both hard and soft plastics during the entire open water season.
What’s your dream fishing vacation?
A two week trip to Canada would have to be tops on my list for fantasy trip. Walleye, Pike, and Musky would be the target, with a qualified guide!
How’d you get into walleye fishing at night?
I was out one night alone fishing at Cherry Creek State park many years ago. Like early eighties. I ran into this guy casting the shores that night. We spoke briefly, he was fishing for walleye. I started researching and learning on my own, there was not much resource available to me at that time. I wanted to do something besides dunk bait. The early days and years were somewhat difficult. The gear was not as good as it is now. I used a cheap rod/reel, spooled with inexpensive mono. lol Back then we did not have a trail across the dam, and I preferred to fish the rocks. After much trial and error I began to catch some decent fish, all around the lake. Catching eyes during the day and at night, Cherry Creek was where I honed my craft. Over time experience said when and where to use a specific lure/technique. After I caught a few big eyes 10+ pounds, I was hooked on night fishing for life. I loved going out at night, alone, and hunting big walleye from shore. I had found my passion that connected me with the outdoors, and many other things! Though I prefer to fish alone (for many reasons) fishing with a friend is good too. Fishing at night is usually very peaceful, free from all of the daytime activity!
Why’d you become a skipper?
I’ve been with Fish Explorer since the early days, and have seen it evolve over the years. It is the best resource for angling in Colorado, thanks to the shared experience of many great anglers. I like to help others catch fish, so becoming a skipper made sense and provided the avenue. I have helped a number of anglers catch their first, PB, or trophy eye. They continue to succeed and have a bright future. I am always available to answer your shore walleye questions. Neyet Time is the right time!
Goosehunter82, CO 12/2/2018 10:15:41 AM
James definitely knows his stuff when it comes to walleye fishing. I was lucky enough to fish with him this past spring. Great addition to the skipper spotlight.
fom, CO 12/2/2018 6:20:21 PM
Good read , well done !
spicyhombre, CO 12/2/2018 8:39:32 PM
Although I have not had the chance to fish with James he has been very helpful to me in pursuit of eyes from what he has taught me through his guide (mentioned above), his posts, as well as on the phone. Great guy and always inspirational in getting me out at night chasing eyes.
Neyet Stalker, CO 12/3/2018 3:44:35 PM
Thank you! We are fortunate here in CO to have a good selection of lakes that hold big eyes. Our walleye grow fast and big thanks to abundant forage base in these specific waters. Walleye angling has grown in popularity both shore and boat, CO has a bright future. Paying attention to details with some luck always helps to catch the big one. Go for it.
bron, CO 12/3/2018 7:15:50 PM
You are definitely an ace walleye fisherman. Great read!
SGM, CO 12/4/2018 9:07:54 AM
Nice read, good to see a spot light on James.
panfishin, CO 12/4/2018 10:56:51 AM
I have learned a lot from your posts James an even won one of your custom painted jerkbaits a few year back. Thank you for all that you have done on this site! How did you get started customizing some of your baits?
Neyet Stalker, CO 12/4/2018 6:59:29 PM
Appreciate it! Some years ago during research on “fish see what colors?” sparked the idea. At night it’s more about contrast, with some flash. Depth, speed control, etc. But, walleye see incredible in the darkest of depths. So, they can see everything in the night time shallows. Several things trigger a bite, and color is only one, even at night. Some of the colors were not available for specific baits I wanted. I’ve had success with certain colors with a touch of “glow” on each lure at night. I have experimented with many colors over the years, and some do work better than others at times. Almost every lure I use now has been customized. It’s another hobby and brings satisfaction when big fish eat a custom too! Gives me another level of confidence, and I need that too.
Kev-o, CO 12/5/2018 7:17:14 PM
James has definitely given me some good tips on how to catch more walleye that actually work. Great fisherman for sure. Thanks a lot!
anglerwannabe, CO 12/6/2018 8:25:22 AM
great to see this blog about James!
Neyet Stalker, CO 12/6/2018 4:41:27 PM
Thanks again! The reality is keeper size shore walleye are not difficult. Most anyone with persistence, effort, determination can have success! The larger eyes are more of an challenge, but can be caught. Fishing during the best times, and paying attention to details, will improve the odds!