Many Overlook Spring Tactics for Late Summer Walleyes !
By Sam Anderson
Walleyes live in a variety of aquatic environments, although they are
usually found near rocky points, in places where the lake bottom changes
from mud to gravel, along weedlines, near reefs and in areas with current.
The trick is learning where walleyes are likely to be located
throughout the year and to focus your fishing efforts in those places.
Walleye fishing success is determined by water clarity and temperature.
The clearer the water, the tougher the bite, although clear lakes often
have the largest walleyes. The best times to fish in clear lakes
are dawn, dusk and at night. In stained water, walleyes will bite
throughout the day. In northern rivers and lakes where food is limited
and the growing season is short, walleyes will aggressively follow lures
to the boat even on sunny days. In the spring (from May until mid June),
walleyes congregate near river outlets, in shallow bays, near emerging
weeds, along shallow shorelines and close to gravel bars and reefs where
they spawned. They'll stay in
the shallows as long as the water remains cool, so you can look for
them along shorelines.
By summer, walleyes start moving to deeper structure from five to 30
feet depending on water clarity, sunlight, wind and wave action.
Try the edge of dropoffs along long points. If the waves are up,
look for feeding fish on top of the structure. Mid-lake humps, sunken
cabbage weeds and mud flats all hold summer walleyes. In the
you may find feeding fish in shoreline shallows. Long lining the flats
is a good way to find summer walleyes. Recently while fishing the
flats I made a couple of backtrolling runs across the 6-10 foot areas and
that produced a couple of fish, but that was it. The fish were there, but
at midday they were spooky. A little experimentation, however, quickly
produced the proper pattern. The key was a silent presentation.
The outboard was shut off and the
electric motor lowered into the water.
Lindy walking sinkers and Lindy rigs were replaced with a single, tiny,
split shot and a #8 hook. The hook was baited with leeches or crawlers;
about 40 yards of line was released, and the area slowly and silently backtrolled,
back and forth, with this long-line presentation. The long line reduces
the feel but allows time for the boat to pass overhead of the walleyes
and reduces the chances of them spooking. The walleyes if they do
spook will regroup and be attentive to any live bait
passing them. This same pattern can be used when fishing spinners.
Slow down the
presentation just like you would in the spring of the year. Maybe
go to a smaller blade on your spinner or a lighter weight and slow down
your speed, by using the electric trolling motor. Another spring
tactic that I use a lot is skimming or swimming a lure
over the top of weed growth. This method uses the same type of
presentation previously mentioned, but instead of live bait, I will use
a crankbait. Again, here I will use my MotorGuide electric motor
and troll across the top of the weeds. It's particularly effective
shallow, weedy, stocked walleye lakes where walleyes relate to weedbeds,
or in a lake that has received a lot of fishing pressure. A favorite
lure also is the
type balsa minnow trolled ever so slowly across the shallow rocks and the
tops of weed growth. By the way this is also a great way to find
summer walleyes at night. The walleyes are feeding in the shallows
and love to relate to those weedbeds. This system is particularly effective
on weedier lakes because walleyes tend to spread out in the emerging weedgrowth,
rather than concentrate near shoreline rocks like they do in rocky, clean-bottomed
lakes. You simply have to cover more water to find them, and the
slow trolling approach works quite well.
One method overlooked by many anglers is the Thill Float approach.
The Thill Float technique is a topnotch walleye method. When the
walleyes are scattered and the waves are really pounding in, there's no
better way to fish. You can't control the boat in such waves, so
why bother to try. Simply anchor, cast out the float and let it do
the work for you.
Visit Sams new website at www.samanderson.com
The stop, or rubber snubber enables you to set your bait at any
depth you wish. It's great for working those hard to get at fish
snuggled in among boulders, or for reaching suspended fish lying off the
side of a rocky reef. The Thill Float holds a leech, crawler or minnow
front of the fishes' nose, and sometimes that is what it takes to get
a response from inactive walleyes. If walleye anglers have one fault, it's
that they don't experiment enough. Don't get stuck in a rut, be a
change up type of angler. Sometimes a little twist in presentation or fishing
shallower than youthink in the summer months can produce numbers of walleyes.
to keep an open mind, and experiment with some of these methods.
Versatility is one of the keys to consistent fishing success.
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