Walleyes Inc. Your one stop internet fishing resourceDaiichi Hooks Try the Bleeding Bait series for the best hooks on the marketLindy Little Joe Fishing TacklePanther Marine ProductsDual Pro Charging Systems the Chargers the Pro's UseRAM MOunting Systems the Ultimate in Electronic Mounting systemsBait Rigs TackleRanger Boats Still buidTrojan Batteries Simply the strongest battery on the marketThe only underwear you need for extreme cold weatherBedfors Sales Illinois # 1 Ranger Boat DealerDaiwa Fishing ReelsDrift Control The Best Drift Sock AvailableWe Didnt Invent Planer Boards we just made them easier and better to useWalleyes Inc. Your one Stop Internet fishing ResourceWalleyes Inc. Your one Stop Internet fishing Resource


Walleye In-Sider save 58% click here

Bass & Walleye Boats Magazine Save 64%  Click here

Cranking For Walleye T Shirt
Check out our T-shirt Line Now in colors and long sleeves
  Walleyes Inc. Pro Team Team Favorites Lodging, food,tackle, equipment and more
 ? Home
 ? Pro Page
 ? Pro's Pointers
 ? Tournaments
 ? Fishing Reports
 ? Fishing Articles
 ? Fishing Clubs
 ? Fishing Links
 ? Resort Links
 ? Guide Links
 ? Press Releases


 ? Walleyes Inc. Store
 ? New Products
 ? Product Links
 ? Boats For Sale
 ? Classifieds
 ? Contact Us

Survivior Livewell Intake System on the Run
Survivor Livewell
Intake System on 
"The Run" 

Click Here For 

More Information

Walleyes Inc quick Change Spinner Pack Special only $5.95
Walleyes Inc. 6 
Pack Spinner 
Pack Special
Only $5.95
Click Here

Lowrance Instructional DVD

Click here for Bruce Samson's Great New Instructionsal Interactive DVD

Pathfinder Scent Dispensing Crankbait Kit

Click here to See New Scent dispensing Crankbaits

Quick Scent Bait Stick
The Ultimate Bait Scent
Click here for more information

Welcome to Walleyes Inc.com Click Here to Check Out Our On-Line Tackle Store

Nine to Five Reservoir Walleyes
by Rick Olson

Icing big walleyes on big reservoirs is big fun, without a doubt. Lakes like Oahe and Sakakawea in North and South Dakota are good examples, and are loaded with walleyes. Anglers working the ice early in the season can make some astounding catches, and better yet they can do it during banker’s hours!
The mid day pattern doesn’t really fit with natural lakes which usually see more activity at sunup and again at sundown, and even after dark. But reservoirs aren’t natural; they’re manmade, and have their own unique characteristics. That doesn’t mean lowlight patterns won’t produce, they will. It’s just that early on you can usually find plenty of active fish in the middle of the day. As the season progresses and early ice is long gone you can then expect to find most of the activity surrounding the periods of early morning and just before and just after dark.
Location is the key to it all and if you can find them you will probably catch them. Reservoir walleyes can be more than agreeable; you just have to be on ‘em. There is a rule of thumb that includes walleyes moving upstream during the fall period where they will stay for the winter which puts a lot of fish in the upper reaches of a reservoir. On Oahe it’s the Pollock and Mobridge area, on Sakakawea it’s the VanHook arm and above. Even though it does happen, not all of the fish make the move. There’s always some that stay home in the lower end of a reservoir and are still quite catchable, it’s just that the sheer numbers can make the top end a lot more productive. Lake Sharpe is an exception to the rule of thumb as most of the ice angling takes place on the bottom end of the reservoir, but the lakes not near as big or deep as Oahe or Sakakawea.

Rick Olson was on the clock for this big early ice walleye

Rick Olson was on the clock for this big early ice walleye

Another rule of thumb is to look for fast breaks, but there’s really more to it. When you start your search take a look at the major feeder creek and river arms and then try and find the fast breaks in conjunction with a feeding shelf or flat area. It could be the top of an underwater bar, a hump, or a shelf in the middle of creek arm. A fast break where contour lines pull together nice and tight indicates the sharpest drop off and is good spot to start looking for fish. A good map is a must for finding potential hot spots quickly. The best case scenario includes a high definition electronic map lake the Navionics HotMaps, combined with a G.P.S. that can display the info on a plotter. My four wheeler has a Raymarine 425 mounted on the handle bars and display the Navionics maps which make finding what I’m looking for a whole lot easier. It saves a lot of valuable time that can be spent in more productive ways, like hooking and landing big fat walleyes In South Dakota we can use up to four lines through the ice, which gives us flexibility and the ability to cover a lot of water at the same time. My typical set includes putting out at least two tip-ups on areas where I think there might be fish, and then setting up on the hottest spot and using a spoon with one rod and a bobber and minnow on the other.

My bobber and minnow rig is simple enough and has a split shot and a small treble that’s hooked through the dorsal fin of a big fathead. The spoon is typically 1/4oz to maybe 3/8oz, depending on how deep I’m fishing. The deeper you go the more weight you’ll need with idea being to go as light as you can while still being able to get the job done.
A depth finder can be a big help in determining the actual depth and for watching fish and how they react to your bait, but when you get far enough up a reservoir you can run into too much current. Reservoirs like Oahe run water all winter long to produce power, and there’s always current to be aware of and to deal with. Current can move your bait out of the cone angle of a depth finder and push your bait up off the bottom. Tip-up sets will have to be dropped to the bottom and then dropped again after they settle out to set them at the proper depth. The key is keeping the bait close to the bottom without actually being on it.
Besides not being able to keep a bait right below a hole, safety also is a concern. Before you head out make sure you know exactly what you’re doing and don’t take any chances. Get as much info as you can, especially from any of the local bait shops.
While a lot of reservoir anglers use nothing but tip-ups, I still like to have a rod in my hand and work a jigging spoon. Jigging spoons get noticed and can attract fish from a greater distance than a set rig. It’s also the excitement of actually feeling the bite, and not just setting the hook. Besides, you can still have two or three tip-ups out. By covering multiple depths and using a couple of different presentations you can find out exactly what the walleyes are looking for. You can also see how a school of fish moves as the first flag goes, and the next, and then your spoon gets hit. When it happens you’ll be plenty busy, and when the fun really begins.

Rick Olson

Fish Clix Banner Exchange

International Fishing Banner ExchangeInternational Fishing Banner Exchange
International Fishing Banner Exchange