Walleyes Inc. Action packed adventures in walleye fishing on the internet.

Walleyes Inc. and quick links to our proud sponsors
Walleyes Inc. # 1 choice in cold weather outdoor protectionGo to Ram Mountings Systems Just RAM ITWalleyes Inc. Your one stop fishing resourceWe didnt event planer boards we just perfected themBait RigsLindy Little Joe Simply the best in fishing tackleDaiichi HooksTru turn HooksBuilding Legends one at a time Ranger BoatsIllinois's number 1 Ranger DealerMercury Outboards The Water CallsGoldeneye Marine productsDual Pro Battery Chargers The Choice of ChampionsDrift Control Wind socks the choice of championsDaiwa Total Commitment to QualityGuaranteed daylong trolling power Trojan Batteries

Check out the Walleyes Inc. pro staff
Tournament information and results from around the country
Fishing tips from the pro's at Walleyes Inc.
Fishing reports from around the country
Hot links to fishing resorts from around the country
Hot links to guides and charters around the country
The latest in fishing articles from the pro's at Walleyes Inc.
Links to fishing clubs around the country
Hot new walleye products for sale through Walleyes Inc.
100's of Links to other fishing sites around the world
Hot new products in the fishing industry
100's of used boats for sale

Promotional Team Favorites
Lodging food and more
100's of links for, boats, motors, fishing tackle, electronics and more
Hot new press releases from the fishing industry
Contact Walleyes Inc.
Walleyes Inc. home page


Riding the Walleye Highway
By Ted Takasaki and Scott Richardson

Savvy walleye anglers know how to connect with big walleyes on the Great 
Lakes long after most fishermen have traded in their rods and reels for guns and bows to deer hunt.  Pros, like John Balla and Kevin Byrne, hitch a ride along the routes that walleyes travel during the late fall. This occurs as the walleye migrate from summer haunts to staging areas near feeder rivers and reefs where they'll spawn in spring.
For Balla and Byrne, who team up to fish the Masters Walleye Circuit, that means making a series of late-fall trips from their homes in the Chicago area to the 30,000-acres of Little Bay de Noc on Lake Michigan on the upper peninsula of Michigan. The tactics they use there can be applied anywhere on the big water.

Why brave the cold and shun the tree stand? From mid-October on, the fish these anglers target are not small eaters. They're trophy fish and there's lots of them."In one weekend's time, we had 30 fish over 23 inches including two fish 
over 10 pounds. You might find an occasional salmon or steelhead, too. It's awesome," said Balla.
Balla began making trips to Little Bay de Noc about a dozen years ago. In those days, he did what the locals did. He fished the upper bay north of Gladstone, the middle bay between Escanaba and Gladstone, the outer bay south Gladstone and an area that the locals call "the Narrows."
A study in the mid-1990s using radios inserted in six female walleyes showed they started their year in spawning areas in the upper bay at spots like Rapid River, Whitefish River and the Escanaba River. As water warmed, they moved south until they were in water 90 to 100 feet deep during the summer. Needless to say, none of the six were caught. As temperatures cool again, they migrate north.Leadcore was...and is...the key to reach fall fish. In the early days, 
Balla would let out 90 feet of leadcore and 30 feet of 10-pound monofilament leader to get Rattlin' Rogues and Husky Jerks down to the walleyes.
"We caught some big fish that way," Balla said.But, conditions have changed in the past four or five years. Zebra mussels, which are filter feeders, arrived and cleaned the water. As word spread about the good fishing, more and more people took time from deer hunting to cash in on the walleye bonanza. As a result, Balla had to make some adjustments. He began traveling far to the south away from boat traffic and the clear, shallow water. He motored to breaks off 
shoreline flats on the eastern shore and discovered lots of big hooks on his sonar screen. They signaled big schools of trophy fish below his Ranger from 28 to 40 feet down. Fish were suspended from 1-foot off the bottom to the top 10-feet of the water column.
Once those spots became popular, Balla and Byrne began exploring similar 
breaks on the west side and found fish there, too. They tested breaklines on reefs on the west side all the way to the Cedar River and the Cedar River humps. They once caught 2 double headers. One double was comprised of a 26 inch and 28 inch walleyes, the other had a 27 and 28 inch fish.
The targeted depth now became 40 to 60 feet down over 50 to 80 feet of 
water."It's a highway to the upper Bay where they stage during the winter," 
Balla said. "You're intercepting them."This is not a time for novices to learn how to handle the challenges of the Great Lakes. Water temperatures are usually in the mid 40s to the upper 30s, and hypothermia can be dangerous.
The way to set up your reel begins with a backing of 12-pound monofilament. Next, splice in three colors of leadcore, or 30 yards, on most rods. Put five colors on one rod to run deeper. Then add a 30 foot leader of 12-pound mono and a good-quality crankbait snap to each rod.
Try a variety of lures. Balla likes floating crankbaits in black with orange bellies, blues, metallics and rattle baits. Check with area bait shops to see what's working.The key is to troll at a crawl, just 0.8 to 1.2 mph. "Just enough to get 
the crankbaits wobbling back and forth," Balla said.A GPS with a mapping program is critical. Not only will it trace trolling passes and mark spots where fish are caught, but a GPS also helps maintain exact speed and keeps the boat near the breaklines. If weather turns sour, you might need one to find your way back to the launch ramp, as well.Stay just outside the breaks over deeper water during the day. Look for subtle points and turns along the edge. Some points come up to nine feet."Those seem to concentrate fish," Balla said.
Use planer boards to move your baits out and away from the boat. You need a long, flexible, but stout rod to handle planer boards. St. Croix (Model # GT80M) makes an excellent rod that performs well yet stores easily. Vary the amount of leadcore line out to vary the depth of the baits.Balla lets out 1-1/2 colors on one to achieve a running depth of about 15 to 18 feet at his slow trolling speed. He uses that to run the break. the next rod will have three colors out and run down to about 27 feet. The next will have three colors out and an extra 90 to 100 feet to get 40 feet down. The rod with five colors of leadcore is used to reach the deepest water. Let out all of the leadcore plus 90 to 100 feet of mono.When one rod starts connecting with fish, adjust most rods to that same place in the water column. Leave one to test other depths. Run it deep 
or shallow depending on the distance from the structure.Remember, leadcore is speed-sensitive. Go faster and lures rise because of water resistance, go slow and they run deeper. The action doesn't stop when the sun goes down. Fish rise up and move onto reefs to feed. The key is to find areas that still have healthy 
green weeds.
Make certain the floor of your boat is clean to avoid tripping in the dark. Try wear a new Tazer 2 from Lindy in addition to having several light sources onboard. Attach glow sticks to planer boards, switch from leadcore to monofilament and run the same baits that worked during the day. But, run them just 5 to 13 feet down by letting out 25 to 50 feet of line. If the lures hang up on weeds, take in line or find a spot with less vegetation.
Move into the shallows and start fishing before sunset. Once, in that first 45 minutes of twilight, Balla and Byrne caught a 10 pounder, a 9.9, an 8.8 and an 8."As soon as the sun leaves the horizon, you'd better be ready," Balla said.
If the reef is a busy one with several boats, snap on deep-diving crankbaits and head to the edge in 20 to 30 feet of water. Fish will not tolerate too much fishing pressure. The other boats will push them to you.The strategy works on the Great Lakes anywhere walleyes migrate in fall. At Lake Erie where water is shallower and the breaks far more subtle, anglers like walleye pro Mark Brumbaugh use similar tactics to catch 
trophy fish at night. Shore anglers catch limits of huge fish right off 
the piers.Take out a map of your portion of the Great Lakes. Mark where fish spawn and where they spend their summers, and look for points and turns on the breaklines that walleyes will use as they migrate between the two. Then, 
go hitch a ride on the walleye highway. You'll enjoy the ride.

Now you can Join all of Walleyes Inc. mailing lists from one spot.  Sign up  to receive notice of updates in the Walleye fishing world and be eligible for great Members only discounts on RAM Mounting Products the Pros choice and Church Products. Only  from your one stop resource Walleyes Inc. Enter your email address below, then click the 'Sign Up' button 

Fish Clix Banner Exchange
Walleyes Inc. website is maintained by Randy Tyler Fishing the In-Fisherman Professional Walleye Circuit, Masters Walleye Circuit and the RCL Wal-Mart circuit All rights reserved.Copyright 1999/2004
Please visit these site sponsors
Daiichi/Tru-Turn Hooks, Lindy Little Joe, R-A.M Mounting Systems, Ranger boats, Mercury Outboards, Bedford  Sales , Church Tackle, Panther Marine Products,
Webfoots body sock, Bait Rigs Tackle ,Dual Pro Charging Systems
Daiwa Rods and Reels, Driftcontrol Wind socks, Trojan Batteries