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

Look as sharp as your hooks .  Check out the latest in Walleyes Inc. Sportswear
Look as Sharp as your hooks 
Click here for the latest in Walleyes Inc.
outdoor wear
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

North American fishing Club and Walleyes Inc Free trial offer



walleye, walleyes, jigging, jig, jigsThe Gauge on Shallow Water Walleyes
by Jason Mitchell

No secret that walleyes like shallow water.  There does seem to be so many 
misperceptions however as to why or where we can catch walleyes in less than 
four feet of water.  So often, anglers believe that the only reason walleyes 
occupy knee deep water is to either eat or spawn.  Some anglers also make 
the mistake that you need a hard gravel bottom or wind to catch walleyes in 
shallow water.  Poor or reduced water clarity might help in catching walleye 
in the shallows assuming that fish are easier to approach in stained or 
dingy water.  You can bet that walleyes often inhabit water less than five 
feet of water however for a variety of reasons in a variety of seasons.  
Some of the places we find walleyes using shallow water might surprise 
anglers used to the traditional methods or locations.

We can’t absolutely say that we can count on walleye being shallow in the 
spring or deep in the fall.  If only fishing were that easy.  I can tell you 
where we found fish in shallow water in the past however and these 
experiences become patterns we become to count on each season.

So often, it seems that the shallow water walleye game revolves around water 
temperature.  Shallow water is water that can often be warmer than the rest 
of the lake.  When surface water temperature means something like it so 
often does early in the season, the shallow haunts can be the hottest game 
in town... Literally.

On the other hand, shallow water can also offer an unstable environment as 
well, much more unstable than deeper water.  From my own experiences, stable 
weather is more conductive to finding and catching fish in shallow water, 
especially early in the season.  But again, about the farthest we can ever 
get with fish locations are rules of thumb and generalizations.  To cut to 
the chase, here are some scenarios where we catch nice walleyes in water 
less than four feet and we often find these fish by using an accurate 
temperature gauge.

Early in the season, fish often seem to seek out locations that speed up 
their metabolism.  Speeding up metabolism is just plain biology.  Water 
temperature determines metabolism.  At times, warmer water jump starts the 
food chain and shallow water means food.  Other times, the best feeding 
opportunities might in fact be deeper in the water column and the fish use 
the shallow water to digest their food quicker.

On big reservoirs like Lake Sakakawea located in western North Dakota, we 
often found walleyes in a few feet of water early in the season full of 
smelt.  Ironically, most of the smelt seemed to be hanging deeper, say about 
fifteen feet of water according to our electronics.  It often appeared as if 
the walleyes weren’t utilizing shallow water to eat, but rather digest their 
meal that happened to be consumed in water that might have been two to three 
degrees cooler and a dozen feet deeper.

Kind of backwards of what we so often assume, the traditional picture of 
walleyes laying inactive in deeper water and coming shallow to feed isn’t 
always as accurate as we would like to think.

So often, calm, sunny days mean good fishing in shallow water for us early 
in the season.  Often too, the fish seem more aggressive in the afternoon or 
early evening hours after the sun has warmed the water.

On Devils Lake located in north-central North Dakota where we make our 
livings as guides, warmer water located in shallow water coincides with both 
the food chain and higher metabolisms.  Invertebrates, young of the year 
fish fry and insect hatches become available in shallow water close to the 

Interestingly enough, we often find walleye in three feet of water or less 
through the month of May and often find these fish in the back of bays or 
way up on shallow flats far from access to deep water.  Many of these areas 
are primarily a soft muck bottom although the gradient may change to sand in 
some areas.  We find fish with sensitive temperature gauges.

The surface temperature on the main lake basin might be 54 degrees for 
example.  As you enter a bay, the surface temp might climb to 61 degrees.  
exploring the back reaches of a bay along the shoreline brings you to water 
that is just starting to hit the 62 degree mark.  The more accurate your 
temperature gauge, the more dialed in you can get to fish location.

The Vexilar Edge 507’s most of our guide staff are running has a temperature 
gauge built into the unit that measures degrees in tenths.  There is a huge 
difference in just a degree to a cold blooded animal like a fish.  You will 
also probably notice that you can fine tune location even more when you 
start looking for small pools of water along the shoreline that are even 
less than a quarter of a degree warmer than the surrounding water.

These small pools of water that happen to be just the slightest bit warmer 
than the surrounding water often mean finding fish.  These pools of water 
might be quite large, covering several acres or tucked away and small, 
covering less than an acre.  This warm blanket of surface water can also get 
shifted around from wind, rain or current.  This is perhaps why stable 
weather makes this shallow water pattern more predictable.  Strong winds or 
cool cloudy weather can send the temperatures backwards in the shallows, 
resulting in finding fish deeper or not in the area at all.  People can talk 
about the benefits of wind and walleye fishing but we often find ourselves 
being more successful right away in the season if we can find fish in 
locations protected from the wind just because wind will change the pattern 
if cooler water from the lake bottom starts to get mixed into the shallow 
water close to shore.  A scenario where fishing the calm side of the lake 
might indeed be more productive.

Another interesting note, when fishing shallow water and trying to locate 
fish, remember to fish the whole water column.  For some reason, walleye 
anglers refuse to fish the whole water column when fishing shallow water.  
Even in three or four feet of water, fish will lay low or high.  Often from 
our own experiences, we find walleyes holding tight to the bottom in the 
morning, or if the sky is overcast.  During the middle of the day when you 
can start to feel the heat from the sun, we often catch more fish by fishing 
higher in the water column because it seems like the fish will often rise up 
to the warmth.  Comparable to a turtle laying on a log in the middle of the 
day.  Walleyes are no different than us perhaps in the fact that a little 
bit of sun feels pretty good on our shoulders after a long cold winter.

So many anglers don’t understand the importance of an accurate temperature 
gauge or don’t use this device to monitor the environment they are fishing.  
There is no magic temperature that every walleye spawns at or decides to 
eat, just generalizations because everything becomes so relevant.  As a body 
of water goes through changes throughout the course of an open water season 
however,  these changes get revealed by watching your temperature gauge.

There will be scenarios throughout the year when finding pockets of water 
that are warmer or cooler than the surrounding area means the difference 
between catching walleyes and scratching your head.  No doubt that early in 
the season on many natural lakes and reservoirs, the hottest action to be 
found will take place close to shore and fish locations can indeed be 
determined by watching your temperature gauge.

Editors note:  The author, Jason Mitchell heads Mitchell’s Guide Service on 
North Dakota’s Devils Lake.  Recognized in the industry as one of the 
premier guide services in the Midwest, Mitchell’s Guide Service is the 
largest and busiest open water guide service in the Devils Lake area.  To 
find out more information on Mitchell’s Guide Service or Devils Lake’s 
fishing opportunities, contact Jason Mitchell at (701) 351-1890.  
Accommodations available at Woodland Resort, (701) 662-5996 or the Spirit 
Lake Casino and Resort, 1-800-WIN-UBET.

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 Team Walleye Circuit. All rights reserved.Copyright 1999/2002
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