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Cold Front Walleyes
By Shane Belter

 “The worst time to go fishing is during a cold front”.  Some may say that 
this statement is accurate, but some may disagree.  The secret to catching 
fish during a cold front is slow and natural presentation.  Walleye do funny 
things during a cold front.  They may go shallow into the warm water, or 
they may go deep depending on the thermocline and the amount of oxygen. 
Walleye’s are different than bass or trout.  Bass are easy to locate during 
this time they are on timber or rip rap, toss jigs or carolina rigs close to 
the timber and you should have no problem.  Walleye’s are hard to catch but 
here’s some ways to find them during these cold front periods.

Walleye’s will slow down during cold fronts but jigs presented properly 
will still get bit.  The key is slow, slow, and slower.  I have found that 
during these cold fronts I have had more success using certain jigging 
methods than I did at any other time of the year.  I usually head to the 
water with two thoughts in mind.  First start shallow and start small, then 
work deeper and move to larger baits.  I start anywhere from 1-8 feet of 
water depending on previous weather patterns.  I will use a 1/16-ounce jig 
round head or Bait Rigs Slo Poke Jigs slo-poke and cast it toward shallow water.  If there is a bunch of fishing pressure you can go to a j-hook with split shots to present the bait more naturally. On my American Rodsmiths jigging rod, which is a medium-heavy 5-foot rod with a light tip, it easy to detect pick ups and 
light bites.   Keeping the line tight, bring the jig back toward the boat in 
a dragging motion and keep it real slow.  This tactic will work in deeper 
water also and on structure.  Keep things slow and don't be afraid to go 

Tournament fishing along with a cold front can mean double trouble.  I was 
fishing tournament last summer when the weather got cold and the fish seemed 
to shut down.  I was fishing a spot where I had a good deal of success 
during pre-fishing.  There were at least a dozen boats on this spot and the 
fishing pressure was heavy.  Everyone was fishing this long rocky point 
pulling live bait rigs, spinners, or big jigs.  I was following suit but was 
having no luck.  With only one small fish being caught on this point in the 
first hour, I was getting nervous.  I then remembered my own advice and went 
small, real small.  I put on a j-hook with a leech and split shot about 2 
feet up the line to get it down to the bottom.  I cast it out, it settled 
and I tightened my line, dragged once and thud.  I set the hook on a 
five-pound walleye.  This trend continued for the next half an hour until I 
had five fish in the live well.  By the time anyone realized what I was 
doing different I was done and moved on to a different spot to look for even 
larger fish.

Cold front fishing can present some of the best fishing of the season.  If 
you know what you’re doing and do things properly you can catch some large 
fish.  Just remember to keep things small and slow things down and you 
should enjoy some great fishing, even when the weather gets bad.

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