Walleye Now

By John Andrew - September 1, 2012
As the water temperature continues to cool down, more and more of our lakes continue to cool down, the Walleye action will continue to heat up, quickly. Make no mistake many, many guides have produced Walleye this past summer right thru the heat wave we all endured. We now, as Walleye anglers, will and have already been experiencing a big improvement in the numbers of fish caught and coming into the boat.

We are going to discuss 3 locations and 3 techniques. Keep in mind, there are several other locations and techniques, such as the Great Lakes and trolling.

"First location", are the creek channel's on many of the Flowages and Resivore's scattered across IL. and WI. These creek channel locations are usually narrow, around 20 ft. to 100 ft. wide which can be and usually are, littered with wood obstructions. Locating these areas is much easier than years ago, in conjunction with today's updated maps and G.P.S. that a lot of anglers now have. Locations where the channel comes into contact with shore lines such as islands, main land areas, swamp sections and some of the best locations can be at times, mid lake locations, which are slightly more difficult to fish and the river or creek channels that comes into contact with large flats that are common on several of the impoundments.

"First technique", anchoring your boat in the correct location to the creek channel and wood you are fishing is very critical and one of the biggest concepts to this technique. Working a Slip Bobber is and always will be one of the best choices for your presentation in these small areas. Ok, simply using the Bobber, a split shot, hook, Leech, Crawler or Minnow works and at times that's all you need. To expand on the presentation, we use specific colors for the straight hook, jig head and hook, a piece of colored gulp pushed onto the hook before the bait and at times colored split shot. Using glow in the dark jigs, glow plastic, glow hooks, larger Leach's, large Crawlers and Chub minnows work very well in those dark water impoundments.

Not part of this technique, but, vertical jigging with small jig heads in between the wood structure can be deadly, but you as a fisherman need a very soft touch.

"Second location", if your water environment that you are fishing is the structure connected to the main lakes basin and some lakes have several deep basins as well as small and large rivers, which may never develop a thermo cline and the Walleye fishing starts at a different rate of time, each deep elbow of the river could be considered a basin area. Fishing the ledges, humps, deep flats of these basin areas can and usually do produce Walleye.

"Second technique" is jigging, wind drift jigging or vertical jigging is very productive for fall Walleye. Locating deep structure and scanning the structure with your electronics to find these Walleye is very important. Presenting your bait to these fish then putting your first fish will boost your confidence. This type of fishing is daytime fishing, no night time fishing is needed to produce limits of these tasty fish, when you are fishing deep. Remember, deep is relative to the water environment you are fishing, some lakes or rivers deep may be 35 ft. or 20 ft., other locations, deep may be 80 ft. deep to produce the Walleye, this deep is after lake turn over. The size of your jig head and the size of your hook also is important, as well as the type of fishing line you use. There will always be a place in fishing, deep or shallow, fresh or saltwater, for monofilament, although, all my rods that my clients use are filled with Berkley Fire Line in the smoke color. I like the 6 or 8 lb. test, why, because the very thin diameter of the line increases the sink rate, helps my clients stay in contact with the bottom (which is the critical concept) and the sensitivity in the deep water that this line offers is second to none. When fishing dark water we use glow jigs in various colors and they out produce everything else we use, for us. When fishing clear water we use darker jig heads, unless the lake or river has Cisco or White Fish, then we use white or chrome colors or a combination of those colors. We also, at early fall use a jig and a ½ Crawler, surprisingly this works very well, but for us it only works during summer and early fall, then as fall moves forward, it's all large minnows. Make no mistake about it, the Crawler works well in early fall, for my clients.

"Third location" is a current area between lakes or long narrow channels between lakes, fishing at sun down thru the night at spawning Cisco and White fish shore lines.

"Third technique", is casting imitation floating minnow baits. We are using chest waders and moving very slowly, reeling very slowly and one of the critical concepts to our success is, the size of the minnow bait and the second concept is mandatory, no lights at any time, except a tiny pen light to unhook and release theses fatties. Fishing the current areas requires a very stealthy approach, no noise must be observed at all times, these fish are very spooky and will not leave once spooked, but they will not bite.

At this location a good braided line is needed due to the snags that are sometimes everywhere you cast.

The early fall Cisco and White Fish lakes also produce Walleye very shallow in the current areas, a good braid is needed due to the shallow rocks you will be fishing.

Note: There are those that say, we as anglers should not catch deep water Walleye, well, should we stop catching deep water Musky? Many, many people do.

Author John Andrew
John Andrew
Captain John Andrew is the owner and operator of The Angler's Choice Guide Service. John began fishing on Wisconsin's Big St. Germain Lake in 1964 at this grandfather's lakefront cabin. As John's passion for fishing grew he apprenticed under legendary Wisconsin Northwoods guide Jules Novak before he began his own guiding career. John holds two World Records in the National Fresh Water Fishing Hall Of Fame as well as two Outstanding Angling Achievement awards. Click here for more information on John Andrew and The Angler's Choice Guide Service.