Harvest Moon WalleyeBy John Andrew - October 1, 2012
Are we like the great lakes, no, of course not, but we do have thousands of Walleye eagerly biting, right now, for anyone who wants to learn how to catch them and it's easy, this time of year.
As the thermocline continues to drop down lower and lower in your favorite lake, (if your lake is deep enough for a thermo cline) the daytime activity of the Walleye gets stronger and stronger. The tasty table fare of these fish draws a large attraction for anglers, who are in the know.
Ok, we can still catch them in the weeds, although, the main lake basin Walleye are where we are looking for our mid day catch and all my clients want to be home for dinner by 5 PM. We begin looking around the ledges, drop offs, sides of deep humps, deep flats and deep contours of any lake, again, we can still catch them near weeds, although deep is a more consistent bite for my clients. Prowling along these areas with our Lowrance HDS locator, (or any other up dated locater) we can spot the individual fish or the humps of fish located on the bottom, sometimes they are piles of fish, they look like rocks on the bottom. Now, this is in deep water, where most rock ledges, rock piles, points and bars stop. Our fish are deeper than that. We are looking along main lake basin drop offs, this is where our fish are active and biting, now, right now, this time of year. As the fall progresses, the central and southern lakes of Wisconsin will also do the same. This happens every year. If you can brave the weather, if you can locate the fish and if you are good at boat control, you will catch them, with these described techniques.
Then there is the ¼ oz. jig, with a stinger hook in deep water, remember, deep is relative to the water you are fishing. We sometimes use a 1/8 oz. jig with a stinger hook in 40 feet deep water on the bottom on a calm sunny October or November day, with 6 lb. test Berkley Fire Line. This very thin diameter line allows for you to feel even a 1/8 oz. jig in 40 ft. deep of water, while on the bottom and is required when the bite is slow. A stinger hook increases our catch (when in glass calm conditions by 30%). Remember, this is in calm water lake fishing, not river fishing. When fishing deep, in breezy conditions we are using a heavier jig, but still maintaining bottom contact at all times, as the fish are strongly relating to the bottom, after lake turn over. We use our trolling motors to slow us down and gently to drift with the breeze, which allows us to present our baits more accurately. I like to fish certain lakes with certain wind direction, why, because certain main lake basins are better fished due to the lake basin shape.
Once located, you can troll for them, as long as your presentation is tight to the bottom, or close to it. Up here in the described counties, trolling is allowed only in a few impoundments, such as the Willow Reservoir, located in north western ONEIDA COUNTY WISCONSIN, this impoundment is loaded with Walleye, spring, summer, fall and winter, record numbers of Walleye keep coming out of this water. Natural reproduction is very good here and several year classes are being caught. As well as BIG MUSKELLUNGE LAKE in VILAS COUNTY WISCONSIN, now, there is no trolling here on this lake, but year round catches of Walleye are common with fish from 15 to 22 inches being normal. These are prime examples of fantastic main lake basin Walleye that are available to you right now.
There are several other lakes that the main lake basin technique works and these lakes can be from 25 to 100 ft. deep, that's right, you read it correctly, as deep as over 100 ft.
If your lake, has a good population of Walleye and does not have any trout in that body of water, (this does make a difference) you will catch Walleye after turn over very deep, during the middle of the day. This sometimes will happen from mid September thru the month of May, depending on your geographical location. Now, there are also several other factors involved with this technique, but we are going to move on with our location and methods.
We are producing Walleye now in the creek channels and deep water of the Turtle Flambeau Flowage, the Willow Reservoir, the Rainbow Flowage, Fence Lake, Boulder Lake, Presque Isle Lake, Crawling Stone Lake, Lake Tomahawk, Lake Nokomis in Heafford Junction Wisconsin and several others. Remember, this is happening now, in Vilas, Oneida and Iron County Wisconsin and soon will be happening in your area, enjoy.