Easiest Walleye Action of the Year
Walleye fishing heats up as the the cooler fall temps approachby Craig Ritchie
One of the great joys of fishing is finding success when the odds are against you - when you still catch fish even when conditions are awful, weather is all wrong, and fish should be totally shut down. It's a real feeling of accomplishment and triumph.
But there are other times when it feels good to have things go your way for a change. When the fish cooperate by lining up in obvious predictable spots, where you don't have to work to put fish in the boat. Those easy days don't come often, but boy are they ever fun when they do.
By mid-August, when the humidity finally gives it up, nights become cooler and the days become noticeably shorter, walleye sense the change in season and respond by doing what they do best - eating. Fortunately for we anglers, water temperature remain at their summer peak so their metabolism is still cranked to the red line, and they're eating a lot.
Best of all, you can find most of these high percentage spots on any hydrographic chart, and you can confirm the precise location of the weed line itself once you arrive.
Because this is a time of year for easy fishing, late summer is when I skip the normal pre-dawn alarm, and don't even show up at the launch ramp till mid-afternoon. I'll lazily make my way to my best spot and set a couple of markers to identify the edge of the weed line. Then, I'll leave.
I'll spend the rest of the afternoon fishing other locations, giving the fish in my best spot plenty of time to settle down and forget I was ever there. I won't return till near dusk, when fishing activity will be at its peak. Having the markers in place lets me keep track of the weed edge that I can no longer see, so I can keep my casts in the strike zone instead of in the vegetables.
The actual fishing is super simple. I keep the boat in open water and make quartering casts toward the weed edge, retrieving through the open water where the walleye will be. Early in the day I'll keep a healthy distance from the weeds, working gradually closer as the sun sets so my retrieves shift from being fairly perpendicular to the weeds to increasingly more parallel as the fish move closer in the growing darkness. Keep the electric motor on low so you don't alert any fish to your presence.
I experiment and let the fish show me what they want on a given day, whether it's lures presented shallower or deeper, or at faster or slower retrieves. Once you figure it out, maintain the program and you should keep on catching fish.
That's honestly all there is to it - park yourself off a good weed line, then cast and retrieve till you fill your live well. It's the easiest walleye fishing of the year, so don't miss out.