ST.JOE RIVER WINTER WALLEYE

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Winter Walleyes

Why Winter is a Great Time to Walleye Fish

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Post Posted: 07:50pm – Nov 9,14
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We were prepped for steelies and eyes. We tried store bought spawn sacks for steelies. Floating and off the bottom. No bites. I mainly fished for walleye though, caught 6, lost a big one at the boat, kept 2. Once I figured it out my buddies each got a couple also. We fished down and up river from shamrock park. I guess most of the boats were down river since there were only a few up river. Parking lot was nearly full so I figured it would be super busy.
Thanks IA for the tips. I have to get set up a bit better for the steelies next time. All in all it was a good day on the river. Pics to come if I get to it

Recent Update: 02/19/2014

Hi was there Wednesday the 19th, caught 5 eyes and lost 4 others, still a little ice down river from shamrock park but the dam is perfect
fish are still pretty deep… 15-20 feet on the breaks…steelies are also active…. but the fishing should just keep getting better, would for sure give it a try, fishing is just gonna keep getting better

If you are a die-hard walleye fisherman and don’t mind cold weather, the St.Joe river is a good close place to fish for Winter Walleye when  it does not freeze over….. There are many launches  on the St.Joe (Two seen above) to bring your boat and give it a go!  Ask around and try to locate one of the covered boat charters to get an idea how and where on the river is best. If you can afford one of these guides, it would be a good idea to hire one , as it can be a little tricky if you have never fished a river like the St. Joe before. I’ve done it, and have had a ball.  Try to go when it is above freezing, as it is a pain in the ass when ice forms on you line, to say nothing of trying to keep your hands warm.  Be sure to dress warm, and bring some good hand warmers.

In the wintertime, half of the challenge is finding the walleyes,  but once you know that they are there, it’s simply a matter of finding a technique, which is going to bring them in. Also be aware that as fun as it can be, winter fishing can also be dangerous so always be aware of weather forecasts and make sure someone knows where you are.

In the freezing cold water of winter, walleye become very sluggish and inactive preserving their energy. They favor areas of structure and obstructions where they can remain still and in hiding for most of the day. Such obstructions may be rocks, depressions in the river floor, fallen timber or bridge legs. Behind these obstacles, there will be slack water, which the fish prefer as they are able to take a break from fighting the current.  These breaks in the current may also occur around islands or rocky areas. Another good place,  is against the bank on the side of the river that is cast in sunshine. The water here will be slightly warmer, which will attract baitfish and the walleye….. Bait fish tend to be found close to the surface, and it is likely that some hungry walleye will be there too.

Walleye are fairly lazy this time of year, so they won’t go for just anything. It’s best to use  a small  realistic lure, such as a 1/8 ounce jig tipped with a fathead or river shiner minnow. You may want to attach a stinger hook , as walleye tend to hit short and softly this time of year. Great lakes trolling flies will work as well used with a planer board or lead lines.

more to come…..

 

 

 

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