Catch More Walleye

There are some clear cut principles and trends that most experienced Walleye hunters know, or at least think they know. However, it doesn’t hurt to brush up on the subject now and then. Because there are never 100% clear cut situations but only relative specific circumstances, you can pick and choose from the following that best pertains to your knowledge base .

  • Walleyes are most active in the low light periods, or in conditions they perceive as low light (overcast days, windy days, in weeds etc).
  • The low light periods which entertain the most walleye feeding activity are dusk and dawn. However, the largest fish may feed at the dark of night.
  • The dark, night hours can be a great equalizer for adverse weather conditions. Whether there be a cold front, or a long bright light day, as a rule you will catch many more walleyes fishing from dusk to dawn than from dawn to dusk.
  • If few walleyes are being caught during the day or at dusk and dawn, try night fishing. This is especially true on clear water lakes. There is also evidence to suggest that many lunker walleyes are exclusively night feeders, regardless of season or available light.
  • While you can catch walleyes in the midday hours without cloud cover or lots of wind, in most cases these will be: (1) deep water fish where light is already reduced, (2) fish in very murky waters and most important, (3) in weeds!
  • Weather stability increases the number of fish which will be in a positive/neutral feeding mood. However, stability must be viewed in relation to season and Calender Period.
  • In spite of all the knowledge you must know the location of the fish! A guide who is out on a lake every day, and a man who has been in an office for the last 10 days, can both look out and read the signs. But the guide is in better touch with with where the fish were last located (deep vs shallow; in cover or out of it, etc.) So, regardless of other knowledge, you still must locate the greater mass of walleyes and use of lures, baits and the methods that best suits the current situation.
  • During daylight, if you can’t fish during perfect conditions, it is usually better to concentrate on known fish holding weed beds and known fish-holding spots where the wind is driving in, rather than where it is calm. Further, if you must fish during the day after a frontal change, you can (if available) try to go to dark water lakes, or try to stay with high-percentage spots (areas known to recently have held fish), opposed to fishing helter-skelter. Surprisingly, some dark or murky bodies of water host their best fishing on bright days! The extra light penetration helps trigger a feeding response by increasing the light to a more favorable level.
  • Whenever you must fish during any adverse time (high light or changing weather, it’s best to either fish very slow with live bait and light line, or go to the other extreme and fish fast with a lure and try to trigger a response. The “in between” methods which produce during the more conducive times usually won’t be that productive.

I am certain that much of what I’ve written has been said many times before,  and most of it is not earth shaking news. My only intention is to help the less experienced walleye fisherman ” Catch More Walleye.”

Category: Walleye

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