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Technical Walleyes on Ice 
by Ron Anlauf

It’s time to make a bold move, a move that could take you into the great unknown, where no man has gone before (at least not this year). Walleye anglers working early ice had better be ready to make major moves, especially if the hot action takes a sudden turn for the worse. They say that when the going gets 
tough the tough get going, and with that being so the question arises; Just exactly where do the tough go? 

When the hot spots of the early ice season dry up the “tough” could be well served by taking a hard look at deeper water. Typical winter movements include a shallow to deep migration whereby walleyes that had been keying on structure like shallow reefs and bars start to pull back and head for deeper water. How far 
and how deep they run will depend on what’s available and can vary from lake to lake, but the move to deeper water remains fairly consistent. On sprawling Mille Lacs Lake in Central Minnesota walleyes will quickly pull off of shoreline structure and head for deeper gravel piles and mud flats miles from shore, 
especially when the hordes of anglers and all of their noise and commotion show up. The same type of thing goes for other famous lakes like Leech and Winnie where deeper structure can really heat up and will start as soon as you can safely get to it. Shallow to deep migrations happen on smaller lakes as well, but 
instead of miles you may be looking at a matter of a couple hundred yards or so. 

The thing is with all of that deep structure and all of those walleyes somebody is going to cash in and it might as well be you and me. One of the biggest obstacles standing between us and the proverbial pot of walleye gold is actually finding the next hot spot. You can start by taking a long hard look at a good map but that’s the easy part, it’s getting from where you are to where you want to go that can be the real challenge. 

Hand Held GPS Global Positioning Systems and accurate maps with accompanying coordinates can make the task a whole lot easier. The lack thereof requires a good deal of time spent in the searching mode and you can waste too much of your time, especially when dealing with larger bodies of water.
Looking is no where near as much fun as catching and the more you can do to cut down your search time the better. With a GPS like the Garmin 60C handheld and a highly accurate map like the Lakemaster Promap Series you can pick a coordinate, enter it in, and then plot a course directly to the spot. It’s a tremendous tool that will help you navigate to a spot or spots over and over again. Because the Promap is so accurate and is displayed with such incredible detail (three foot increments), you can actually see the key areas that are easily overlooked like a smaller and deeper rock pile, or a tiny finger, or an inside turn. Those are the spots on the spot which might normally take a lifetime to find and learn.Even better is the fact that you can actually download a complete map into the memory of the 60C whichis then displayed on it’s color screen along with exactly where you are in relation to it all. Now instead of being restricted to entering only a coordinate, you can actually see the spot you’re trying to find, along withall of the other information including the contour lines and depth. 
The Garmin GPSMap 60C will display Garmin’s Minnesota Lakemaster ProMap, as well as the U.S. Recreational lakes with Fishing Hot Spots and Blue Chart maps, which are amazingly detailed maps of the Great Lakes and LOTW. The Minnesota LakeMaster Promap Series offer the utmost in detail with 48 lakes on the CD displayed in three foot increments, and their reach is expanding with more and more lakes being surveyed every year. The Hot Spot maps offer excellent detail and are available for a much wider range of lakes while the Blue Chart maps cover the Great Lakes. Downloading a map requires purchasing an appropriate CD (which are available wherever Garmin electronics are sold), and the use of a personal computer. With the PC you can select the map or maps you want to enter into the 60C’s memory and do so with a USB connection. The 60C has 56mb of memory so you can load up a number of maps, probably more than you can fish in an entire winter. 

The author went miles off shore for 
this nice walleye
With the right equipment ice anglers can now head off shore with confidence, knowing with certainty that they can find exactly what they’re looking for. Confidence plays a major role in successful angling is 
especially true when it comes to ice fishing. If you know you’re in the right spot you can forget about all of 
the doubt and the second guessing that comes when you’re not really sure, and get down to the serious 
business of having some fun. See you on the ice

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