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Fishing Spooky 'Eyes
    By John Campbell

On any given weekend from the time of the walleye opener to freeze up you will probably find spooky walleyes and they can be pretty tight lipped due to fishing pressure and barometric pressure.The fishing starts to deteriorate on Friday evenings.  Saturday and Sunday mornings are notoriously tough fishing, but by Sunday evening, when people start going home, the fishing starts picking up right away.
The most sensitive of all of these fish are the fish that are related to structure.  Now I can imagine you think that I have just lost my senses, but look at where all the boats are located.  The fish that were located off the rock piles and in the little nooks and crannies of the mud flats are the ones that are getting hammered.  Where can a person fish who wants to catch fish that are relating to structure?  Where aren't the boats?  Look at the shoreline and see if any boats are fishing structure along the shore.
When I first get on a heavily fished body of water, I'll start running the lake and looking for things that aren't obvious to all anglers.  For example the things like bottom changes.  You might run a straight shoreline break and see where it changes from sand into rock or mud into hard bottom.  You may even discover a rock pile that doesn't show up on a lake map.
A lot depends on the type of lake you are fishing.  Maybe I'll find weed-oriented walleyes, and I may look for little breaks in the weed line rather than big elongated points off shore.  I'll run a straight break and suddenly I might see a little inside turn or little turning point down the weed line, places that aren't so obvious.  A perfect example of fishing places overlooked by other anglers is fishing on Mille Lacs Lake.  Mille Lacs lake receives a lot of pressure from the weekend angler and many times I have seen boats on the edges of 
the flats and none of them catching a fish.  Yet I will move up on top of the flats and start catching a lot of fish.  The reason for this is, that as the fish feel the angling pressure they simply move down deeper or up on top of the flats.
To find walleyes in crowded situations, fisherman have to ignore some traditional spots where walleyes have been caught previously.  I know that many times walleyes are overlooked because they are in the weeds or they are extremely shallow even in the middle of the summer months.  If there are weeds, I fish them.  I do a lot of shallow water fishing in a foot or two of water that a lot of times will be crystal clear.  Often, I can see the fish coming to my bait.  The old rule of thumb that the light hurts the walleyes eyes that has to be dispelled.  I've caught hundreds of walleyes in shallow water in the middle of the day, because they were spooked out of spots, by someone else.
Of course when I look for shallow areas I keep a number of variables in place before I look for fish in the shallows.  First of all, there should be a wind.  The wind defuses the light making it easier for the walleyes to feed on disturbed aquatic materials and second it breaks up the anglers form.  The wind makes the angler invisible to fish.  Many shallow water fish are not caught simply because they see the angler.  Therefore, I make long parallel cast with the bank and I always fish with the wind.  The reason for that is to hide my form from the fish and to make longer casts with the wind rather than against the wind.
When fishing shallow walleyes look for shade and obstructions that will give the walleyes cover.  These are great ambush spots for the walleye.  Even during the brightest days walleyes can be found in the shaded areas of rip rap and adjacent to fallen trees, waiting to ambush their prey.
Nature can also throw a curve at the walleye fisherman.  A cold front, riding strong winds from the north, can take the zip out of the fish.  I have seen walleyes lodge their heads between boulders and won't move until you touch them and then they simply swim away as if being brushed aside by another fish.  They seem dead and lifeless when the cold front arrives.
The technique for fishing these fish is to move as slow as they do.  

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I might anchor or hover over the top of a school of walleyes and slow down my presentation by using a light jig and light line.  The light jig, like a 1/8 ounce Max Gap,  allows the rate of fall to be much 
slower and the light line will give me less water resistance and a slower rate of fall also.  Sometimes I might even use a plain hook tipped with a nightcrawler and split shot on the line. Again this takes time to allow the bait to sink and it should be placed right in front of their nose, because they certainly aren't going to move very far.
I will move in search of walleyes, but if I have found a school of them I might move less.  I will move only about ten feet to the right or left , or drop back twenty feet or so.  In cold front conditions I will try a variety of baits and lures to see which one the fish like the best.  All to often anglers tie on one 
lure at the beginning of the day and stick to that lure all day long.  When they come off the water they still have on the lure that they used all day and probably don't have any fish either.  Be a change up person.  Try different techniques and styles, don't stop looking as long as you are on the water.
Spooky walleyes are tough to catch but if you remember these techniques you will have continued success this summer.  Or if you need more information drop me a line on the web at www.walleye.info. 

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