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Good Walleye Fishing in the Fall
By Sam Anderson
Good walleye fishing depends on several things. You must be at
the right place at the right time and then you have to fish well.
But it starts with the right place at the right time. No matter how
well you fish, you’ll catch nothing if the walleyes aren’t there. On any
body of water there are certain spots which can be quite small that offer
the fish what they need in the way of security, comfort and food at a given
time. Good walleye fishermen decide where to fish by considering
structure, weather, water clarity, time of the day, and the progress of
the season. Unfortunately, the best spots will be used by feeding
walleyes for only a few moments each day, so it is critical to be there
when the fish go on their feeding binges.
The best fishing takes place when several conditions prevail.
First, the fish must be concentrated. Second, they must be active.
Third, there should not be such an abundance of food that your offering
is lost among it. Fall, with its lower light and cooler water, brings
the fish back to the shallow shorelines. Fall walleyes prefer shorelines
with steeper dropoffs than they used in spring, but this depends on what
is available in the lake. By late fall walleyes have knocked the
current crop of minnows down so far that they have to feedmore aggressively
than was necessary in the fat time of early fall. Try lighter line, walleyes
are often very line shy especially in clear lakes. The more the diameter
the more vibration and the better for walleyes to see the line. I
prefer to use
4lb. XL for fall walleye fishing in cold water. Some people have
trouble breaking off when they set the hook, but this can be remedied by
using a rod that has a fairly soft tip to absorb some of the hookset shock.
Fish shallower than usual especially in the fall season for walleyes.
Often walleyes in turbid waters are close to shore, some as shallow as
two feet. I have had some really good success pitching light jigs
and spinners next to shore and working them out to the waiting walleyes.
Try trolling a vibrating type lure or one that has sound chambers in
it that makes a rattle. Something like a
Rattlin’ Fat Rap, it has a great deal of wobble and rattle that attracts
the attention of the walleyes. Walleyes have the ability to detect vibration
using their lateral line sensory system. Sometimes they will strike
a fast moving vibrating lure
in turbid water when all else fails. Try fluorescent colors.
They show up better in dirty water and can often mean the difference between
success and failure. Regardless if you are fishing with lead head
jigs, floating jigs, spinners or vibrating lures, fluorescent colors will
out produce standard colors in cold water that is muddied by fall rains.
One factor that can result in poor fishing even though the lake is teeming
with walleyes is a lack of fish holding structure. This
structure will hold fish on barriers or give a resting place out of
current. You need to be on a lake that has a variety of depressions,
rocks, holes, weedbeds, stumps and logs. This is the type of structure
that fish relate to. Walleyes prefer hard bottom, preferably gravel or
rubble. If you can locate gravel or rubble area in a basin that is
other wise all muck or silt, chances are you’ve located the walleye hangout.
If you have a depth finder rigged up for sounding at high speeds you can
check out a lot of bottom conditions. Especially, with a little practice,
you will be able to differentiate the weak signal produced by soft bottom
types from the stronger, sharper signal produced by hard bottoms. Good
walleye fishing in the fall is no accident, planning and being on the water
has a lot to do with it, the rewards are plentiful, and you
might even catch the biggest wallhanger of your life! Good luck
fishing… Remember to put em back… let em go.. and let em grow!
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