Some ideas for success with autumn walleyes
Some things should be repeated. Repetition is a good teacher. The more you do something, the better you get at it, and the more you hear something, the more you believe it. Here's something that bears repeating: Autumn is an outstanding time to go walleye fishing! You've probably heard that before and you'll probably hear it again. For numbers of walleyes and for big walleyes, fall is a great time to be chasing them. Following are some ideas for walleye success in the fall.
Wind is usually a factor in walleye fishing. If you take wind direction into account, you're going to be more successful. Two fishing trips for walleyes in the fall stand out in my mind. On one trip we were on Devils Lake in North Dakota, the other my dad and I were on Leech Lake in north central Minnesota. In both situations the wind had been blowing out of the same direction for several days. On Devils Lake we threw Frenzy Firestick Suspending Minnows, on Leech we cast Fireball jigs tipped with minnows. In both situations we were casting to windblown points in two feet of water. The consistent wind had pushed the baitfish into the shallows and the walleyes were there gorging on them. The action in both situations was some of the best walleye fishing I've ever experienced. Fish the wind in the fall.
Night fishing can be very good in the fall, especially on clear water lakes. Find the areas where the baitfish are during the day. That's where the walleyes will be at night. Again, if wind is blowing into the area, action will probably be better. In fact, the nastier the weather, sometimes the better the bite. I've had some excellent action when snow was blowing. It seems like the full moon is helpful also.
At night, trolling can be good, but the wading fisherman will have just as good a chance at success. Three inch Power Grubs will catch lots of fish, but if the body of water being fished has a history of producing trophies, go with the four inch size or a minnow-shaped crankbait like a #7 Flicker Shad.
Deep water will hold fish also. Sunken islands and shoreline points that drop into deep water will be productive. This is the land of jigs or Roach Rigs. Big minnows, redtails if you can find them, will be a good choice. The four inch size will catch fish, but if you're after a really big one, use the biggest redtail you can find.
Although the fishing season might be winding down, be sure you're spooled up with fresh line. You don't want to be using old line when the biggest walleye you've ever caught decides to bite. For jigging and rigging, Trilene Sensation is as good as it gets, while FireLine in the 14/6 size is the choice of many for throwing crankbaits. With FireLine you get much better hooksets and sensitivity.
Our best opportunity to catch lots of walleyes and big walleyes is here. Be sure to take advantage of it.
(For more fish-catching information, visit fishingthemidwest.com.)