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markkstanley

MInnetonka walleye bite is on...

82 posts in this topic

A lot of you are asking about how to catch big Tonka eyes so here's the story from last night. Remember I only target big eyes - if you want to catch numbers of eaters my approach will not work. With almost a full moon and decent weather (finally no wind/rain) I decided to head out at last minute. After getting my honeydos out of the way and spending an unplanned for 30 minutes in getting my nav lights to work I headed for the ramp at 7:30pm. Game plan was to hit some steep breaklines I had not fished before. Since wind had been coming hard from the north I planned to target south and southeast facing dropoffs and use my depthfinder to scout the areas in question. Had to modify that plan as my depthfinder would not turn on - hey it's me this stuff always happens. First spot was a long point extending from shore. Trolled HJ in clown and glass perch from 1.5 to 2mph in 5 to 8 ft (I think. I was relying on my GPS and a Lakemaster contour map.) Zilch. So next step is increase the lure action. My progression would be from minnow raps and then shad raps. Put on a purplesecent minnow rap and headed a little deeper targeting 10ft same speeds and 110 ft back. Two passes later had a 27" walleye in the net - I was trolling to the west along the breakline. Lost another fish three passes later again heading west. Cool but I had another area I wanted to check I thought might be better as break was steeper and had a longer run. Stuck with same setup that had worked before. First pass headed west 24" walleye in the net. Eastward pass nada. Next westward pass a 28" hit the minnow rap in the same spot as the first. I was locked in EXCEPT that eye destroyed my purple minnow rap - broke it in half and it was my only one in purple. I tried another minnow rap color for a couple of westward passes but no takers and my time was up.

Here's the key - I had established structure to fish, depth and speed ranges, color, lure preference and even direction I needed to be heading by experimenting for 30 minutes or so. The pattern worked in two different although similar spots. I am sure I could have continued to catch fish sticking to this pattern.

So here's what you need to do when trolling for fall walleyes. Progression in lure choice - stickbait, minnow rap, shad rap. Full moon no clouds headed me towards chromes, blues and purple for color choice. Clouds no moon sart with glass perch, then firetiger and then a Lazercraw rogue. Wind direction of the last few days gave me some clues as to which structure to fish. I always troll deep breaklines next to large weed flats but which ones to target can change. Get out there and experiment and try new areas - walleyes are all over Tonka.

On a side note it looked like the channel areas where getting hit pretty hard. They are good spots and I fish them from time to time but my fish were coming from main lake structure and I had it all to myself. A big plus when you wrap your line in the kicker FYI and yes I did that too last night.

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Hey Mark-

Can you drop me an e-mail. I dug through all my old & undeleted messages yesterday and could not find your address. Should have put it in the address book but oh well.

Got a few questions for ya. wink.gif

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Way to go Mark, I'll be heading out on Sunday for my first real effort this fall. I'll report back on Monday.

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Here's a monkey that my nephew caught last night. Hopefully he can show me a thing or two tonight. The little guy has caught more big eyes this week than I have in my life... Fun stuff. LB

benpiggieza6.jpg

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Nice walleye. Bet he had a big grin on his mug. I have noted Tonka walleyes are always in great shape. Never catch any long skinny fish like I do on the big pond. Most look like they have swallowed a small football.

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Is that fish from tonka or the Croix? looks like the croix to me

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Quote:

Is that fish from tonka or the Croix?


It was caught on Tonka. From what I've been seeing the eyes on Tonka are as thick as the river eyes on the Croix. LB

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Great info Mark, thanks. Funny thing is last night I said to Hanson, "I know the West a lot better, but we'll see." Well, we saw nothing in the net, high and dry on the East end. We were doing a lot of the same, but it sounds like we had far more weed growth, from botton up the water column.

Looking to get out a few more times, thanks again for the detailed post. If you need someone to co-pilot and help keep your line out of the kicker I'm always available!

Chris

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Sorry Mark, one more question: What ramp are you using out West?

Thanks, Chris

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You guys are killing me. I'm coming up tomorrow afternoon. Putting in at Grays, and will head west, start out there and work my way back east. See if I can burn up 30 gallons, and hit those big pigs.

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Here's the tank after trolling from 6-8pm tonight - 19, 20, 23 & 24" (all fish were released.) Spider man is a super guide. I've heard he might be showing up in the Outdoor News with his photo of yesterdays catch in a couple weeks. LB

tank2go0.jpg

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Great report Mark.

Mark has provided a phenominal report but please remember to practice CPR (Catch Photo and Release) on those big girls. There are some tanks out there and they got that way from CPR and from my poor walleye fishing abilities. tongue.gif

Awesome pic of that little guy holding that walleye. Has to be one proud papa.

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Cjac - I have access to a private marina ramp. Spring Park is useable until they pull the docks which hasn't happened yet. Let me know how next weekend (Nov 2)looks for you. Was thinking of hitting Mille Lacs that Friday as the deer hunting crowd will be busy and the Big Pond might be a little less crowded.

Good point on CPR - although very little natural reproduction occurs on Tonka it's a good idea. I am totally CPR on 20" or longer walleyes no matter where I fish. Still in pursuit of the over 30" walleye out of Tonka so throw those big ones back for me to catch next year grin.gif

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Hi Mark,

After reading this my Friday is now open! Sounds good, lets see if we can make a run, maybe a combo ski/eye day/evening? Let's be greedy... I'll be in touch. Thanks for the offer.

Hanson and I are hitting 'tonka again Monday evening, West this time, might you be out? Hopefully we'll all connect prior to the evening.

Have a good weekend, Chris

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I'll be out Monday night - probably do some musky chasing around the islands and then switch to walleyes after dark unless of course the muskies are chomping. I don't fish muskies after dark by myself but Tonka Boy will be in my boat so we just may keep after them. That also means I'll be playing net boy once again. TB has me by something like 11 to 1 tongue.gif

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Went out last night around 5:30. Started jigging in 25-35 fow where we picked up a 12 incher. At 6:00 we moved to our number one honey hole and gave slip bobbers a shot. A single sunfish, crappie, and rockbass were all we had to show for this move. Disappointed, we again made a change to pulling some cranks. Connected with a 19 incher and a 12 incher over the next hour. Also had a small northern and missed several other hits.

In general there was a nice chop on the lake but the SW wind isn't one of my favorites. Water was still 53 degrees. Maybe should have focused our efforts later in the evening since the moon didn't rise until we were ready to head in. I'll give it another week before I try again.

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Not a great weekend for me either - just a 18" to show for the effort. Hit about 6 different areas and noticed fish were holding at bottom of breaks ~20 to 25ft. They did not want cranks. Maybe tonight...

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Hi Mark,

Sorry but it looks like I'm a "no go" for Friday on Mille Lacs, my back is acting up a bit and I just can't afford a long term set-back. Had to cancel a nite with Hanson on Monday...if that gives you a hint at my frustrations. Thanks again for the offer, but I'm just not able. Hate to have a reincarnation of the Petrowske "picnic table" dis-assembly again at my expense.

Catch an extra one for me....

Chris

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Not a problem

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Mark,

You still want to make a run up to Grand Rapids with us this winter? I believe sometime in January is when we are planning to go. We'll nail down some dates, but probably do a friday through sunday run.

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I'm in barring some unforseen circumstances..Thanks for th einvite

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I'll keep you updated as I get more info...

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Got the monkey off my back!!!

Despite my horrible fall walleye ventures this year, I finally got into a good walleye bite saturday night. I caught seven but the number could have easily been twenty-seven (gasp!) if I had not been so out of practice with my jigging technique. I use Power Pro, and was setting the hook too agressivly. Also, I have always been a "set the hook immediately" kind of guy (impatient!) but last night I was missing so many fish I decided to try the "wait, then set the hook technique". So I would feel the bite, slowly count to three (tough to do when you're as impatient as I am!) then apply a very gentle hookset. Boy, I am a believer in the "wait then set" approach!!! All fish caught in 15-17 FOW between 7 and 9 pm on a green glow Fireball jig tipped with a fathead. If the pattern holds and the temps drop, I might have a great first ice spot.

Just curious, how is everyone else setting the hook when jigging?

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Quote:

Got the monkey off my back!!!

Despite my horrible fall walleye ventures this year, I finally got into a good walleye bite saturday night. I caught seven but the number could have easily been twenty-seven (gasp!) if I had not been so out of practice with my jigging technique. I use Power Pro, and was setting the hook too agressivly. Also, I have always been a "set the hook immediately" kind of guy (impatient!) but last night I was missing so many fish I decided to try the "wait, then set the hook technique". So I would feel the bite, slowly count to three (tough to do when you're as impatient as I am!) then apply a very gentle hookset. Boy, I am a believer in the "wait then set" approach!!! All fish caught in 15-17 FOW between 7 and 9 pm on a green glow Fireball jig tipped with a fathead. If the pattern holds and the temps drop, I might have a great first ice spot.

Just curious, how is everyone else setting the hook when jigging?


A nice first ice spot, heh? Casey, looks like you and I are going to be doing some ice fishing....

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Mark/Calv,

Want to fish mon or tues nite?

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