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fall walleye fishing


brianboos

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Hey guys I have never fished the fall before. This year I have made it my goal to learn to catch walleye in the fall. I live and fish in nebraska. We fish man made lakes ranging from 2,200 acres upto like 13,000 I believe. The main baitfish is shad and alittle bit of alewives. The main lakes I fish don't have much structure to them. Mostly big open flats. They do have some points and drop offs and stuff. They range from 2-35 ft deep. How would you guys go about targeting them? Where would you look for them at? What tactics are good? Would you look for them in the same spots as where we catch them in the spring? What water temps do I want? What depths of water should I start looking in. Thanks for the help guys.

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I'd look for any warmwater discharge areas that would attract the shad, any current areas that might wash the bait to waiting walleyes. The points and drop off areas are good places to start. A change in depth on a large expansive flat as little as 6"-1' can be a fish holding area. I'd look to wind blown riprap areas that drop off fairly quickly at the shore good places that walleyes can herd bait fish into shore. My search would lead me to look for schooling bait fish with larger marks below or even with the bait. I'd troll shad style cranks at the level or slightly above the marks on my sonar. If you have areas that are fished in the winter that you know of that produce fish then I'd work those areas in the fall. Clear water the fish will be deeper, typically with better action at night and stained water the action will tend to be shallower and more of a daytime bite. I like to start trolling and casting shallow areas when the water temps are in the mid to low 50's and often times will troll right untill freezeup with my best catches coming at night with water temps in the mid forties. Talk to people you know, baitshop owners in the area about any patterns they have put together if they will give it out. I'm sure there are many more folks that will chime in but that is a start. A good topo mapchip can be handy in finding contours, reefs ect. Good luck!

Tunrevir~

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Thanks for the replys so far guys. When you troll at night in that cold water would you use shad style baits or stick baits? I would think the shad style baits would have to high of a action? Would drifting those shallow flats with like lindy rigs and bait work or would you mostly stick to crankbaits? In the warmer water would you use all shad baits or some stick baits? We can only run two rods per guy here. If I find the fish stacked up on a poin would you lean more towards jigging spoons or a jig and minnow?

I'd look for any warmwater discharge areas that would attract the shad, any current areas that might wash the bait to waiting walleyes. The points and drop off areas are good places to start. A change in depth on a large expansive flat as little as 6"-1' can be a fish holding area. I'd look to wind blown riprap areas that drop off fairly quickly at the shore good places that walleyes can herd bait fish into shore. My search would lead me to look for schooling bait fish with larger marks below or even with the bait. I'd troll shad style cranks at the level or slightly above the marks on my sonar. If you have areas that are fished in the winter that you know of that produce fish then I'd work those areas in the fall. Clear water the fish will be deeper, typically with better action at night and stained water the action will tend to be shallower and more of a daytime bite. I like to start trolling and casting shallow areas when the water temps are in the mid to low 50's and often times will troll right untill freezeup with my best catches coming at night with water temps in the mid forties. Talk to people you know, baitshop owners in the area about any patterns they have put together if they will give it out. I'm sure there are many more folks that will chime in but that is a start. A good topo mapchip can be handy in finding contours, reefs ect. Good luck!

Tunrevir~

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My dad and I are thinking of doing a canoe trip down a river towards the end of October. Do walleye's move back up the river at all in the fall. We are hoping to do some fishing. I'll know I'll catch some smallies but what about walleyes. Any help would be appreciated.

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My dad and I are thinking of doing a canoe trip down a river towards the end of October. Do walleye's move back up the river at all in the fall. We are hoping to do some fishing. I'll know I'll catch some smallies but what about walleyes. Any help would be appreciated.

Walleyes are always in the river, Ive been catching a few here and there all summer. Just have to be at the right spots. Once fall hits it just gets WAY better

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After walleye opener i fish the creeks that run into the river, once they quit biting there i usually give up. Later in the summer what type of structure do you usually find walleyes? Eddies, current seams, holes,or creeks?

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This is a tough question to answer depending on the river system but I'll give it a shot. After the fish drop back into the main river from the feeder creaks they will start moving downstream towards holes and deeper water. Holes in some of the rivers I fish are only 6-8' deep compared to vast expanses of water that is 1-3'. On larger river systems they will also fall back towards deeper holes and use the current breaks along the way like wingdams, shallow depressions in an otherwise flat bottom, points, turns and neckdown areas that create current breaks or faster water with slack water nearby are always worth checking out. Trolling cranks, drifting livebait rigs and casting and dragging jigs all are great search tools when looking for fish. Later in spring, fish will settle into areas near breaklines or cover along expansive flats. Some areas that concentrate fish might only be 30 yards long but will tend to hold fish all season if forage is available. Rip rap areas, clam beds, dunes on an otherwise sandy bottom are all good spots to try. Early spring you will find fish tight to shore, late spring they will be in the middepth ranges 10-18' and by summer they will be more likely in the 20-30' range. Active fish will be on the flats and edges of the breakline or upper edges of the holes, nuetral fish will be down the break or into the holes and negative fish tend to belly to the bottom of the hole but can be enticed by rigging and jigging. These are some general guidelines as there aren't any hard and fast rules with regards to fishing and each body of water is different. Best way to find the fish is hire a knowledgable guide or go and fish, looking at the various features on the water that you fish and work over each area that looks fishy untill you can catch a few fish. Some days it is a mission in prospecting and others you will hit the gold mine. After you start putting fish in the well use that knowledge to work similar areas and formulate a gameplan. Many of the folks that guide or tourney fish keep detailed diaries when they are on the water which include water temps, location, technique that produced, moonphase, barometer readings, depth, bottom content, ect. Good luck!

Tunrevir~

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So easy. Fish the biggest drop off to the closest deepest water available in the whole system. ROCKS! I fish 3ft of water parallel to shore from shore. Not a good time to be in a boat when the pigs are hugging the shore line. Catch way more from shore compared to boat fishing this time of year (big fish). Channels or bottle necks are also top notch. Look on a map for the contour lines to "touch the shoreline"... thats your spot. As far as a lure, I am very fond of a 5" Castaic swimbait, or a 4" scented white twister as long as it has good vibration. All of my big fish have been caught under the cloak of darkness in clear water. All fish were caught during the moon phase.(hot time)

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Re-read your post and no, don't fish them like in the spring. They won't be there. They look for warm "comfortable water". Spring is shallow massive. Fall is shallow deep. Make sense? Warm water in the spring is shallow. Warm water in the fall (after turnover) is deep. These fish will leave the security of the deep at night to put on the feed bag. If they don't have to move far for this forage they won't. Enjoy the best fishing of the year!

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wow, this post got hijacked, it ended up being about river fishing. Back to the question at hand. This time of year I like stick baits behind bottom bouncers. I start deep, then move in shallower, then back out deep. I'll troll most of the day, but if I pick up a couple fish in the same spot, then i might drop the bow mount and try jigging that area. good luck.

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  • 2 weeks later...

This is my favorite week of the year. Look for shallow areas where you have frogs moving into the water. Hit it just before dusk, If you catch it right, you'll have the time of your life.

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full-20798-1451-falleye.jpg

As you can see you can do good if you get the timing right. This was one of 17 eyes caught that night (2 hour time period), the smallest being about 5 lbs. No sooner would your lure hit the water and BAM!! another giant on the line.

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No. Is a limited edition green superglo shad rap. they only had them at gander mountain for a little while. Ive been looking online for a few more. I had great luck with them.

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Size 4? Looks tiny... and effective!

I had to go bigger this weekend to get any takers. Husky Jerk 14's seemed to be the ticket trolling.

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It's a size 5. My friend had more luck chucking a much larger crank than I was using. He landed the big one for the night, going just over 10 lbs. I have a few photos of my catches but most are of him, I had the camera in my pocket and was having to much fun at the time to keep my line out of the water for long. If he gives his permission I will post a few of those. We landed a few wall hangers but we put them all back, the lake we were on is not that big and we would rather they continue to reproduce more eyes for the future. For reference the water depth there is 4 1/2 to 5 feet and they were coming almost up to the shoreline, you could see the swirls on the surface as they snatched frogs up.

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Sure is fun watching walleyes feed, eh? I watched schools of walleyes come up into the shallows last week, to feed on what i think were gold or silver shiners. Sure was an interesting night. The little ripples on the surface, and the eyes in the moonlight were so fun.

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Dang, sounds like I missed out this year. If they were in the shallows last week it looks like my window of opportunity is closed for the year. We need to open the Duck season earlier!!

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Skee that was a great duck opener. Ducks and geese in the morning and probably the best walleye fishing I have ever had off the dock.

full-2605-1639-gh01.jpg

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Is that off the same dock as skee's preevious pics? Wondering what part of the state this is in, and how far along the frog migration is.

Thanks

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Same dock. These are from a few years back but it was very memorable. I have not seen frogs this year yet but maybe soon.

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  • Your Responses - Share & Have Fun :)

    • Hookmaster
      Kudos for doing this. I'm sure a lot of fishermen would not have.
    • MikeG3Boat
      I know it has been raining all week but anyone have any walleye reports?  Heading up for the holiday weekend and want to do some fishing.
    • MikeG3Boat
      Partyonpine, Would you be willing to share in what areas you were getting some nice Bluegills?  I am on the east end on big bay and would like to find some good panfish.
    • partyonpine
      Opener and the week after were good.  Not the numbers we normally get but better quality in the East End.  Not surprised on the weights for the Auto City a.  Usually for us we only catch a few slot fish but we averaged 3 a day for 10 days.  2 overs, biggest 27 inches.     Our best luck was 12-16 feet for quality.  When we went deeper we caught more but smaller.  Bass were really starting to heat up.  For me little earlier than normal.  Found some nice Bluegills the day we went after some panfish.  Dock fishing was as many as we wanted per usual.
    • Shulsebus
      We will be up on June 8th for the week. It will be our 13th year in a row staying on the lake.  I hope the walleye are hitting the bobbers by the time that we get there. 
    • SkunkedAgain
      Those are some fine specimens. Great job
    • gimruis
      I'm quite shocked to hear that a walleye tournament is still doing a live weigh in.  Virtually every event these days around here is doing a catch, photo, and release format.   Regardless, nice work.  Congrats.
    • LakeofthewoodsMN
      On the south end...   A great week of fishing with walleyes and saugers caught in good numbers.   The go-to presentation, again, was a jig and frozen emerald shiner.  Emerald shiners are a staple in LOW and walleyes love them.  Other minnows worked also, but emerald shiners are a favorite of anglers for good reason.   The Lighthouse Gap area, Morris Point Gap and just in front of Pine Island held nice fish in 17 - 21' of water.  Various schools of walleyes and saugers across the south shore.     A quarter ounce jig in gold, glow white, pink, orange, chartreuse, or a combo of these colors tipped with a minnow worked well again.   Some big pike and jumbo perch being caught by walleye anglers. On the Rainy River...  Some nice walleyes were caught on the river this weekend, although most anglers normally head to the lake.  12 - 15' of water is holding some nice fish.   Sturgeon fishing on the Rainy River is closed until the keep season starts up again July 1st. Up at the NW Angle...  Some nice walleyes being caught along with a mixed bag.  12 - 25 feet of water.  Points, neck down areas and bays with warming water were holding good fish this week.    The go-to presentation was a jig and minnow as on the south shore.  A mixed bag as is common around the Angle.  
    • leech~~
      Nice work!   Here's two words you hardly ever hear anyone say anymore.  "grateful and humbled"   
    • Brianf.
      RLG, thanks for the shout-out!     Jeff and I are still trying to wrap our heads around what happened this past weekend.  We are humbled and full of gratitude  for having won 'The Classic' for a second time.     We practiced through all the rain on Thurs and the wind on Friday and found six different spots holding big fish.  Fishing was good on both days with several 'overs' in our catch...but would it hold up for another day?   We didn't know.     On tourney day, we made a long run to our first spot where I lucked out on a 26.5"er on my second cast.  Jeff followed up with a thick 27" er a few minutes later, which turned out to be the big fish for the event at 7.26lbs.  We finished out our limit and weighed-in at 10:30 am for the welfare of the fish in our livewell.    There were some big weights in this event which would have won in most other years, but - for whatever reason - this was our day.  Everything just went our way.  Again, we are just super grateful and humbled by this success.  We also want to congratulate all the other anglers who did well and give a big 'thank you' to the tournament organizers who put on such a great event!  
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