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It's greatly appreciated that several very nice guides/individuals share fishing info on the lake, however, they are all on the east end. We just bought a place on the west end and to be truthful, the lake is kicking my rear in the walleye catching department. I consider myself a pretty decent walleye fisherman, but I haven't caught a keeper yet-only a few slot fish.

I'm a failure, I had to get walleye fillets from my uncle that has a place on L.O.W. so we could have a walleye dinner! If smaller sunfish, smallies and 3" perch were walleyes, I would be a superstar! I've tried most of the stuff that's working on the east end, but it sure isn't working on the west side. So far, most of my fishing time has been with less experienced fisher people (only one wknd with my fishing bud) so that doesn't help.

Long story short, how come no guides and very few fisherman from the west end, don't share more info? As they say, don't need spots, just general info. Ok, if you want to PM me a spot or two, I wont complain.

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Consider hiring a west end guide for a day. I'm certain it will pay huge dividends. Joe Panichi may be a good choice. Good luck and I hope your fishing improves, just keep trying.

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I thought I was too good of a fisherman to hire a guide grin Not in the budget this year, just have to suck it up and keep trying.

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I have been getting an occasional walleye on reefs. Some are even legal. But I am not much of a walleye fisherman.

If I thought catching walleye was real important, I might make the run to Frazier bay and try there. That is considered East, and there are rumors the population of eaters is better there. Maybe some of the Frazier bay contingent could comment.

It isn't too bad of a run from where you are.

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CigarGuy. You are not alone I have 36 spots marked on my GPS for the west end & have fished all of them the past 4 days & have 1 walleye you guessed it ( in the slot) I haven't even found the northerns like years before ? I would help you with any info but I'm dumbfounded or just dumb this year.

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That been my experience as well on the west end, few walleyes, all in the slot. Most of the successful guys seem to go way East.

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You can't catch what's not there. I think we need to call the walleye fishing on West Vermilion what it really is; below-average. The DNR's own gill netting data shows that there is a higher population on the East end and that there is a smaller population, but bigger fish, on the West end. The consistent replies on this board of poor walleye fishing on the West end is validation of what the DNR has already stated. Some will try to say it's the skill of the fisherman and not the fishery. I think it's interesting how much better fisherman people become the further East people fish.

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Parker,

Very true the past few years!

But this summer the West end guides have not had to come East to put eater sized fish in their boats. That is the extent of what I know about the West end fishery! blush

Cliff

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I have a theory or opinion, worth what you pay for it....

Some years ago we used to slip bobber on shallow reefs and catch a few walleyes most evenings. Then that pattern, for some reason, totally died over the course of a year or two and never came back. This is the first time in several years that I have caught walleye on rock reefs in Wakemup. Not a lot but some.

The walleye catch is down but way out of proportion to the population. I think the forage base changed somehow and the fish followed them. Perhaps there are huge numbers of tullibee and the fish are out over open water eating them. Or maybe there is just so much forage that they don't need to eat our baits.

Unfortunately the west end guides don't post here, and I don't necessarily recognize their boats on the lake.

Judging by the number of floaters I have seen, this year might fix any problem of too many tulibee.

How is the tulibee population on the east end?

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Cigar ,try some weed edges there are many on the west end,lindy with a crawler or leech,early morning or evening just before dark.That slip bobber fishin Del spoke of can be good also throughout the day fish the wind though! Another trick during the dog days take a 5/8 keel sinker with a perch colored spinner or hammered silver /gold and power troll some sand flats at 2to 3 mph so it rides 5 t 7 feet off the bottom you will be surprized!if none of this works throw perch or crawdad colored crank to the shallows /reefs im talkin up into 1 foot deep stuff ,you wiil catch walleyes and enough bass ,perch, crappie,blugill or musky to keep things interesting,right now the food chain is pumping on high ,plenty out there for em to eat ,its nothin youre doing wrong just need to trigger that predatory instinct in em and make em bite!as for west end guides posting on here forget it, ive asked and was told i have better things to do that bang away on that thing! if you are up for an adventure and have a small boat you could try the vermillion river if the crick is high enough,? it might be be !if it is bring a pound of leeches on buncha jigs and get ready for absolute riot of a day walleyes and football sized smallies they always bite there!

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I believe that the tulibee population on the East end is lower then that on the West end. Mainly because I did not catch nearly as many last winter while ice fishing as I usually did in past years.

We also do not have the large forage base of sunfish, crappies, or small perch that the West end has!

Cliff

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But this summer the West end guides have not had to come East to put eater sized fish in their boats. That is the extent of what I know about the West end fishery! blush

Cliff

...and this is all that you need to know. I'm not a great walleye fisherman. I know that. I do regularly see boats hauling in walleye on the west end. That's all the confirmation that I need to know that they are there and I'm just not smart enough to recognize the patterns and techniques. Either way, I like the challenge. When my buddies power all the way east hoping for better odds, it makes about as much sense to me as driving to Zups to buy some filets. Like watching my loser sports teams, it's so much sweeter when you work long and hard to get something than having it happen easily and all the time. I chase walleye because they are perplexing to me and present a fun challenge.

If I'm meat hungry, I just throw worms of the dock and bring up a pail of panfish or cast a few spinners into the weeds for a nice northern

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If I fished the west all the time I would get sick of catching 20+ inchers all the time too.(not!)... You are right skunked the fun part is the hunt.. That seems like something that has been lost.. Everyone out there pounding the same spots over and over again and people pulling in on other boats and combat fishing.

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Have things changed in the last few days? I don't think I have seen more than a couple boats on any spot on west end, and often one of those is casting baits that look like they are in the slot.

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I am refurring more to the east end I guess but you have your share of community spots over there

too..

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If you guys want to rely on the fact that Cliff hasn’t seen any West end guides on the East end as evidence that there are still plenty of fish on the West end, feel free. I’ll go off of 30+ years or personal experience, the DNR’s data, and the numerous posts on this board from other’s personal experience that the fish do not exist. Those of you that think the fish are still there can talk about the skill of fisherman all you want. I appreciate those of you that take responsibility for your poor catch rates. I’ve done that, too, but at some point you need to look at other factors. I would buy the excuse of poor fishing ability if it were just me, SkunkedAgain, Delcecchi, those I talk to that regularly fish the lake, those I talk to on the water that are staying at resorts or are weekenders, the bait store in Cook, or one or two people on this board saying they were not catching anything. What I see instead is a pattern of poor fishing representing a lower population of walleyes supported by the DNR’s data. Look at MarkB, Ace, Casey and Cliff’s posts and tell me of any example of that kind of catch rate on the West end. Heck, tell me about a catch rate of half of what they report. How about a quarter? The truth of the matter is it’s few and far between. MarkB (not a guide) and the others may very well be exceptional fisherman who fish on the East end that just happen to post on this board. There are plenty of people that are not guides, like MarkB, that fish the West end. Ever hear of anyone with a catch rate anywhere near him? Me either. Again, the DNR’s data shows the fish are not there. That is supported by the anecdotal information of posters on this board.

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I fish the lake well over 50 days a year and fish the west end from white fish island eastwith most of my west end fishing time in Niles. I have given up on Wake-em-Up and never fish Norweigen or head of the lakes. I spend a lot of time fishing Frazier, Big Bay and the north side of Pine Island.

Unquestionably the walleye fishing in the west end has been off the past few years. There are many reasons advanced for this, but I personally do not know the reason or reasons. However, overall this year the walleye fishing on the west end has been pretty good and almost as good as what I have experienced this year on the east end. In fact, I have not had much trouble limiting out on the west end, although the number of slot fish on the west end is indeed higher than on the east end.

This year I have found a few keys on the west end. The first and foremost is time of day. The west end fishing has been markedly better this year during low light periods. Second, I have yet to catch a walleye this year on the west end without first marking fish on my graph. In other words, I scout a spot looking for marks before putting a line in the water. Third, I have found more walleye on the west end in the transitions and in the mud than in years past. So, I have been focusing this year on the 20-23 ft transitions. Finally, I follow the wind as a general rule.

All this being said, I have found a number of traditional spots to be tough this year, including Durbin's, the turn from Niles to Timbuktu, the weedline in Wolf and the Niles Deep Hole-all have been tough this year. The mid-lake reefs in Niles have been ok for bobber fishing and a number of points-if wind blown have been good during low light.

BTW-I fish almost exclusively lindy's, jigs and bobbers.

Tight lines to all!

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I picked up my 3 clients in Frazer Bay this morning so I started our 1/2 day trip there.

We fished one spot the entire time! 7:30am to 11:30am.

We boated 19 walleyes, 10 small mouth bass and 3 nice bluegills in 4 hours.

We kept their limits of walleyes that were 13" to 15" fish.

No shortage of eating sized fish there! Largest fish was 21 inches.

All of the fish were caught in 16' to 20' of water using a lindy with a small orange float and 1/2 of a CC crawler.

Cliff

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I'm sorry. I think that it's quite absurd to be claiming that no fish exist on the west end. This is the internet so feel free to post as you see fit.

To get back to CigarGuy's original post, here are my suggestions:

1) This is a huge, complex lake. It can take decades to start to learn how to effectively fish this lake. As you can see, even folks with 30+ years of experience can find it difficult.

2) Start a fishing log. Keep track of anything and everything related to your catches and non-catches. It should help you see patterns over the years

3) Be observant when you see others catching. Don't just go drop a line after the leave, but more look at the structure and lake bottom. Notice what type of lures and colors they were using.

4) Hire a guide (as stated above) to shorten your learning curve. There are a bunch of great guides on the west end.

5) Don't let the walleye frustrate you for now. Switch to some other species to keep your spirits up.

Nature is like the economy, there are positive and negative waves and then human interference in both. You can get worked up about the year-to-year changes or just ride the waves and enjoy whatever nature or the economy throws your way. I guarantee one thing - both will change their current trends eventually!

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When the majority of the posts on the West end talk about trouble with Walleye population, then there is trouble with the Walleye population. That does not mean the Walleye are dead. It does mean that something has been changing over several years.

The more telling statistic is the absolute lack of great fishing posts from the West end.

OK, so Frazier is on the West end. Do you know how long a drive it is from most of the popular West end resorts in a rental 25hp boat? Longer than is worth it for a one or two week vacation, especially with a family.

If the Walleye were abundant on the West end, then posters would be bragging about it.

It is not the end of the world if the Walleye are in trouble on the West end.

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Everyone, including the DNR, knows that the walleye population is significantly lower on West end, having not had a good year class in quite a while, for reasons that they don't understand.

The fishing has always, or at least for the last 20 or 30 years, been more challenging on the west end for walleye. But for the last several years it has been disproportional to the difference in population.

Maybe we need more rusty crayfish and cormorants. ha ha.

Yes Frazier is a pretty long ride. I put in plenty of time in a resort boat with a 20 merc followed by a classic 16 with a 40 merc. I was thinking more about for me when I mentioned Frazier. And it is somewhat of a long ride for me.

Folks have hypothesis's but no one knows why the walleye year classes have been weak recently.

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Del,

Just want you to know how much I appreciate your insight as to what is going on on the west end of the greatest lake in MN. Be up in 5 weeks on the west end, and will be chasing everything but the elusive walleye! Can't wait!

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I don't target eyes while I'm up there but those that do in camp seem to do well, be there in 2 weeks can't wait....

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Uncle Boney,

Frazier Bay is part of East Vermilion. Oak Narrows separates East and West Vermilion.

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Uncle Boney,

Frazier Bay is part of East Vermilion. Oak Narrows separates East and West Vermilion.

Very true, but not really that far of a run if you really want to have a better chance at catching summer walleyes!

I really think the reason that the West end walleyes are so hard to catch during mid-summer is the fact that there is a lot more for them to eat on the West end of the lake during this period.

Cliff

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Looks like I got people talking about the west end!

As a walleye fisherman, I enjoy the hunt and the challenge that comes with trying to pattern the bite, just like something to show for it once in a while. I'll be up next wknd trying again.

I found this quote from a differnet thread, I'll throw it in the mix, just to stir the pot......I left the guides name out of it. This was toward the end of May, 2012.

"I haven't fished the west end yet this season, but I can tell you this. There were 6 west end guides fishing for Walleyes on Big bay last thursday, that should tell you how the bite is on the west end".

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Those guides were just getting in on the easy pickings of the early season mud bite on the East end.

Everyone that fished there caught walleyes easily!

They have not made many trips East since then.

Cliff

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I'm not 30 year veteran on Vermilion, but my limited experience of 10 years has and continues to show that when I get into the walleye on the west end, I catch a ton. The action is fast and furious. I just don't find them as easily as on the east end. If my success on the west end was limited at best when I did find them, I would be more willing to believe the argument that the walleye population has drastically changed. I'm more in Cliff's camp that there is another reason, such as diversity of forage base, they are more spread out, or concentrating in unusual locations/depth/etc.

That's just my two cents.

CigarGuy, I'll likely be up this coming weekend as well. Maybe we can hook into some fish together

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