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JFitz

Hey all,

The Lindner’s recently put up an episode of Al and Billy Rosner fishing Vermilion last October:

 

I thought it was a good episode and it was really cool seeing such great anglers taking on Vermilion. I know it’s a bit early to be thinking about open water but this show got me to thinking. Has anyone here on the forum successfully targeted shallow, weed-oriented walleyes?? The video proves it can be done, but it’s just not a pattern you hear much about.

Thanks!

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Cliff Wagenbach

There are walleyes in the weeds on Vermilion year round.

You are right, they are not targeted there by very many people though.

I do not do it very often either but slip bobbers can be very effective in the weeds especially early and late in the season, even in the winter!

Cliff

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MarkB

A few years back, my Dad, wife, and I would concentrate all efforts early in the spring right up through mid-June in small bays that get choked with weeds later in the summer. Some of our favorites were Everett's Bay, the north shore of Canfield Bay, Bystrom Bay, St. Mary's Bay, and others. Our preferred method was pulling no 7 floating Rapalas in silver/black and gold/black. Cloud cover usually dictated the color that worked best on any given day. We had some absolutely phenomenal days catching a mixed bag of fish species: walleyes, northerns, and perch were the predominant catch but smallmouth, crappies, and giant bluegills were mixed in. Even the occasional muskie showed up. One early June fishing day in Everett's Bay produced 57 walleyes for the 3 of us!! We caught very few walleyes right "in" the weeds but trolling 1-1.5 mph on the weed edge proved deadly. Friends of ours drifted leeches right in the weeds using slip bobbers and did well. Wind blown shorelines in 2'-4' of water were excellent and I don't remember having consistent luck in water over 8' deep. These days, I've kind of moved on from the lure fishing in the early season and switched to either fishing deep water mud flats or slip bobber fishing shallow water reefs. Bottom line is find where the fish are and adapt to the method that catches them.

Good Fishing,

MarkB:)

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guideman

I remember a trip to Vermilion years ago before I lived here.  We were on the west end targeting Pike in small may with weeds and reeds along the shoreline.  We were getting ready to leave the area and as I drove the boat near the weed edge 4 beautiful Walleyes game out of the weeds heading to deeper cover.  I was still learning my craft back then and I was shocked by what I saw.  Mind you this was midday with sunshine and it was late June if I recall.  I decided to try fishing weeds for Walleyes and the results were incredible.  East end anglers rarely fish the weeds however many west end anglers target shallow weed beds all season long.  Spinner baits, swim baits, crank baits, soft plastics, slip bobbers and pitching jigs with live bait or plastics, have all caught Walleyes in the weeds.  My wife caught a 22" Walleye on a frog last summer while we were targeting Large mouth bass.

"Ace"

"It's just fishing man"

aceguideservice.com

 

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SkunkedAgain

Are there times of the day that work better for finding walleye in the weeds, or is it more relational to bright sunlight? In that right, I usually assume that on bright days the walleye move deeper to avoid the light and heat but I guess that it is either a wrong assumption or only partially right.

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BunchOfish

Me and My brother were out one day in the middle of July a few years back and were trolling a steep break with weeds up on top which was about 8-10 feet.  I start up the break a little to high so we wee feeling some weeds but ended up getting a walleye right away.  Drop our lines and same thing another nice eater fish.  So we decide to fish right on the very edge of the weeds and we just hammered them.  I believe we had 8-9 nice eater walleyes in a few hours. This all happened in the middle of the day and the sun was out.  It was a good day.  I fish in the weeds more now because if that and I have very good success most of the time.

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IceHawk

Weeds equal cover, forage, security, and usally eyes. Key is to find good weeds nice green coontail and cabbage are my favorite.  Early in the year I look for eel grass patches on sand flats as they usally hold some good pods and can really concentrate and isolate the schools.  Presentations that work are pitching jigs,swimbaits, and slip bobber rigs into pockets and irregualitys in the weedlines. Another technique is working the outside weed ege with livebait rigs.  My favorite summer technique is pulling spinners tipped with crawlers and weighted with a worm weight over the top just tipping the tops of the weeds. Cant believe how many eyes have fell victim to this combo. For conditions my personal preference is  bright sunny days for fishing weeds but anytime can be good. I will say this you become a good weed fisherman and I guarantee you will put way more eyes in the boat.

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Pat McGraw

Years back I took my brother-in-law behind Anselmo's (SP?), northwest of Jacobson Point in Head-o-Lakes Bay. I was looking for Muskie along the front of the cabbage. He had no gear so he rigged a small to mid-size in-line spinner bait with a white twister tail. He pulled it across the top of the cabbage beds. I was totally surprised when he caught several walleye. I wouldn't be so surprised if he was fishing in front or down in the weeds but he was basically catching on a surface lure in 3-5' of water in July.

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Cliff Wagenbach

Pat,

July is my best time for walleyes in the weeds!

I did not cast spinner baits but did pull spinners with 1/2 crawler right along the edges in about 3' to 4' deep water.

We were so close to the boat with our lines that we could see our spinners and actually see the walleyes charge out of the weeds and grab our baits! FUN!!

Now, thanks to the rustys, those cabbage weed beds are gone.:(

Cliff

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JFitz

I spent a little time last summer looking for weed walleyes in Niles Bay. About 10 minutes into my experiment I caught a chunky 22" on a spinner rig over a weedbed in about 10'. The weeds were growing about halfway to the surface but that fish had no problem smacking my bait. I'll keep experimenting this year.... can't wait for open water!

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Pat McGraw

Up until about seven or eight years ago we were on Head-o-lakes bay. Minimal to no Rustys. Just the old school guys with the big blue boxer-mit claws. We were seeing rounded gobies.  We're on Frazer now. Wow! It's indescribable how many of those buggers there are. We've been trying to do our part by having frequent crawfish boils. Haven't made a dent but fun and tasty to try.

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FishinCT

Just out of curiosity where were the cabbage beds on the east end? Rustys have been infested ever since we started fishing the east side 

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Cliff Wagenbach

There were a lot of cabbage beds on the North side of Pine Is. and on the far East end of Big Bay. Gone now!

Cliff

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james_walleye

I've found it interesting that the past couple years we haven't seen quite the numbers of rustys on our beach in the summer. 

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Cliff Wagenbach

I did not have as much of a problem with them eating my crawlers on my lindy rigs last summer either! Maybe they are finally getting thinned out by the fish and other predators!

Cliff

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SkunkedAgain

It's definitely a possibility that the rustys' predators are gaining an upper hand. Another piece of the puzzle could be that they are entering a normal ecological cycle, meaning that they have moved out of the growth stage where the population keeps expanding. At some point they hit that equilibrium point where they run out of food/resources and the population begins a more normal cycle of peaks and valleys. They may have eaten so much of the cabbage that the population couldn't be sustained, and now is leveling out.

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BrianF

Count walleyes as the rusty’s predator.  Saw times last summer when every walleye we caught was burping up crayfish just like smallmouth do - and this in an area absolutely infested with 4” perch at the time. Seemed super strange, but they must have been specifically targeting them to the exclusion of what we’d consider their normal diet. 

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Bigfatbert
4 hours ago, BrianF said:

Count walleyes as the rusty’s predator.  Saw times last summer when every walleye we caught was burping up crayfish just like smallmouth do - and this in an area absolutely infested with 4” perch at the time. Seemed super strange, but they must have been specifically targeting them to the exclusion of what we’d consider their normal diet. 

Walleye don't eat crayfish in general , EXCEPT , during the the summer crayfish shed there shell , its called there soft shell phase , and walleye will gorge out on these soft shell phase crayfish . They look weird in this phase , almost just like a shrimp. When there doing this molting , look under rocks , boulders in shallow shoreline areas and you can find these critters and grab them , but you must be quick , because they are quick to escape you , but you can then use them as baiit . Just stick one on a jig , throw it out there , and hold on .. if your seeing the Walleye burping up these soft shell crayfish , then that pretty much tells you when this phenomenon is happening , it's usually a fairly short window when this molting is happening .

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delcecchi

I'm still waiting for them on the far west.   Not happy but will boil some up.  

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OhioVike

We have had several people roll by our dock saying they have been coming to Vermilion for decades and they remember when our bay was all weeds.  Now it is common travel for bass, northern and musky fisherman. We have eaten several batches of crayfish (not rusties) and have found our biggest competition to be a mink.  He will lay on the end of my dock, on his back, eating the mud bugs.  You can hear him crunching them 100 feet away.  Makes a huge mess.  We have also had otter, there is a family 5 that cruise the middle of the lake, come by from time to time.  They must eat those things by the bushel.  

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tarpon6
Posted (edited)

When I was up last Sept, mid day I saw a guy and his wife slow trolling Lindy rigs on the edge a large weedy bay.  There were 4 or 5 guys (incuding me) obviously fishing pike, in the area and this lone guy trolling around.  I wondered what he was doing until I saw him net a really nice walleye.  He was pretty stealth about it, got the fish right in the boat and out of site. LOL.  Saw his wife get one too. 

I also noticed a walleye and lots of smallies spitting up rusty crayfish.  The rustys are way more agressive that the crayfish I was used to growing up in OH.  I put down a minnow trap with a part of a hotdog in it and they were all over in just a couple hours.  The trap was full and there were crayfish all over the outside of the trap.  I kept a few small ones that I was going to use for bait.  I took off the pinchers and used one for a while, took it off and put it back in the livewell.  Later in the day I looked in the livewell and the other crayfish had devoured it.  Just a picked clean shell left.

Edited by tarpon6

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Cliff Wagenbach

Tarpon6,

I tried the rusties for bait also when they first showed up in mass.

Did not catch anything on them even if I just used the tail section as bait!

Almost all the rusties that the walleyes I catch puke up are molting. If you get into an area that has molting rusties the walleyes that are feeding on them will hit anything that you get close to them!

Cliff

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JBMasterAngler

Several years ago, we were camping at McKinley Park, and the swimming beach is crawling (literally) with crayfish. All the kids were catching them and having crayfish races. Anyway, all day long, loons were patrolling the water off in the distance. As evening progressed and all the swimmers head in, the loons swarmed the beach area in mass! Easy pickens for them. I would have to imagine walleyes and other fish would move in as well for an easy meal.

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OhioVike
22 hours ago, tarpon6 said:

When I was up last Sept, mid day I saw a guy and his wife slow trolling Lindy rigs on the edge a large weedy bay.  There were 4 or 5 guys (incuding me) obviously fishing pike, in the area and this lone guy trolling around.  I wondered what he was doing until I saw him net a really nice walleye.  He was pretty stealth about it, got the fish right in the boat and out of site. LOL.  Saw his wife get one too. 

I also noticed a walleye and lots of smallies spitting up rusty crayfish.  The rustys are way more agressive that the crayfish I was used to growing up in OH.  I put down a minnow trap with a part of a hotdog in it and they were all over in just a couple hours.  The trap was full and there were crayfish all over the outside of the trap.  I kept a few small ones that I was going to use for bait.  I took off the pinchers and used one for a while, took it off and put it back in the livewell.  Later in the day I looked in the livewell and the other crayfish had devoured it.  Just a picked clean shell left.

I have seen random walleye with crayfish in their bellies, but as Cliff says when the molt is on walleye target them.  Even so far as leaving their normal haunts for the crayfish basins.  Generally, we have to fish shallow rocky areas to catch good numbers of fish.  I hadn't learned that until recently.  Only lasts a week or so.  What kind of boat did you see last fall?

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OhioVike

Here is the Mink. I dumped my minnow bucket a couple of winters ago and he showed up fairly quickly.IMG_2207.thumb.jpg.27cbf7f99d24ecbdc9afc23671113c83.jpg

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      Educational displays, exhibits, presentations, and music and entertainment highlight the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources’ annual exhibit at the Minnesota State Fair, which runs Aug. 23-Sept. 3 in Falcon Heights.  This year’s theme, “Public lands, owned by you, managed by DNR” will be showcased with a Legacy Amendment 10th anniversary tribute. “We are shining the spotlight on public lands because we know Minnesotans truly value them for recreation, conservation and their economic benefits,” said Dawn Flinn, who helps coordinate the DNR exhibits. The DNR State Fair log building opened 84 years ago; its park-like location provides fairgoers with a great opportunity to experience the outdoors in the midst of carnival rides and food stands. “It’s a popular state fair landmark, meeting place and must-visit destination that has helped generations of people create life-long memories,” Flinn said, adding “Minnesotans are passionate about the state’s natural resources. This is a great way for us to spread the word about how interesting, important and exciting nature is.” The new Legacy Amendment exhibit in the DNR building will provide visitors with an actual red carpet treatment, and features a children’s play area as well as information on the many ways Legacy funds conserve and improve public land. Informational displays show how Legacy Amendment dollars are spent, but visitors can choose a lighter activity, such as having their photo taken on the red carpet. Other displays inside the DNR building include state parks and trails, wildlife, rocks and minerals, aquatic invasive species, state lands and forests. Other features at the DNR building and exhibit include: Outdoor fish pond with about three dozen fish species. Photo opportunities from the giant hiking boot in the forestry exhibit. DNR fire tower; visitors can climb its 84 steps. Presentations, bird shows and musicians on the DNR Volunteer Outdoor Stage and Garden Stage. People can also buy hunting, fishing licenses and state park vehicle permits at the DNR building. Les Kouba Outdoors will be located in a building just east of the outdoor fish pond. A portion of their merchandise sales will be used to assist with DNR moose research. For schedule of events, visit www.dnr.state.mn.us/events/statefair/schedules.html. The DNR’s State Fair building and surrounding park area are located at the corner of Carnes Avenue and Nelson Street in Falcon Heights. It will be open 9 a.m.-9 p.m. daily during the fair. Discuss below - to view set the hook here.
    • Rick
      Theme: Public lands – owned by you, managed by DNR Main building Historic DNR building at State Fair is celebrating 84th anniversary this year. The 40-foot-high building opened Sept. 1, 1934. Approximately 500,000 people visit DNR building and surrounding park area each year. Gate tickets in 1934 cost 25 cents. In 2018, a regular adult admission ticket costs $14. Funding came from federal and state emergency relief administration and State Fair funds. Civilian Conservation Corps erected the building in less than six months using machined logs. DNR building is open daily during fair from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. Fish pond Fish exhibit is one of State Fair’s most popular attractions. Pond holds about 50,000 gallons of water. It is kidney-shaped and is about 100 feet by 50 feet. Fish pond talks take place at quarter to the hour daily, from 9:45 a.m. to 7 p.m. Indoor aquariums DNR renovated its indoor fish exhibit in 2013 installing five large aquariums inside the main DNR building. Each tank shows fish in their native Minnesota habitat: trout of southeastern Minnesota; fish of the St. Croix River; and species of central, southern and northern Minnesota lakes. Aquariums are built lower to the ground, making it easier for more guests to see the turtles, fish and other species. Combined aquarium capacity of more than 5,000 gallons of water, the same amount of water the average family of four uses in a month. When full, tanks weigh about 118,000 pounds or about the weight of 118 Minnesota moose. Aquariums are open daily during fair from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. Fire tower Specifically built for State Fair to provide a wildfire prevention message to visitors. Opened in 1966 and was closed in 1978 because of safety concerns. Was repaired and reopened in 2006. It is 65 feet tall and there are 84 steps from bottom to top. There is no charge to climb fire tower stairs to get birds-eye view of fair. Fire tower is on National Historic Lookout Register and is 10th best lookout in Minnesota. Open daily during fair from 9 a.m.-7 p.m., weather permitting. DNR forestry display Three interactive exhibit areas opened in 2017. Step inside a giant hiking boot surrounded by huge leaves for a unique Minnesota photo. Explore a life-sized white pine tree, complete with roots a person can walk on and learn how forests create clean water. Gaze upon a wall of tree cookies 11 feet tall – all native, Minnesota trees. Walk into a “forest” of interactive, informational trees on: forest stewardship, urban trees, forest products, fire and forests and Minnesota’s biomes. Play with a puzzle of dimensional lumber to learn how much wood comes from a log. Explore the tools foresters use in the woods every day – clinometer, increment borer and drip torch. Exhibit is open 9 a.m. – 9 p.m. in DNR Building. Smokey Bear Smokey Bear is celebrating 74 years of reminding children and their parents about the dangers of wildfires. Smokey Bear makes daily appearances at DNR Park at 11 a.m. and 1 p.m. Camper cabin Fairgoers can step inside the 24-foot by 12-foot camper cabin that’s on display. Cabins are built to provide a “camping out” experience within the comfort of four walls. Cabin has two sets of bunks. Also includes a picnic table and fire ring with grill. There are more than 80 camper cabins available to rent in state parks and recreational areas around the state. Many cabins include electricity, and some are wheelchair accessible. Camper cabin display model open daily during the fair from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. Located in DNR Park, near southwest corner of DNR building. Wall of Shame trailer – Turn in Poachers Mounted animals and stories about how they were taken illegally. Display located on south side of DNR building. Wildlife Wing Fairgoers can learn about Minnesota species and wildlife habitat. Special sound and lighting effects help create an experience of moving from day to night and through the four seasons, as visitors walk through the display. Master naturalist volunteers available to answer wildlife questions. Display located in DNR building and is open daily during fair from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. Invasive species display Learn about the invasive species present in Minnesota. Explore interactive displays to learn the actions people can take to prevent invasive species. People can clean, drain and dispose to stop aquatic invasive species and PlayCleanGo to stop invasive species on land. Check out the PlayCleanGo pledge wall to pledge to clear gear to Stop Invasive Species In Your Tracks. See examples of invasive animals and plants and the impacts they can have. Talk with DNR staff and volunteers about invasive species questions. Discuss below - to view set the hook here.
    • Robert Eddington
      I put in couple golf ball sized hambuger balls in so they can eat . And change the water every three days.