Dedicated walleye anglers anticipate October’s full moon with giddiness like that of a fifth-grader waiting for Halloween to arrive. That’s because they know a unique set of factors collide during this special period, resulting in a frenzy of feeding activity anglers can count on and plan for.

“Any full-moon period is a great time to pursue nighttime walleyes, but October is prime time because the fish are packing on calories for the coming winter,” said Bob Bohland, brand ambassador and avid walleye angler. “On top of that, the weeds have died back, leaving baitfish with a lot less cover. Add a full moon to the mix and you’ve got a situation where the predators have a huge visual advantage.”

A layer, called the tapetum lucidum, in a walleye’s retina gives the eye its unique appearance; it’s also very efficient at gathering and reflecting light, providing the fish with acute night vision and a distinct nocturnal feeding advantage.

Consequently, the full-moon period, which includes the four to five days before and after the actual event, finds Bohland probing rockpiles. “I start fishing about 8 or 9 p.m. and focus on shallow rocks,” he said. “When the wind blows, plankton  followed by baitfish; followed by walleyes — piles up on the windward side, and with a spotlight or good headlamp you’ll actually see the walleyes, if the water’s clear enough.

“They may spook off the rocks, but just drop a waypoint or marker buoy and back the boat off; they’ll come back shortly.”

A stickbait is the best tool for October ’eyes, and as far as Bohland is concerned, “the Suspending Rattlin’ Rogue is the be-all/end-all lure among the group,” he said. “It’s 5½ inches long and has the profile, rattle and action to match the walleye’s aggressive mood. Plus, you can cast it a mile on 10-pound superline.”

 While some anglers tend toward the slow-and-steady, Bohland prefers a more active approach—twitching and ripping the lure with each retrieve. “Pop it and pause it; make it change direction and look like a wounded minnow. Most importantly, pay attention to what you’re doing so you can repeat it when you catch a fish.”

October widens the opportunity for shore fishing, too. Focus on wind-blown banks, points or bars of sand, gravel or rock — or some mixture — and if there are remnants of green weeds, so much the better. Inflowing water from a river, stream or culvert attracts night-feeding walleyes, too. Bohland recommends using a Floating Rattlin’ Rogue from shore, however, as it can more easily back out of snags.

The full moon appears on Oct. 16 this year, so you’ve got time to ready your gear and plan a strategy. Have fun, and good luck.