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Blog - Walleye

trophy walleye night fishing

Understanding Fall Walleye Patterns

You’ve probably heard that fall walleye fishing is some of the best walleye fishing of the year. But why? We’ll answer that question and break down how you can make the most of the season’s opportunities.

Most everyone in the walleye world knows that fall is the walleyes’ season to bulk up. This is their time to put on the feedbag and build fat reserves for the upcoming winter and to grow their eggs before spring. The finicky walleyes of summer are gone. But what does that mean to your fall walleye fishing plans? Just because walleye are on the feed doesn’t mean they will jump in the boat. You still have to find them, target them and execute a plan.

First, let’s define the season. Fall walleye fishing does not wait for the calendar to say Sept. 20, nor does fall walleye fishing start when the leaves on the trees start to turn. It starts quite a bit sooner in the northern half of the continent.

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Walleye Landing

Proven Walleye Tips for Intercepting Fish on the Move

Learn when to use spinners and related rigs to counter walleye movement and catch more fish.

Walleyes are famous for their nomadic roaming tendencies. Walleye movement is depicted with phrases like, “Here Today—Gone Tomorrow,” or, my favorite, “They don’t have a mailbox.”

Whether you chase walleyes in the Great Lakes, in smaller natural lakes, or in reservoirs, decades of old angling wisdom addresses the roaming ways of walleyes with presentations designed specifically for covering water. One of the time-honored traditions for intercepting walleyes on the move is to cover water with live bait harnesses, using spinners and action floaters.

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early season walleye catch

Spring Walleye Fishing Tactics: Locating, Jigging & Rigging Early Season Eyes

Locating high potential walleye areas and choosing the most effective bait presentations will increase your opportunity to enjoy great early season walleye action.

Spring walleye fishing can produce of the best walleye action of the year in the upper northern US and southern portions of Canada. Water temperatures are rising, and the fish are starting to move shallow for their yearly spawning cycle. This cycle can start weeks prior to the actual spawn and can stretch a week or two after walleye have spawned out. Spring walleye fishing can produce tremendous action, but timing the bite is important and a few key factors can help you determining when to hit the water and when to wait.

Once female walleye spawn out, they transition between the spawning locations and summer hunting grounds. This tends to be the most difficult period for many walleye anglers. Knowing how to recognize the “fish highways” during the transition will give you the upper hand on the walleye.

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ice fishing crappie catch

Ice Fishing Soft Plastics – Overlooked Presentations for Panfish & Walleyes

Learn the benefits of adding soft plastic lures to your ice fishing arsenal and how to use those baits effectively.

I can easily recall my first time ice fishing with soft plastic lures because it was my first time ice fishing. I fished with a couple of fishing industry friends, both veteran ice anglers from Minnesota. Jigs and spoons owned the ice fishing world at that time, and few ice anglers ever used soft plastic lures. To me, though, it seemed like the same lures I used for vertical presentations to cold-water crappie and bluegills on open water should work through the ice. So, I begin my ice pilgrimage by going against the grain, using a soft plastic crappie bait on a jighead that wasn’t even an ice jig.

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ice fishing walleye catch

How to Maximize Your Ice Fishing Success with Rattle and Glow Baits

As winter progresses and light penetration under the ice lessens, rattling sounds and glow become extra important for helping fish find your baits and for triggering strikes.

With several inches of snow atop ice that’s more than a foot thick and the fish near the bottom, nearly 30 feet below, there is no sunlight to make a metallic spoon shimmer, and it’s tough for fish to see even the boldest lure color unless a lure is almost touching them.

Predator fish find forage largely by hearing, sensing vibration with their lateral lines and via scent through the heart of winter. Lures that rattle deliver critical sound. Tipping lures with natural bait provides scent. Don’t stop there as you consider ice offerings, though. Lures that glow bring the fish’s sense of sight into the equation and help them find your lure even in the darkest of waters.

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Bandit Suspending Minnow

Bandit Does it Again! The NEW Suspending Minnow Walleye Crankbait for 2022 – Bait School Bite Spec

Bandit Lures’ newest walleye lure opens a once-secret strategy to every angler and provides a highly valuable walleye trolling lure, especially during the pre-spawn period.

A lure designed for trolling, but also engineered to suspend in the water column? With trolling being a generally steady approach, it might seem like those concepts contradict one another.

In truth, a suspending lure is critical to innovative strategies used secretly for many years by select walleye anglers in the Great Lakes Region and Zander anglers in Europe. Until now, these anglers had to custom weight their favorite Bandits to suspend, which is a touchy process when lures must remain properly balanced and true running to be effective, and it is not something most anglers would want to take on.

That’s why in-the-know anglers have been begging Bandit for suspending version of their favorite trolling lure and what led to the development of the Bandit Suspending Minnow. Let’s take a closer look.

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big walleye caught trolling

How to Roll Rocks for Hot Walleye Action

This often-overlooked strategy for trolling or casting crankbaits convinces tentative walleyes to bite and makes aggressive fish even more aggressive.

Rolling Rocks.

I’m not referring to the green-bottled beer (sorry Pennsylvanians), but to physically rolling submerged gravel and cobble with crankbaits. Dredging is another term applied to this high-action approach. How do you roll rocks with a crankbait? Velocity, plus depth!

Typically, a power trolling technique, rolling rocks is also a method used by savvy shore anglers and river waders. The “rolling rocks” terminology is quite literal. The goal is to pull the crank with enough velocity that it hits the rocky bottom so hard that the diving lip flips small rocks up and out of the way, plowing a mini furrow in the gravel bottom. Whether you are fishing a pea-gravel bottom or something bigger—marbles, cobble, baseballs, or even melons—instead of the norm of ticking those rocks, this technique begs you to SLAM into the rocks. It’s true that the bigger stuff doesn’t get rolled by the lure, but that’s not for lack of trying!

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ice walleye on Lindy Quiver Spoon

Top Strategies for Early Ice Walleyes

Fish Ed TV host Jon Thelen offers insights on the factors that influence walleye behavior early in the ice season and how to use that knowledge to find fishing success.

“For the most part, they’re in the same places we left them in the fall when we were in boats,” Jon Thelen said about early ice walleyes. “They tend to be tighter to the shoreline, using main lake points, the first breaks out, and any weeds that are hanging on.”

Two primary factors influence the walleyes’ locations during the first part of the ice season, according to Thelen, who has made a lifelong study of fishing in the North Country and who makes his living teaching others how to catch more fish through Fish Ed TV. First, they follow food sources. As importantly, they are influenced by human activity – specially, fishing pressure – atop the ice.

Early ice offers some of the best opportunities of winter, and it’s a time that many anglers anticipate from the time the safe ice goes away at the end of the previous winter. Ice season will be here soon, so we asked Thelen for insights about how to find and catch the most walleyes during the first part of the ice season.

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ice fishing walleye and spoon

Rattl’n Quiver Spoon Combines Subtlety & Sound

This new spoon from Lindy Legendary Fishing fills an important spot in your ice fishing lures box. Learn why it was created and how to use it for everything from bluegills to walleyes.

At times, subtle action is critical for finding good ice fishing action. At other times sound is important for calling in fish and prompting strikes. Sometimes both are true, which is why Lindy introduced the Rattl’n Quiver Spoon.

The slow fluttery fall of a Lindy Quiver Spoon has made this lightweight ice spoon a multi-species ice fishing favorite for the past few winters. At times, though, the fish need a little help finding a bait before they can be coaxed into biting. The Rattl’n Quiver Spoon uses the same shape and light metal construction as the original Quiver Spoon. However, a rattle built into a protruding eye delivers the sound that is sometimes needed to call fish into range and finish the job of prompting strikes.

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