Understanding fall walleye patterns.
Anyone else ready for the fall walleye bite? 🙋♂️ Know I am! So when does the fishing start getting good again LOL…? I came across this write-up from Ronn Boggs that’s loaded with a bunch of really interesting info to help understand what kicks the fall bite into gear. Waaaay more info here, but a few excerpts below:
> Fall walleye fishing doesn’t wait for the calendar to say Sept 20…or when the leaves on the trees start to turn. For me [it] starts when the weeds begin to brown and die off.
> In the lakes around my home…that’s happening by mid-Aug when the algae bloom…blocks sunlight, and the day-length…is more than an hour shorter than it was in late Jun. Less light cues the weeds to die off for the year. Thick patches of weeds may still seem vibrant and alive, but those deeper weed edges and the sparse weed areas are browning and dropping WAY before trees show a glimmer of color.
> This die-off…leaves zillions of perch, shiner, chub and sucker minnows with no place to hide. Those minnows seldom tuck into the remaining thick weeds, preferring instead to bunch together and roam, following shorelines and stacking up….
> The displaced bait species typically end up on rocky stretches of shoreline or best of all, on rocky points and reef areas. For those who fish the Great Lakes, these are the minnows stacked on jetties while the weather is still nice. In addition to various rocky outcrops, these moving baitfish will be cruising through areas of subtle current like causeways or channels connecting lakes as well as narrows or other pinch points that funnel the homeless bait to areas walleyes can use for ambush.
> False spawning run: Radiotelemetry studies show that a sizable portion of the walleye population makes a temporary up-lake run close to the areas where they will spawn in the spring. You’ll catch these fish in the same places you catch them during the pre-spawn every year – tailraces of dams, flats near the mouths of spawning streams, major bends with access to the channel, and perhaps even in the streams and rivers near spawning stretches.
> Biologists don’t have clear proof why lots of walleyes make this false run, but it definitely happens in many water bodies. I believe the walleyes make this run through the spawning area to feed on minnows and crayfish….
> Setting Up for Winter: This is a late-fall phenomenon where the walleyes start settling in near or at the spots they’ll hang out through the winter. This is almost like pre-ice fishing where you fish for walleyes that are still more active than they’ll be in a few weeks, but on the same GPS coordinates you saved from ice fishing last winter. This is the classic late fall pattern where walleyes are working steep breaks near deeper water.
> Sometimes you’ll get lucky and find them pouring out of the depths and into the shallows to feed. More commonly, you’ll pick them off one at a time on the deep breaks with big 5-7″ minnows on a Lindy Rig….
Bunch more info here.