It’s the ‘dog days’ of summer but walleyes can still be caught during the middle of the day. You just have to get ’em out of the weeds! I just posted the full write-up here on TargetWalleye.com, few excerpts below:
Typically when we’re talking about plucking summertime walleyes out of the weeds, it seems like cabbage and coontail are the go-tos — sometimes even milfoil or chara aka “sand grass.”
But I haven’t heard much talk about “eelgrass” or wild celery (vallisneria americana) as the scientific-y folks call it? Stuff that looks like this:
I stumbled on this bite on accident…sort of…. Was up poking around for walleyes on a long, slow-tapering point — hitting that 10-14′ cabbage/coontail mix where the fish usually are on this central-MN lake — and striking out.
It was sunny and pushing 90 degrees, with water temps on the verge of bath water (81°F). I had seen several fish on my Humminbird MEGA Down Imaging hidden in the weeds, but just couldn’t get them to go. Figured the fish must’ve been straight-up buried down and the odds of ’em even seeing my bait was slim.
Was about to throw in the towel [face-palm emoji] and figured for the heck of it I’d bomb a cast up on the tippy-top of this point = a 6-9′ flat with scattered eelgrass. Flipped the trolling motor to 10 and juuuust started to turn the boat to get to deeper water — so I could get the heck out of there — when I got “thunked.”
What do ya know, it was a chunky 15″ walleye that absolutely inhaled my 4″ Impulse Smelt Minnow on a 1/4-oz VMC Neon Moon Eye Jig. Have that combo tied on no matter what lake I’m heading to. Not sure the jig color makes a big difference since snap-jigging is mostly a reaction bite, but I was trying to mimic a tasty-little perch:
I like to rig it with 10-lb Sufix 832 Advanced Superline and a 5-6′ leader of 8- or 10-lb Sufix Advance Fluorocarbon. Smooth + strong combo and can still feel ’em “donk” the bait on the drop. Heavier leader when snapping out of thick weeds, and drop down to 8-lb for the sparser stuff.
I immediately hit Spot-Lock and fired another cast up top. Ended up catching 3 walleyes in 4 casts [!] snap-jigging my bait so hard that every stroke looked like a hookset…and sometimes was. Yup, my shoulder’s still sore today after just an hour of that type of fishing lol.
Noticed on the 3rd cast (the one where I didn’t catch a walleye) I had a piece of “eelgrass” hanging from my bait. The next few casts after that flurry of fish helped me put together the pieces of that puzzle. Ended up catching a couple of largemouth bass, brought in a little more eelgrass, and snagged 2 small-ish perch in the belly. So now I knew what they were feeding on and where.
That “eelgrass” typically grows in 10′ or less…sometimes out to 15′. Likes growing on a semi-hard bottom…like sand covered with a thin layer of muck. It can get thick, but these fish were relating to thinner patches of the stuff. Only thing I can think of is it was enough cover to hold bait (perch) but thin enough those fish could easily feed in and around it. Especially since the cabbage/coontail mix I normally get ’em out of was soooo thick and overgrown = a nightmare to snap jig through.
The “X” marks the spot(s) where I found ’em relating to that shallow eelgrass, and I highlighted in yellow where I normally catch ’em midsummer on this point:
You’ve got your typical “flash bites” for walleye — about 45 minutes near sunrise and sunset — but there seems to be another bite window for these shallow weed fish: they LOVE to eat midday. Not sure what it is — maybe that’s when the forage is congregated around these areas?
Full scoop here.