fishing in the cooler weather of autumn is probably second best only to early spring,
although there are anglers who would argue this point. Early season walleye fishing is
great to say the least, but try a night in the fall when you shiver with cold and
excitement as the line goes tight and the fish takes off for deeper water. Fall fishing is
hard to beat for great action. As the water cools and the wave action turns the water
over, the oxygen levels go up and the walleye will be stimulated and become more active.
Walleye seem to like the break between shallow and deep water
at this time of year. Try trolling along these areas and don't be afraid to try different
depths. Look for contours near the shore in daylight hours and note their locations.
At dusk you can troll along these contours and work them from shallow to deep. But the
actual edge of the contours can often be the most productive. Try a zigzag pattern of
trolling or casting to cover more water.
Wally Minnow, Smithwick Rogue, Rapalas, countdowns, long wally
jigs, Wally Divers, shad raps and spinners with coloured blades are among the top choice
lures to have in your arsenal.. Remember that late fall will mean a slower troll or
presentation if casting. Keep the bait near bottom and retrieve very slowly, letting the
bait strike the bottom as you reel it in. Try using shad raps, trolled close to
bottom, #7 or #9 with a drop weight on a three-way swivel to keep the bait at or close to
bottom, or with a bottom-walking sinker. Bottom walkers are best in murky water or in low
light conditions. As they are dragged across the bottom they will create a trail of riled
water and the bait you have attached will resemble a feeding baitfish. This action is what
will attract the walleye.
Spinner blades attached to a 1/8 or ¼ oz. jig head with scent
impregnated power baits such as power leeches or power worms are another sure fire way to
attract the walleye to your line. The same rig can be used successfully with live minnows.
Keep the retrieves relatively slow, as the walleye will be feeding steadily, but not very
If you are using a live minnow on its own with a weight, keep the
hook within eight inches of the weight. This will give the walleye a better chance to take
the minnow. Some anglers prefer to use two lines where allowed, one with a large minnow to
attract the fish, and the second with a smaller minnow to actually hook the fish. The
vibrations of the larger minnow will bring the walleye in from a greater distance as the
walleye are initially attracted by sound and then by sight. If you are fishing at night,
you will want to fish shallower, as the walleye will feed closer to the surface.
Walleye will usually start to feed just at dusk in clear
water and this will last until full dark, at this point the action will stop. The eyes on
a walleye take up to an hour or more to become accustomed to the dark. This usually
happens at the last light of day or full dark, as we know it. At this point they will be
able to see again and will start night feeding. Many anglers stop fishing after the
initial evening feeding action slows or stops and by doing so miss out on a lot of good