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Getting the soft water walleye fishing opportunities on borrowed time

Gary Kporsgaden

The 2014 open water season is in its final weeks. Fishing is a day-to-day consideration.

Water temperatures are dropping and a sheet of ice is not far away. Few anglers keep their rigs available after mid-October and I would love to report that those still on the water these days are enjoying some of the best fishing of the season.

It’s just not the case.

Veteran anglers still out on our area lakes are perplexed on the difficulty walleyes are to locate right now and when they are, the action is short. Daytime action is hit or miss with more fish coming to the net the last hour before dark.

Docks removed on the majority of our area lakes further indicate it is time to think about putting the boat away and getting the fish house ready.

Some call it crazy but it is me that is one of the last to give it up.

This season is no different. I still have hopes that I will happen on a good walleye bite before I put the boat away for a winter’s nap. Understand, that if my past experience repeats itself, very good fishing could happen.

I am losing patience, though.

Lakes like Long and Big Sand harbor huge schools of ciscoes and bite-sized tullibees seeking shallow, wind-swept shoreline areas that become vulnerable for walleyes. 

Prime-time action occurs during the full moon period. Years with open water and palatable weather conditions, I have experienced some of the best walleye fishing for trophy classed fish.

  Trolling is the best method. For starters, get on the water a hour or so before dark and plan to stay out until the moon is up in full glory.

Take note of the rock shorelines and points that have had or are currently experiencing wind and wave action. A bait cast trolling combination outfitted with 10# to 18# monofilament line is ideal. On the end of the line I prefer a long pencil- style bait (example, floating silver rapalas). Other lures will work as long as they have a slow side- to-side wobbling action and are silver or bright chrome- colored too. Let out enough line, typically 75’ is right for most situations. Best success is achieved by keeping the bait just a couple feet above bottom or the top of any existing weed growth.

  Don’t over look rivers or streams flowing into a body of water acts - a magnet for bait and walleyes. This includes areas that can be easily cast from shore with hip boots or waders. My preference is to cast with a spinning rod and reel with eight pound test line and sinking baits like countdown rapalas. Move along quietly and using a headlight to keep any light shining into the water to a minimum.

I’m not yet ready to call it a year ,but sooner than I would like, I may have to.

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