Top 5 Fall Walleye Fishing Tactics
This past fall was the first time I actually had the chance to dedicate time for some fall fishing. I had the last week of September and the first week of October off, so we packed up and headed off to Canada. This had been an unusually warm Fall and I was concerned that I might hit the fall turnover. This is a period when the water temperature throughout the lake hits around 4 degrees Celsius and it mixes top to bottom. This occurs because water is most dense at 4 degrees Celsius. The water during turnover becomes murky and the fish are usually turned off the chew for a few days on either side. Lucky enough though I didn't have to deal with fall turnover at any of the lakes we visited.
We went after some big pike at other lakes, but we stuck to our home base for a few days and went walleye fishing. Even though this is a small lake and not really known to hold huge walleye we had fun fishing with great numbers and steady action.
Previously I have come up empty handed when trying for walleye in the fall, so what was the problem? Well here are a few tips I learned this fall that may help you catch more fish.
#1 Spread Thin: In the Fall fish tend to be more spread out since the whole water column is now at a suitable temperature with high oxygen concentration. Keeping this in mind using a strategy that covers a lot of water will help put you on more fish. For example; I spent some time drifting with a bottom bouncer and spinner / floater set up that worked really well finding walleye along a drop off in water from 20-30 feet deep. I find drifting or slow trolling a bottom bouncer in the fall is more effective than a crank bait. Walleye tend to take the slower moving presentations better with colder water temperatures.
#5 Big Bait = Big Fish: In the fall this is especially true for walleye. If you want to catch a big one and you're fishing a lake where they roam then GO BIG! A great fall presentation is working large swimbaits 5-6 inches in length slowly through the water column. Give it a few cranks and let it fall, crank it a few and repeat. This slow retrieve with that tantalizing tail flicker will have some huge walleye going crazy this fall. Give it a try with a Big Hammer swim bait. These soft baits can't be beat for fall fishing!
Hope these few tips will help you put more walleye in the boat this next fall. Go give it a try.
Till next time, Tight Lines!
The Fishing Doctor