As summer sets in and water temperatures continue to rise, summer fishing becomes more difficult. But when you find where they are hiding and provide the right setup and display, you can find your limits.
Some may say or think, “Robbins is what everyone says who catches walleye.” Here’s a little secret: a bunch of people are catching walleyes, they don’t let you know about it until you come to their house to cook.
Example: We recently went on an early summer cookout. Along with burgers and hot dogs, they had fresh fish. I asked, “Where did you get that delicious new walleye?” He said, with a big smile, “Chautauqua.”
Now this is a friend of mine that I talk to several times a week and he never said he was into walleye. Lesson. Anglers who catch walleye don’t usually share the hot spot with anyone until they’ve caught them in their hands or, me, on my plate.
During the summer months when the marine vegetation reaches its peak, try to spend time around weeds such as milfoil, lily pads and cabbage grass, which will keep schools of baitfish and new insects. Weeds near any current or deep water will hold more fish so targeting higher elevations will pay off.
“Shooting” Swimming around weed and weed lines will help you find the fish that are working, and bag the weed just like you would big fish. If the fish are very weak, try hooking a hidden bait line to lure the reluctant fish.
Summer, autumn, winter or spring walleye prefer to feed during the best light. Their large marble eyes are sensitive to light, so try fishing near sunrise or sunset for best results.
Here is one secret that took years to understand. As the water temperature continues to rise, go deeper. Try to fish deep, because summer is still associated with knots, large lake basins, lines, weed lines and canals. This is where the baitfish are hanging out and the walleye being a walleye, will be looking at the bait.
An added bonus is that fish in deeper water are usually more aggressive during the day, so if you only fish when the sun is up, try to stay deeper.
We like to troll the Northland Tackle Walleye Spinner Rig crawlers around areas and weed edges that will attract fish that are very close to the bottom. Everyone’s secret “dog days” bite and trolling speed. Most of the time we start walking slowly with the wind. When I mean gentle, I mean gentle. We see the tip of the stick and we want it to just hit/move a bit.
If the fish are suspended in a stream, troll crankbaits that are best for suspended summer walleye. Running at night is important. When setting up your crankbait to move straight, varying speeds depending on the wind is important. Always watch the rod ends when turning; This is when the lures change speed and direction, and when the walleye that have been following your offerings will get another chance.
When there is less light, the fish will move to shallower water so be sure to adapt to changing conditions.
Walleye night fishing can be a great way to catch not only a limit, but a trophy. Walleye often move to shallow areas, bars or areas to feed on available food at night.
When the fish shallow cover at night, keep “no nose” it will help keep your line wet and active.
A good way to enter “eyes” at night he has a slip-bobber. If you want an extra look, add a light indicator to the top of your controller. Next, pinch a shot about 12 inches above the hook, which will help keep your bait in the striking position. Take a live leech or reptile and wait; That bobber should be gone soon.
Fishing under a bobber may be old school for some but in these tough times it’s good to go back to the basics. Use this tool at any high altitude, or when the bite is difficult, and a technique of finesse is necessary to reduce it.
We haven’t talked much about rod, reel and line, but we like to keep it that way. A good 6-foot medium stick will help you connect with your offerings. The feeling that goes with your stick is important. It should be very small but not too small; enough to handle and fight a 5 to 7 pound fish.
For upper waters where the sound will change from day to day, we like to use 8-to-12-pound mono. When trolling 12- to 18-inches, a fluorocarbon leader will give your lures the visibility they need in certain situations.
Walleye in many people’s eyes is a poor man’s lobster when properly prepared. That is true. Plus, there’s nothing better on a cold winter night than walleye fillets. Not only do they taste great, but they also bring you on hot summer evening fishing trips.