With the fall season fast approaching, there’s so much we all would like to do and so many things that can be done at this time of year. It’s hard to decide what we want to do first. Fall colors and cool air makes fishing in the fall one of prettiest and relaxing times and can be some of the best action of the year.
Like all other game, the walleye to are trying to fatten up for the coming winter. The females are developing eggs and need added protein. As the water cools the fish lose a lot of their food sources and the young fry of the year have grown out of the food source range, leaving a lot less food available. For us fisherman and fisherwomen, this makes for some of hottest fishing of the year.
Fishing for fall walleyes is real similar to spring time fishing with the exception of the water temperature, which is dropping. Starting out with warmer water, your choice of baits can be your favorite. You can use crank baits, jig for them, or if you prefer you can rig them.
Crank baits come in all sizes, colors, and shapes, but I prefer the #5, with a second choice being #7, deep running shade raps. (Colors may vary to the forage of the lake being fished). You should run about 100 to 120 feet of line behind the boat. The heaver the line weight the higher the bait will run. I like to use FireLine because there are less bite-offs from northern. Run deeper with larger pound test line and less stretch for better hook sets. Snake troll the shorelines to locate fish.
When jigging them in first part with warmer water temps, you can use a lot action on your jig and it can be tipped with any type of bait from a piece of crawler to minnow. But as the water temperature drops, you want to lessen the amount of action on the jig. Minnow should be the bait of choice. The other nice thing about jig and minnow combo, is that it’s a catchall presentation, meaning any fish species in area will bite it. This adds to the fun. If you locate a school of fish, instead of trolling over it again (which a lot of times will spook them off), mark the spot, anchor off on the deep side and pitch a jig and minnow up into the school. These fish have been pressured all spring and summer long and are a lot more boat shy.
Rigging works well until the lakes freeze over. When rigging in fall in shallow waters, use a short leader about 3 to 4 ft. One reason I like use a rig in the fall is the fish are more easily spooked after being pressured all summer. You want to long line them, which means fishing way behind the boat. The fish will move off the spot when the boat moves over them. They will return, but in the fall it takes more time for them to go back. With a lot of line out, the fish have extra time to go back before the bait gets past. The rig can be tipped with either crawler or leech, but both will work equally well.
I like nothing better then going out on a beautiful fall day catch a few fish. Get to shore, cook them up and enjoy the wonderful sights and sounds of fall.
Have fun but most of all be safe.
Walleye & Northern Pike - May 11, 2019
Largemouth & Smallmouth Bass - May 11, 2019
Muskie - June 1, 2019
2019 Fishing RegulationsMN DNR Fishing Regulation Handbook for 2019
Charlie Worrath talks early season walleye for the television program Jason Mitchell Outdoors on Lake Winnibigoshish in northern Minnesota. (watch the video)
Jason Boser appearing on an episode for the television program Jason Mitchell Outdoors on Lake Winnibigoshish in northern Minnesota. (watch the video)
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