The dilemma many us face during the Dog Days of August and September is whether to expend the time and energy (not to mention the sweat) chasing Walleyes during a period that typically isn’t thought of as conducive to catching large numbers of fish.
What I am going to relate to you are some basic guidelines to locating Pre Spawn Walleyes in Reservoirs. I’ll focus on areas that concentrate active and therefore catchable fish. Most of this knowledge was gleaned from fishing the impoundments of the Missouri River, but these rules will easily apply to all types of Reservoirs, regardless of the region they are to be found.
This is a question that those of us in the Dakota’s face each fall. Unfortunately, most of us choose the Pheasants to the point of complete exclusion of the fish. I’m forced to admit that I am also often guilty of this. If we can force ourselves to put down our shotguns for a day or two and risk alienating our trusty hunting dogs, the best fishing of the year often awaits us.
Please resist the temptation to put the boat away for the season. I realize that hunting season is drawing near; and with everything that goes on this time of year, your boat probably hasn’t seen the water for some time. All the more reason, to take a late season trip. It’s a great excuse, to burn up some of the old fuel before you winterize it.
Ask any Walleye fisherman about Spinners and they will attest to just how effective they are. Most often coupled with a Bottom Bouncer, this tried and true presentation has probably accounted for more Walleyes than all other options, with the exception of a jig.
Well, it looks as though Old Man Winter may have finally left us alone. And a very grumpy old man he has been. To be honest with you, I’m more than just a little bit sick of both him and Mother Nature. At this point, we should consider retiring them both as they appear to be getting senile and downright nasty a heck of a lot more than is called for.
or perhaps as better adapted to fishing…find before your fish. This may sound oversimplified and about as basic as it gets, but as with anything, the basics are always the most important, although most overlooked aspect of any endeavor.
I was recently reminded of why it is so important to draw upon past lessons learned. This was poignantly driven home while I was fishing in a Fishing Crew Team Tournament Trail event on lower Lake Oahe with a partner that due to his incredible shyness and astute aversion of any public attention, shall remain nameless.
Once fall rolls around, most sportsman’s focus turns to hunting. Our hands begin to become more accustomed to the grip of a gun than the handle of a fishing rod. This is easily understood as we become programmed to beginning the annual pursuit of the various game and fowl species we are fortunate to have available.
Once the calendar rolls around to August and lasting up to Late Fall, many fisherman have an extremely tough time making consistent catches of Walleye in Reservoirs. Most attribute this to high water temperature and come to the conclusion that the fish just won’t bite until it cools down and the water turns over.
Once November rolls around in the upper Midwest, we as fisherman enter a very strange period, as far as activity is concerned. Meaning the angler-not the fish. The fish remain quite active, probably even more so than on the much touted Harvest Moon nights we’ve been programmed to believe hold some mystical status
KISS is a widely known acronym for Keep It Simple Stupid and it seems to have special (although often overlooked) meaning in many aspects of the lives of those like myself who tend to overthink and over-do far too many things. Occasionally it does hit home, but usually after the fact and becomes another lesson not learned soon enough, often forgotten, and with a need to be re-learned more than I care to admit
With all of the uncertainties of early Spring (unpredictable weather, spawning, baitfish runs, etc.) behind us, we can now concentrate on putting some firm and relatively reliable late Spring and early Summer patterns together as walleye’s will become much more responsive and begin to feed in earnest.
As anglers, we often find ourselves depending much too heavily on what’s “supposed” to work, in any given set of circumstances. The problem with this is that there are no absolutely hard and fast rules that will apply to all situations…at all times. All of us have been thoroughly and painfully taught this lesson more than once. When we are truly most vulnerable to a poor outing is when we “think” we have them figured out. You know what typically results.
As we put the month of September behind us; too many of us consider this to be the final chapter of another open water fishing season. As most of us have strong interests in several forms of outdoor activities, such as hunting…fishing often takes a backseat to preparations for the upcoming seasons.
As we begin another open water fishing season, I would encourage you to do something a little different this year and break free from your traditional methods, keep an open mind and try some unfamiliar tactics. Perhaps do so in some new locations, and even some waters you haven’t been on.
As the days are growing increasingly shorter and we are inching ever closer to the beginning of another hunting season; we sometimes lose sight of all the potentially good to extremely good open water fishing that is left to be had. Real beauty of this is that your tourist types are long gone, along with the frustration they bring. Can be downright peaceful and leaves you to concentrate on finding and catching fish.
In our quest to catch walleye’s, easily the most important skill any successful angler must have is the ability to actually feel a bite. Without this, all the time, effort, and resources we have expended to get to this point are futile. Yes, some folks seem to have a little more natural sensitivity in their hands, but unless you possess some sort of physical handicap, we all possess the same basic senses.