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               Fall 2007 Feature Article

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Fall For Walleyes
by Bob Jensen


Youíve heard it before and youíll hear it again: The autumn months are a great time to go fishing, for a wide variety of fish.  However, for many anglers across the Midwest, autumn is the time to chase walleyes.  Spring can be very good, and lots of people go fishing for walleyes in the spring.  Autumn can be great, and not as many folks are fishing in the fall.  Maybe thatís why walleye fishing will be so good in the near future.  Fewer anglers means less angling pressure, and less angling pressure means the fish are less spooky and more eager to bite.  Hereís how you can take advantage of that eagerness.

Many angler, Iím one of them, have had their most memorable walleye catches in October and early November.  The biggest walleyes Iíve caught have come in the autumn, and the highest daily catches have also occurred when the leaves where bright and the waters were almost devoid of anglers.

If I was limited to one lure presentation to use in the fall, it would be a Fire-Ball jig.  This jig has a short-shanked hook that has a wide gap.  The wide gap aids in hooking, but also permits a larger minnow to be attached, and larger minnows in the fall catch larger walleyes.  A three to four inch redtail is the way to go for numbers of fish, but if you are interested in a big walleye, go with a six inch, maybe even larger, redtail.  A big redtail on a Fire-Ball jig is a walleye delicacy.

In the fall, walleyes can be found almost anywhere.  I had one memorable fall day catching walleye after walleye on a windblown shoreline in two feet of water.  However, Iíve had more memorable days vertical jigging them in water deeper than twenty feet.  Sonar is the key here.  Use sonar to find the fish on deep structures, then hover over them.  Put the jig right in their face and youíll get bit.  The Humminbird color sonar units that have become so popular with walleye anglers do a great job of revealing bottom hugging walleyes.

Soft bait on jigs is becoming more popular for walleyes, and for good reason.  Soft bait is much more durable, and comes in more colors than minnows.  Power Bait and Gulp! in the minnow shapes are the leaders in appealing to deep water walleyes.  Use a jighead of one color with a different color soft bait.  The contrast increases your odds of showing the fish a color theyíre interested in.

Use line that will provide outstanding feel in the deep water.  Some anglers like monofilament: If youíre one of them, go with Trilene Sensation.  Sensation has great feel and superior knot strength.  Eight pound test on the heavier jigs in deep water is good, although some anglers prefer to go with six pound test.

FireLine offers the ultimate in sensitivity and the Crystal color is invisible underwater.  Go with 10/4 line strength.

Fall is a fantastic time to be outside, and is equally fantastic for chasing walleyes.  If you get the time, be sure to take advantage of it.  If you donít get the time, make the time to chase walleyes in the fall.

Visit fishingthemidwest.com  for additional information on walleye fishing in the heartland and more.

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