Odds For Trophy Walleyes
by Bob Jensen
To many anglers across the Midwest, walleyes are king. Folks who fish
like to catch walleyes. Walleyes are great on the table, and
although some say a walleye’s fight is sluggish, on proper
walleye gear, marble-eyed fish fight pretty good. No doubt
about it, walleyes are fun.
In the past several years, the opportunity to catch big
walleyes has improved. Progressive regulations have created
outstanding walleye fisheries. If you do a little homework to
find a lake that supports big walleyes, your chances for
catching one are very good, and the autumn season is the best
time to do so. Here’s how.
Just as some bodies of water hold big fish and others are
home to lots of fish, some areas within a body of water will be
better for big fish. If you’re on a spot that looks good but is
only providing smaller fish, you should consider moving to
another spot. It seems like big fish and smaller fish will
usually hold in different areas, or they may use the same area
but at different times. Every now and then you might catch a
big one with the little guys, but usually big fish hang out with
If you’re fishing deep water structure, keep in mind that the
“spot-on-the-spot” will usually hold the biggest fish. For
instance, a tiny corner on an underwater hump is perhaps where
the big ones will be. Use your depth finder to locate those
spots, then concentrate on them.
Use big baits. When the walleyes are deep, you can’t beat a
Fire-Ball jig or a Roach Rig with a redtail chub. A six incher
isn’t too big: Go bigger if you can find them. You’ll be
increasing your chances for a lunker walleye if you use big
If you’re on a lake that has big walleyes working shallower
areas like rock piles, throw a swim bait. Swim baits such as a
five or six inch Power Bait Hollow Belly or a Swimming Pogy
along with the four inch Slurpies Swim Shiner and Swim Shad are
becoming very popular among in-the-know walleye chasers.
Finally, if a big walleye is high on your priority list,
consider fishing at night. Deep, clear lakes often have
populations of trophy walleyes that are most accessible when
it’s dark. They are up in the shallows chasing fall spawning
baitfish. These are big baitfish, and it takes a big walleye to
eat them. Troll or cast crankbaits. A Frenzy Flicker Shad in
the #7 size is a good place to start. Some anglers like to
match the hatch, others like a bait that is a completely
different color than what the walleyes are feeding on. Only by
experimenting will you learn what they want.
The next few weeks will be a great opportunity to catch a
truly big walleye. Take advantage of this opportunity.