Home   |  Message Board   |  Information   |  Classifieds   |  Features   |  Video  |  Boat Reviews  |  Boat DIY
Where to start? New to walleye fishing.. - Walleye Message Central
Walleye Message Central

Go Back   Walleye Message Central > Walleye Message Central > Strictly Fishing


Thread Tools Display Modes
Old 06-06-2012, 09:20 PM
Gundy Gundy is offline
Join Date: Jun 2012
Posts: 5
Default Where to start? New to walleye fishing..

I am avid crappie fisherman that has stumbled upon a 300 acre lake with limited access as there's no real boat ramp with a max depth of around 30-40ft. This however is not a problem for my 9ft 2man bass boat that I can practically launch anywhere. This lake is a crappie goldmine and holds a healthy population of large mouth bass and to my knowledge what I would assume and hope as a good population of walleye. There are sunken trees and structure at various depths throughout the lake, anywhere from 4ft to 16ft.

My boat is rigged with a cheapy eagle fish finder that I basically just use to find structure and hammer the crappie. Specifically with some sort of plastic bait (usually twister tails / grubs ) on a 1/8th jig head or smaller if needed. During a few spring and summer trips to this lake I have nailed the crappie, and every once in awhile brought up a good sized walleye. Which in theory has brought me to believe there has got to be a healthy population at this lake.. The odd part is, these fish have been caught in the middle of the afternoon while I have been vertically jigging crappie.. which most resources mention walleye rarely are active during the hottest part of the day. Never once, after I have caught one has another one been caught... So I'm not sure if the lake just has a few swamp donkeys or the fish was just moving through this area at the time hammering small crappie..

However I have NO clue on where to start with walleye fishing. Most of the Google responses are mentioning trolling, which with a smaller boat such as mine I'm not entirely sure if I should start there. Some mention crankbaits... and there is such a variety again, I'm not entirely sure what ones to even pick up to attempt at this lake. A few resources mention the basic jigging method which is what I am most familiar with but to my limited knowledge of walleye habitat and or areas to start looking I have been skunked.. I've also picked up the In-Fisherman Walleye Wisdom book but haven't finished it yet.

Today on a trip for crappie I decided to give some walleye tactics a try and found a drop off from a flat that was 12ft deep, and dropped to around 18-20ft. What I assume was marked fish on my cheap fish finder and jig it... to no avail... however this was also at around noon; the hottest part of the day..

My basic knowledge tells me to try a wind swept steep drop off since the water temp is approaching water temperatures of 76-78.

Are there any pieces of advice someone can throw at me to possibly test and attempt at this lake? What should I look for? Hard baits? Plastics? Keep in mind I've got a smaller boat.. I've attached some pictures of the walleye sizes for proof and maybe to help solidify there is a decent population.


Last edited by Gundy; 06-06-2012 at 09:22 PM.
Reply With Quote
Sponsored Links
Old 06-06-2012, 09:43 PM
fishincrazy's Avatar
fishincrazy fishincrazy is offline
Join Date: Sep 2011
Location: Philadelphia PA Suburbs/The mighty Delaware/A dirty beach in Jersey
Posts: 1,286

wow First off Welcome to WC!!!!!Might I add good job on the eye's.I also noticed some chop on the water when there's chop the eye's come out to play sun or not.I also noticed a rockslide in one picture.My question to you is did you pick up that eye on the edge of the slide?Where the rocks and mud meet?This is a good area a transition area.eye's hang on transitions find them and the fish will be in the area.Can you tell the bottom with your fish finder?This would be a great help for to find transitions,weed pockets,shoals ect.......

About presentation trolling is great,I prefer jigging while drifting.if I am trolling I like spinner rig's,I also like to drift with floating Lindy rig's.My all time rig is a #6 Gami hook in red with an inflated worm hooked once through the head.On this rig I use the lightest weight I can to get down.
Hope this helps.

PASS IT ON!!!!!!
Reply With Quote
Old 06-06-2012, 09:52 PM
Gundy Gundy is offline
Join Date: Jun 2012
Posts: 5

Thanks for the quick reply. I've literally hit a wall on how to find these fish and was hoping this forum could help. From those pictures there is a brush pile that sits around 15-16ft deep about 6 feet off of that rockslide. Its a pretty steep drop, and I was jigging the pile for crappie. As for seeing the bottom, my fish finder has showed some different looking bottoms however I have never really made the connection, and or attempted to learn them..... gives me something to work on next time I suppose.

I have picked up a notion too that walleye may like mud and or dark bottoms better? There's a side of the lake that has darker looking sand/mud that I have picked up on a pattern as well, but again - usually only one fish and that's it for the day.

The problem I have with all the trolling methods is terminology, I don't even have the slightest clue on how to rig a bottom bouncer let alone a spinner rig.
Reply With Quote
Old 06-06-2012, 10:33 PM
Phil T Phil T is offline
Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: Moorhead, MN
Posts: 4,819

Walleye are named for their glowing eyeball that gives them an advantage in low light conditions. Where I live, that is commonly in a mud line that wave action has kicked up. On a clear body of water that often means they will be most active near first and last light of the day. Try fishing then instead of midday.
Reply With Quote
Old 06-07-2012, 01:28 PM
eriksat1 eriksat1 is offline
Join Date: Jun 2009
Location: N.W. Wisconsin
Posts: 4,770

You could try using a slip bobber rig by those brush piles with a leech, I would start out setting it at the same depth the brush pile tops out at, if no bites start dropping it a few feet at a time untill you are set about a foot off the bottom. I have caught a lot of eyes near brush piles.
Reply With Quote
Old 06-07-2012, 01:59 PM
Fishin'Fun Fishin'Fun is offline
Join Date: Apr 2012
Posts: 36

Find some good structure change such as maybe sunken island or drop off and fish with lindy-rigs with leeches and Jigs with shiners maybe but its hard to say without ever being on the lake.
Reply With Quote
Old 06-07-2012, 05:42 PM
hommer23 hommer23 is offline
Join Date: Jun 2011
Location: Lansing, MI
Posts: 519

[QUOTE=.The problem I have with all the trolling methods is terminology, I don't even have the slightest clue on how to rig a bottom bouncer let alone a spinner rig.[/QUOTE]

Try a google search for bottom bouncer rigging there are several videos on how to use them. Just keep in mind that if you are fishing brush piles a inline wieght will work better, the bottom bouncers will get caught up in the brush and break off you line. You can try a crawler harness with the trebile hook about 4 inches back from the lead hook and hook the crawler in the head and when drifting or trolling the worm will wrap around the trebile hook or 1/2 crawler on a slow death hook threaded about 2.5" on the hook and the tail left to float. As far as using a bouncer hook the main line to the center with a snap swivel and hook the harnes to a dual snap to the top hook on the bouncer, start your troll or drift let the line out and you will feel contact with the bottom and then let out a few more feet of line and lock you bail. Watch your line to read the bottom and adjust as needed to maintian contact with the bottom. This is just one way to use them and as you get used to it you can change up a few things as you see fit.
Reply With Quote
Old 06-07-2012, 09:37 PM
Gundy Gundy is offline
Join Date: Jun 2012
Posts: 5

Alrighty, attempted some walleye catching this evening. Decided to approach the jigging method head on considering that's a method I am most familiar with ( catching crappie etc.. ). Let me just say that I caught absolutely zero walleye, a **** load of crappie and quite a few bass. I decided to try some different methods I read about, one pretty much a trolling method that let out a crap load of line and let your jigs skip the bottom while trolling the slowest speed. I trolled this way through various areas that I would've thought should hold walleye... Used 1/8oz and 1/4oz jigs.. and everything from ringworms to 3'' grubs. Didn't get a **** thing. Also attempted to drag some jigs across the bottom on certain area's where I have caught them before and nothing.. I got on the lake about 6pm and fished until around 9:30pm. The bite for crappie/bass totally cut off around 8:40pm.

Is there a sure fire method that's good for beginners? I am assuming the bottom bouncer method would work similar to the jig trolling, just slowest speed am I correct? Thinking of grabbing a few and some leeches and just trolling the **** out of the lake until I find something. I've also lost some confidence with my fish finder, as I was sure I was marking some fish but got nothing to bite. I did however find some new structure on the lake that holds crappie so not all was lost.

Also, whats the method most of you WC folks use on a lake that you arrive to and don't know much about the walleye habitat?

What area's do I focus on at night and or dusk/dawn? I felt like I had a good idea of where to look during daylight, but the minute the sun went down I felt like I had no idea what the **** to fish.

It sure is frustrating trying to learn these fish.. Is it possible there are just a few lunkers at this lake and not a stable population..? I would give anything for a class or seminar at this point .

Last edited by Gundy; 06-07-2012 at 09:45 PM.
Reply With Quote
Old 06-08-2012, 07:56 AM
bigdaddyguns's Avatar
bigdaddyguns bigdaddyguns is offline
Join Date: Dec 2011
Location: People's Republic of IL
Posts: 359

Sounds like you exclusively worked the lower part of the water column. Next time try moving up in the column with some with a shad rap type crankbaits. Also a lipless crank is worth a try for moving about in the water column. For dusk/dawn periods try longer line trolling of stick baits in shallower water. Depending on the forage base the walleye could be suspended over deeper water.

There aren't any sure fire methods. You will have to keep trying different methods and techniques that may produce fish for this particular body of water. Since there is there is no lake map you will have to build one yourself. In the end your assumption of healthy population of walleye may be incorrect but the process you go thru to make that determination will make you a much better fisherman for all species.
Reply With Quote
Old 06-08-2012, 09:08 AM
Pezman38's Avatar
Pezman38 Pezman38 is offline
Super Moderator
Join Date: Jul 2007
Location: Central Illinois
Posts: 3,001

Do you own any crankbaits?

I like casting cranks especially in the areas you took walleye photos. They like rip rap like that a lot, as well as mud bottoms. Get a few shad type cranks, berkley frenzy shad, rapala shad rap, norman deep little N. All these have caught me walleye.

If you mark fish deeper then try a bottom bouncer or 3 way rig to get a crank bait down to them. Here a rapala original floating minnow or the like work a bit better. Keep the bait about 3 inches in length to start. Colors will very, get a couple natural colors and something real bright too.

Here are bottom bouncer tips: You can put cranks on this, floating jigs with minnow/leach, jig and plastic trailer, spinner/harness with live bait.

Another way is a 3 way rig, here is a video on how to make one. This is used more in current when large weights are needed. I would use a bouncer if I was you, but this can work.
Reply With Quote

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may post new threads
You may post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is Off
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump

All times are GMT -6. The time now is 07:11 AM.

Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
vBulletin Security provided by vBSecurity v2.2.2 (Pro) - vBulletin Mods & Addons Copyright © 2017 DragonByte Technologies Ltd.