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Finding Bigger Walleye

  • 85lund
    Participant
    Menomonie, WI
    Posts: 2303
    #2138301

    Hey Gang,

    We are up at the camper in northern WI. Fishing on Sand Lake near New Auburn. The kids and I have been dragging minnows on a drop shot or lindy rig. We are getting a lot of smaller walleye (13-16). I’m ok with it but it has me thinking where do the big eyes hang out in relation to the smaller ones we are catching. Do we need to use bigger minnows? Do we need to find locations that hold bigger fish? Look forward to hearing what you guys would do.

    Tight lines!

    BigWerm
    Participant
    SW Metro
    Posts: 7030
    #2138305

    Generally speaking I would slide up or down a little deeper or shallower. Depends a bit on the forage in the lake, and what they are feeding on, they could be out in the basin suspended chasing cisco or up in shallow weeds feeding on perch. Find the most nutrient rich bait in the lake, and the bigger eyes should be nearby.

    fishthumper
    Participant
    Sartell, MN.
    Posts: 6992
    #2138307

    It seems like sometimes walleyes as well as other fish often school by similar size. But then again I’ve caught many different year class all from the same school as well. It just may be that the year class of those 13-16″ walleyes is just the dominate year class in that lake right now. Nothing wrong with 13-16″ walleyes. If your looking to keep some those are the perfect eating size. Going up in bait size may help but a 16″ walleye can also eat a rather large bait. If you have had enough fun on the fish you are catching I’d start looking for different locations that are similar to the location you are catching fish and hope you run into a few bigger fish. Good luck !!!

    gimruis
    Participant
    Plymouth, MN
    Posts: 7979
    #2138311

    Ya I would upsize your presentation and maybe move deeper too. Generally a 27 inch walleye isn’t going to be mixed in with a 13 incher because big ones eat small ones.

    A more reactive-type presentation might work too like a crank bait or a spinner.

    There are a lot of posters on here that are much more well versed than me in the walleye realm and I’m sure they will chime in.

    to_setter
    Participant
    Stone Lake, WI
    Posts: 569
    #2138316

    Try trolling the middle of the lake for suspended fish with cranks at various depths. If you find them, they will be healthy.

    rjthehunter
    Participant
    Brainerd
    Posts: 1103
    #2138322

    Typically, the bigger fish are hanging out deeper in the summer.

    Eelpoutguy
    Participant
    Farmington, Outing
    Posts: 7833
    #2138329

    Hey Gang,

    We are up at the camper in northern WI. Fishing on Sand Lake near New Auburn. The kids and I have been dragging minnows on a drop shot or lindy rig. We are getting a lot of smaller walleye (13-16). I’m ok with it but it has me thinking where do the big eyes hang out in relation to the smaller ones we are catching. Do we need to use bigger minnows? Do we need to find locations that hold bigger fish? Look forward to hearing what you guys would do.

    Tight lines!

    Me personally, I wouldn’t move. I’ll take those all day long. Sounds like you’re in good walleye water, stay there especially if you’re fishing with the Kids.
    FWIW – I catch walleye from 12″ to 30″ off my dock in the same spot using a jumbo leech and a cork. You never know when the big one plans on swimming by.

    Just my $.02

    Krh129
    Participant
    Posts: 76
    #2138330

    My Dad always told me never leave fish to find fish

    Randy Wieland
    Participant
    Lebanon. WI
    Posts: 12962
    #2138335

    Generally speaking I would slide up or down a little deeper or shallower. Depends a bit on the forage in the lake, and what they are feeding on, they could be out in the basin suspended chasing cisco or up in shallow weeds feeding on perch. Find the most nutrient rich bait in the lake, and the bigger eyes should be nearby.

    I’m in this boat!

    to_setter
    Participant
    Stone Lake, WI
    Posts: 569
    #2138339

    The center of the lake is 70-100 ft deep and has Cisco’s. I have had success trolling cranks in the middle.

    grubson
    Participant
    Harris, Somewhere in VNP
    Posts: 754
    #2138343

    Ive been finding the bigger fish shallower than smaller fish lately on the lakes I frequent. If your lake has good weed growth I’d be looking there. Im still finding good fish in 6-9ft of water on a couple different lakes, even with water temps around 80
    If your lake has tulibee they could definitely also be suspended in the basins feeding on them.

    Walleye Man42
    Participant
    Posts: 103
    #2138383

    I would second that about going shallower, if there is a good weed line, I would work the inside weed line and go with bigger baits. Lots of 20 inch plus fish are in the weeds.

    Randy Wieland
    Participant
    Lebanon. WI
    Posts: 12962
    #2138396

    Just to complicate things more, figure out where the young of the tear gills, crappies, and bass are at. If they suspend deep, walleyes are not far away. Same goes for if the yoty are shallow in weeds, so are the eyes

    buckybadger
    Participant
    Upper Midwest
    Posts: 4195
    #2138401

    For me, similar lakes like this have eater class eyes on weed lines or in moderate depths on traditional bottom transitions or structure during the day. These are just my mediocre angling skill based experiences though.

    If you’re swinging for the fences regarding size and fishing while daylight, I’d seek out suspended fish in a lake that deep with that type of forage. Keep in mind those tactics often result in far fewer fish, but the likelihood of something 4#+ is substantially better. Find the forage that is willing to use deeper water, and big fish comfortable suspending in deeper water may be around.

    Another other option is to fish near or after dark up shallow. It’s hard to know if a shallow trolling tactic would apply without knowing the lake’s water clarity, size, etc but may be worth considering.

    Craig Sery
    Participant
    Bloomington, MN
    Posts: 1042
    #2138417

    Livescope…

    85lund
    Participant
    Menomonie, WI
    Posts: 2303
    #2138636

    I did troll some shad raps in 11-15 and ended up getting some 17-18 inch fish. If I go troll the basin for suspended fish is it as simple as finding them on the graph and getting a crank down in front of them? Leadcore?

    rjthehunter
    Participant
    Brainerd
    Posts: 1103
    #2138666

    I did troll some shad raps in 11-15 and ended up getting some 17-18 inch fish. If I go troll the basin for suspended fish is it as simple as finding them on the graph and getting a crank down in front of them? Leadcore?

    Yes, you can use deep diving cranks, leadcore, snap weights, dipsy, and any other method. It just depends how deep they are!

    bigcrappie
    Participant
    Blaine
    Posts: 3082
    #2138758

    Watch Tom Boley’s Walleye videos, he fishes that lake. He just dropped a how to catch summertime walleye video.

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