Walleyes are biting this time of year

? Across Sunset Country, walleyes still get the most angler attention of any of the fish species that inhabit our lakes.
Bass are right up there, though, with muskies continuing to gain popularity amongst area anglers.
We are definitely getting lucky this week with the weather, extending the summer a little bit. Not that I’m complaining!
In between bass tournaments, I spent a few days last week chasing walleyes and experienced some of the best fishing I’ve ever seen. We caught great numbers of fish, as well as a few big ones.
The late-summer period places fish in predictable locations where anglers can experience great fishing.
During the early part of the season and through the mid-summer period, walleyes are located throughout the water column—some shallow in the weeds, others on deeper main lake structures like humps and points.
The nice thing about this time of year is that walleyes are really starting to group up and congregate in deep water. Not only that but they are hungry, too, which is good for us anglers.
The key is to look for fish in main lake areas. Fish have pulled off the shoreline stuff and are really grouping up big time on the humps.
Current areas also are a magnet for walleyes from now through the rest of the season because they congregate baitfish that walleyes are feeding on.
As far as depths go, we had good success last week in 25-32 feet of water. I’m not saying there are not still plenty of walleyes in shallow water, because there surely are, but there are a lot of fish in this depth range.
I’m sure there are some deeper, as well, but it’s not recommended that you target these unless you intend to keep them because most walleyes that come out of water deeper than about 35 feet are going to have some issues if you release them.
The change in pressure for fish coming out of these depths is harmful to their internal organs, as well as their eyes (just something to keep in mind).
Jigs absolutely were the best option you could tie on the end of your line last week. Fish were on specific pieces of structure and they were easy to mark on my Humminbird sonar units.
Earlier in the season, walleyes are spread out on flats a lot more and they are just not grouped up as much, so trolling spinner rigs and crankbaits shine for finding and catching fish.
Jigs will beat up on those techniques now.
We used both live bait, as well as plastic, on our jigs. If the fish were in an aggressive mode, the plastic out-produced the live bait. If they weren’t super active, the live bait still would catch ’em.
The reason the plastic works so well is that if fish are aggressive, we can use heavier jigs and jig them aggressively in order to trigger fish to strike.
We would mark the fish on our sonar, throw a marker buoy over the side to mark the spot, then quickly get our jigs down to the fish. The jigging technique we use is called snap-jigging, where we snap our jigs two-three feet off the bottom and then let them fall back on free line.
Watch your line when the jig falls back to the bottom and you’ll see it jump when a fish strikes.
I prefer to use yellow PowerPro line for doing this so I can see the line really easy. With live bait, though, you can’t jig like this because you’ll tear the bait off too easy.
Sometimes the aggressive jigging can be a real trigger. I’ve been using samples of some the new Northland Impulse soft plastic smelt minnows, along with the Trigger-X walleye minnows.
Bust out the jigs, get on the main basin of the lake, and you’ll have plenty of good feeds of fish before the end of the season.

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