If you are looking to catch Walleye trophy fish what is the best thing to do or not to do?
Let me say first that, Walleye fishing is what you make of it and only experienced anglers understand that it is often a game of chances, and when these fish shut down there is no way to turn that frown upside down.
Now, the key word to focus on here is catch, and in order to catch you need bait and for the wily but aggressive walleye it won’t be just any ordinary bait.
But before we get into feeding this toothy critter, let us dwell on the nature of your prey for a moment. Walleye grow from a fertilized egg to 1 ½ to 2 inches by late spring and to 4 to 6 inches by autumn. They start out with plankton and quickly change to small aquatic insects and then to minnows.
Once they achieve six to eight inches in length, in order to maintain their size their diet will be mostly minnows. Unfortunately for the walleye this becomes their downfall.
In order to maintain their size and still grow they must eat almost on a continuous basis and they must do this throughout their life because they never stop growing. I think that of all the factors to consider in a successful strike, water temperature would rank high on the list.
In fact it has been found that the feeding frenzy peaks for walleye when the water temperature hits 64 degrees F and that water temperature has a lot to do with locating this elusive prey.
So, you will want to look for Walleyes in the spring to gather and spawn in gravelly or sandy bays with winds that stir up wavelets. This action is necessary to expose areas to lay the eggs, keep the eggs aerated and prevent them from being silted over. This is of course for ideal conditions for spawning. You will also find them off shoreline bars or in open water gravel flats.
Reservoir walleyes spawn over a three-week period, primarily after dark, in water depths of 3 to 12 feet. However, they are highly adaptable and if necessary you can find them in waters 36 feet deep. Again, water temperature is important because spawning will occur when the water temp rises to 48° and during this time and up to 10 days later the females rarely bite. Now, the good thing is that after the spawning, they go on a month long feeding pig out.
At this time you will find them in 15 ft. of water or less because the low angle of the sun allows them to stay in the shallows. After all is said and done the biggest drawback of spring walleye fishing is inconsistent weather.
In summer, walleyes frequent sand bars and points mostly at night, feeding on crayfish and minnows. Now as waters warm throughout the season, walleyes move further and deeper into the cooler, darker waters. While moving to these depths they are often attracted to structure, such as islands, underwater land forms, or deep weed beds. You will find that you will have to work really hard to have any success at this time of year. The reason being is simply that bait fish are plentiful and larger than what you’re offering.