Walleye Struggle

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Forkhorn
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Walleye Struggle

Postby Forkhorn » Fri Jan 05, 2018 11:41 am

Hey everyone, we fish a lake quite a bit in Central Minnesota. This year we have been struggling with walleyes coming up to the jig on the vexilar and then going right back down without biting. Any solutions to this? We have been trying smaller jigs, different bait, etc. We set up usually in 16-20’ of water. Do we need to be shallower, deeper? The lake is pretty dirty so I’m not sure if that affects things. Just kinda at a loss for ideas.


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Jonny
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Re: Walleye Struggle

Postby Jonny » Fri Jan 05, 2018 11:54 am

When they come up, pull it away from them. Gotta get them to start chasing it. Also make sure you are keeping your bait above them so they have to come up. The most aggressive fish tend to be highest in the water column.

I fish lake winnebago a lot. 17' of water or so, and its not uncommon to have fish chase it up 10'+. I've had fish come off bottom and bite it right under the ice on good days.

Otherwise keep changing up baits. If a certain jig gets them in, try a different color, or a different jigging technique. But getting them to chase the bait will get you bites
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Re: Walleye Struggle

Postby JAK » Fri Jan 05, 2018 12:45 pm

I'll second what Jonny said keep it away from them. Lot of the lakes I fish are stained and I've caught them anywhere from 5-25 feet but baits with rattels seem to be best for me in stained water
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Re: Walleye Struggle

Postby Forkhorn » Fri Jan 05, 2018 1:59 pm

Thanks guys, I will definitely be trying out those tactics!!
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Re: Walleye Struggle

Postby P&YBuck1 » Fri Jan 05, 2018 2:30 pm

Very subtle movement can sometime trigger a bite too.

Tipping jig with waxie or minnow head can do trick too.

Good luck!
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isitseasonyet?
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Re: Walleye Struggle

Postby isitseasonyet? » Fri Jan 05, 2018 4:39 pm

When they do that to me, and switching colors, and bait doesn’t matter change your jigging rhythm. Lift it high let it drop. Jiggle it. Short quick jigs. Slow short jigs. Rip it. Drop it down smash it on the bottom. Hold it still. Try anything like that just to get that bite...
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Re: Walleye Struggle

Postby Islandhunter » Fri Jan 05, 2018 11:01 pm

It is really best to experiment with the jigging stroke and cadence. Also throw the box at them, find the spoon or jig and color they prefer. Pulling the fish up the water column is a must.

Weather permitting, fish new holes often. It is amazing how much staying mobile increases your catch rate, no biters in one hole, move to the next.
I realize our recent weather hasn’t been very conducive to hole hopping.
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Jonny
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Re: Walleye Struggle

Postby Jonny » Sat Jan 06, 2018 1:36 am

Another that works well is to fill up your bathtub or big sink with water and see how each bait works in the water.

Even how you hang plastics or spikes on your bait has a huge influence on how your bait works. I know exactly how my bait works, and how to jig it to make it look real in the water.

The smallest changes make a difference some day. Some days a slender spoon is best, others a kastmaster, or a lindy flutter spoon or a pimple. Each have their own distinctive action and sometimes it matters.

And some days you can catch them on everything
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Re: Walleye Struggle

Postby Hodag Hunter » Sat Jan 06, 2018 1:57 am

Are you fishing during the day or night?

This time of year fish slide shallow at dusk with aggressiveness. Light snow cover and thinner ice vs average years have favored tip-ups vs jigging. Our big fish here are heavily conditioned, maybe yours are progressing.

Slide shallow, stay quite near tip-ups, and spread them out. I've fished little this year as traveling out of state, but my buddy is lighting them up this year better than average.
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Re: Walleye Struggle

Postby Forkhorn » Sat Jan 06, 2018 3:11 am

When you say slide shallow, how shallow? We fish usually on a break in between two points where it drops from a bay that’s 10’ deep to the big part of the lake which is 25-30’. So the break from 10-28’ is pretty fast. Should I be set up on top or on the break. We usually fish from 3:00 PM to 6:00PM
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Re: Walleye Struggle

Postby Hodag Hunter » Sat Jan 06, 2018 8:21 am

For the later fish on top of break and back in bay if you can find timber. Timber is gold early ice. 4' water isn't too shallow.

Bites will come in waves. We like to set up by 2pm might fight a few pike and few walleye flags before dark. By sunset first wave should come through. Average two more waves of fish before 10 or 11pm. Weather and moon play a part when these waves come through, again why tip ups usually prevail. Stay quite and keep shack away from your better areas. Don't set up shack on top of the break or in bay. Shack on break ok if you want to jig as they slide in.

Flowing water and weeds are other areas to search. Dead weed bays or stagnent water not good. Think travel corrider and feeding ground. Places where bait fish slide into at night. Good luck.
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Re: Walleye Struggle

Postby Stanley » Sat Jan 06, 2018 10:39 am

I like to use 1/64 th jig with a 1 inch twister. Slow the drop way down. Cut off part of the jig and make it lighter yet. Take the twister off. Make sure your minnows don't smell bad. Keep fresh minnows away from the dead ones. Get some different colored minnows. All kinds of things to try out. Most just don't change anything up and get the same results. Sometimes they just don't bite.
You can fool some of the bucks, all of the time, and fool all of the bucks, some of the time, however you certainly can't fool all of the bucks, all of the time.
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Re: Walleye Struggle

Postby Singing Bridge » Sat Jan 06, 2018 1:34 pm

Lots of great tips for you to try...

I'll add a couple of other, harsh realities to the list. Make sure you are out there at prime time- early and late. On tough lakes, midmorning to midafternoon can have the eyes doing what you describe and only the most experienced anglers on the ice can get them to hit... here and there.

An even greater reality is a large majority of walleye ice fisherman jig to much and too aggressively... and scare the crap out of the Walters. I don't even shake my head anymore, I'd have a broken neck.

Conversely, don't jig too little. I don't see guys do this often but on occasion I do.
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Jonny
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Re: Walleye Struggle

Postby Jonny » Sat Jan 06, 2018 1:43 pm

Going off singing bridge, the river system I grew up fishing is 10x better during the day. We get a flurry right at dark when the walleyes come into the shallow backwater but never any legal fish. I’ve tried many times fishing the first hour of light, last hour, and during the night. Other than the last hour, they are all a waste. And the last hour isn’t really any better than the other hours of the day. Just get them in a different spot.

My best fishing is during mid day, all year long. My best spot is 3’ of water and I catch fish hand over fist during the hottest days of the summer with my outboard running. But this is stained Wisconsin river flowage water.

So maybe change up the time of day you are fishing? Or try before a big change in weather
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Singing Bridge
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Re: Walleye Struggle

Postby Singing Bridge » Sun Jan 07, 2018 7:22 am

Jonny wrote:
My best fishing is during mid day, all year long. My best spot is 3’ of water and I catch fish hand over fist during the hottest days of the summer with my outboard running.


Sounds like an awesome spot! I've got a stained river here that is similar but with good fishing, not great.

If anyone is looking for some walleye fishing that is soul mending, try a Great Lakes rocky shoreline in the middle of the night. Standing in knee deep water with waders on and watching freighters go by in the night with the only light being provided by the stars will do. Casting #13 floating Raps in the shallows and reeling in Great Lakes Beast Walters is icing on the cake.

Back to ice fishing...
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