Catching fall walleyes with jigging minnow baits
Now is a great time to use jigging minnow style baits like the Rapala Jigging Rap or any other darting minnow-type baits for walleyes.
First locate areas in the lake with steep breaks. Points that stick out, then drop off into some of the deepest holes in the lake seem to be best.
You can find walleyes in depths anywhere from 8 to 80 feet of water in late fall. It's often challenging to locate fish with a fish finder if they are hugging the bottom on these steep breaks, so you may need to explore these areas to see if the fish are present.
I like to use a 10- to 15-pound-test braided line with about a 3- to 4-foot leader of 10- to 14-pound-test fluorocarbon on a soft-tipped rod with a good backbone.
Try to stay mostly vertical. Drop your lure to the bottom and rip it up 2 to 3 feet. Hold it a second at the top and slowly lower to the bottom on a tight line. Touch bottom and repeat.
The ripping action will trigger these fish. Walleyes will usually crush the bait as you are ripping it out of the bottom.
Employ this tactic right up until the ice forms, then after there's safe ice, you'll usually find these fish feeding in these same areas but just a bit shallower. Stick with the same types of baits and tactics. Don't be surprised if a random crappie or northern pike strikes your setup, too. For tips on removing the Y-bones from pike, click here.
Good luck fishing and stay safe!