Fishing tips: Upsize your baits to catch more and bigger fall walleyes
As the temperatures start to fade and the leaves begin to fall, I begin stepping up the size of my baits to catch more walleyes.
The baitfish that these predatory fish are targeting have been growing all summer, and they're getting pretty big by mid to late September. As the water starts to cool, fish begin to focus more on feeding before winter arrives. Through the next couple months, walleyes and pike actively will be seeking schools of baitfish. Find these schools of baitfish and you’ll locate hungry predator fish nearby.
After marking a school of baitfish I will circle them and closely monitor my sonar for larger marks away from the baitfish. If you sit and fish within the school of baitfish, you’ll deal with lots of small perch tugging on your offering. If there was a predatory fish there, then that school of baitfish would scatter. Mark fish and pursue them.
I usually start with something aggressive like a Jigging Rap in a No. 5 or No. 7 size. These weighted lures are great for reaching the bottom quickly, and their horizontal presentation shows up great on your sonar. Yes, you can also use your summer electronics for vertical jigging just as you will with ice fishing electronics in the winter. By paying close attention to how fish respond to your jigging action, you can fine-tune your presentation to trigger a strike (Catching fall walleyes with jigging minnow baits). If the Jigging Rap is too aggressive then I will switch to either a jig and plastic or jig and minnow. Don’t be afraid to use a big 4-inch minnow or larger. If you are still not getting bites, then try a livebait rig to trigger those elusive walleyes.
Many guys start to put the boat away as hunting seasons arrive. Hold off if you can, because early fall usually provides longer periods of consistent weather, which allows anglers to pattern a good bite.
Good luck fishing and stay safe!
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