Wednesday, February 8th, 2023
Wednesday, February 8th, 2023

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Find the flats for warmer-weather walleyes

By Steve Carney

Contributing Writer

As we begin to experience the warmer days of late spring, the shallow fishing patterns of May have now changed as the warmth alters fish location. 

I had a tremendous super-shallow-water pattern for about 10 days, but now the fish are transitioning into deeper water. It’s amazing how a burst of high temperatures make the fish change their ways. 

Now, it’s all about fishing open-water flats that are connected to nearby shoreline areas.

By checking your electronics, you can readily pick out flats that are near shore. You’ll want to key on the flats in shallow water with deep water nearby. Think of a flat as an upside-down baking dish. You have the shallow top, the deeper edge of the flat, and the bottom of the flat. There are three zones where you can focus your efforts.  

I always start at the top of the flat during low-light conditions (early morning) because this is where the most active fish will be located. Later in the morning, look to the edges of the flat because the fish tend to drop to the side edges at that time.  

During the midday, expect fish to be located on the bottom of the flat while resting and loafing.

Obviously, the deeper the fish, the harder it is to get them to bite. This pattern reverses itself as evening approaches and the fish become active on the top of the flat again.  

Some of the best flats have cover on top, such as weeds, rocks, or both. This cover will hold fish as they search for minnows and insects. 

No matter what the conditions happen to be at the time – even if the sun is shining, and there is no wind – hit the top of the flat first. You might be surprised to find walleyes on the top.

By covering the top, the edge, and the bottom of a flat, chances are you will connect with fish somewhere. They’re there, but it’s up to you to make them bite!

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