Posts Tagged ‘walleye’

Walleyes Down Deep

I have a cabin on a deep spring fed lake near Perham, Minnesota.  It’s a very clean, clear lake and the walleyes tend to go deep in the summer and early fall before they get their feed bags on for winter.  I was out this weekend trying all the usual spots and I was just not marking fish.  I slowly worked my way out to the deep holes (up to 110 feet deep), and I soon started seeing some big hooks down deep.  The thermocline was at about 30 feet, and I started marking pods of baitfish between 30 and 50 feed deep.   Down below them, in 60-70 feet of water I started marking some awfully big hooks.  It was downrigger time.

 

I used my Cannon Easi Troll 2 Downrigger with an 8 lb ball to get me down deep.  Normally when I use the downrigger for Walleyes, I’m running crank baits.  I thought I would try something a bit different this time.  About a month ago, I was fishing Seseganaga Lake in Ontario, and while I was trying to find the Lake Trout using cowbells and a trolling spoon, I started catching Walleye.  I’ve never targeted Walleye with that setup before, but I thought I would give it a try.

 

Well, it wasn’t fast and furious, but I managed to hook into a couple nice Walleyes.  I was running the downrigger at about 45-50 feet so my presentation was just above the hooks on the depth finder.  I had 50 feet of line out, so between the downrigger and a bit of drop from the cowbell, I was fishing about 55 feet down.

Our water has been up high this year, so nothing seems to be “normal” on the water.  It has led to some frustrating days on the water, but also has forced me to try some new presentations and new spots.  For me, the thrill of the hunt is just as enjoyable as the fish I catch, so while I didn’t slay them this weekend, I had a blast.  I’m excited to try more new things in the weeks to come.  Tell me about something different you have tried lately for those hard to catch Walleyes.  I’d like to learn from you.

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More Seseganaga Walleyes

Unfortunately, I have not been on the water at all since last weekend but the good news is that I’ll be heading out tomorrow afternoon.  I was looking through more of my pictures from my trip to Seseganaga Lake Ontario this summer, so I thought I would share some of the beauty and fish from Seseganaga.

Our fishing limo

John with one of his first walleyes of the day

One of the three Moose we saw on the trip

Dale and Steve with a fish on!

Another great Seseganaga walleye

I’ve got several other posts about my trip as well.  You can read more about our luck fishing on Seseganaga or my favorite meal from the trip.  Hope you enjoy, I know I did.

Planer Board Walleyes

It has been a slow summer when it comes to planer boarding walleyes.  I did manage to pull one out this weekend, but I’m still finding that I’m having my best luck with slower presentations.

I played around with a variety of baits running a variety of depths, but in the end the only fish I could muster was on a Rapala X-Rap Magnum in a perch pattern.

My setup was using 8 foot trolling rods with Diawa Sealine reels.  I really like the Sealine because it doesn’t have a huge price tag, works well, and it has a line counter.  Knowing how far back my bait is really helps me to keep my bait at a consistent depth.  For the planer board, I use Off Shore Tackle’s in line planer board.  They are inexpensive and work well.  If you are using a really big bait they can struggle a bit, which is when I switch over to a downrigger, but most of they time, they are a great option.

My typical setup is running 100 feet of line out, clipping on the planer board and then letting out another 75-100 feet to get the board away from the boat.  I’ve found that works best, but I always play around with different options.

Most people think of planer boards as being a big water option.  I’ve been using them on my relatively small Minnesota lake near Perham for years.  What I like about them is in the summer months when the water warms up, the walleyes will go out to the deep water and suspend 10-30 feet down feeding on bait fish.  When they are down in the 20+ range I tend to switch over to downriggers for better depth control, but when they are in the top level of the water column, having the planer boards out keeps your bait away from the boat leading to less spooked walleyes.  I’ve never really fished with leadcore line, but that would be another great option if you don’t have downriggers.

I wish I had more to show from my planer boarding this weekend, but the walleyes just were not looking for a fast moving bait.  I had luck getting a couple others on live bait rigs, which has been my go-to bait of the summer, but I still really enjoy getting out there and covering water with the planer boards.  Good luck and share your stories with me!

Grilled Walleye Appetizer

Yea, yea.  So I could only muster up one eater walleye, but I didn’t want fresh Minnesota walleye to go to waste.  When I only get one lonely walleye, this is one of my favorite ways to serve it up.

Grilled Walleye Appetizer

Ingredients:

2 walleye fillets
Fresh dill
Fresh parsley (cilantro is good too)
Fresh thyme
Butter
Salt and pepper to taste

It is real simple to do.  Just make a pan out of tin foil, rub just a bit of butter on the foil, place the walleye fillets in the pan, top with all the fresh herbs and a bit more butter.

 

Place it on a medium grill for about 10 minutes, and here is how it turns out.  It is a bit rich, but delicious.

I happened to have a Jicama on hand, so I grilled up some Jicama chips to make it a bit more interesting.

Enjoy!

Sesaganaga Lake Ontario Walleyes

A few weeks back I flew up to Seseganaga Lake Ontario with five other guys.  What a blast.  It’s been a few years since I flew up into Canada, and this was some of the better fishing I’ve ever had…for walleyes anyway.We few into Seseganaga Lake on the 23rd of July.  Our outfitter was Rusty Myers out of Ft. Francis just across the border from International Falls, MN.  Our outpost on Seseganaga Lake was set up great, and we were more than comfortable there.  Now, back to the fishing.  Our walleyes were caught mostly on either jigs or live bait rigs, and we had both leeches and fat heads with us.  Both can be bought after crossing the boarder on the way to Rusty Myers.

Since pictures tell a better story…here’s how it went:

You know you are in fishing country when this is the parking lot.

Our weather for take off. Yikes!

In the plane, ready for takeoff.

One of my first Seseganaga Walleyes

Geared up for Seseganaga Lake Trout, but none to be had.

John with a nice Seseganaga walleye

John with a nice 30 inch northern

Another nice Seseganaga walleye

Our limit of walleyes for the day

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I have a bunch more photos, so look for another Seseganaga fishing post sometime in the future.  I’ll need some fishing to look back on early winter before I can get out on the ice.

All in, we figured we caught about 300-400 walleyes, 40 northers and a token perch for the trip.  Sad to say no Lake Trout, but those Seseganaga lakers were hard to find.

What A Big Walleye Weekend!

What a great weekend on the water last weekend.  I didn’t get out as much as I wanted to, but wow there were some really nice fish to be had.  I was fishing near Perham, MN.  Some of the weekend was spent with fishing buddy and friend, some was spent with my daughter and some was spent by myself.

27.5 Inch Walleye

 

Saturday morning started out a bit cool, but it was a beautiful morning.  At about 6:30am my first fish hit.  It was a beauty.  This fat 27 1/4 inch walleye came out of about 29 feet of water fishing a live bait rig with about a 4-5 inch Redtail.  The Minnesota walleyes sure seem to be in the “fatten up for winter” mode.  They are absolutely hammering the large bait.

 

 

27 Inch Walleye

 

Shortly after that fish was caught, a thick fog rolled in and it made for a spooky, but beautiful scene on the lake.  Twenty minutes after the fist fish my Redtail got hammered again.  After giving a bit of line, I set the hook and it felt like another nice one.  With John on the net, my second walleye of the day was in the boat.  Almost the exact same length, this 27 inch walleye was not as fat as the first, but put up every bit as much of a fight.

 

 

 

 

 

Proud daughter with her bass

 

Later in the day, I went out with my daughter, and the fishing slowed down quite a bit.  I went back to where I pulled those nice walleyes, but we could only manage one little bass, but was happy my daughter could catch at least one.  She doesn’t much care how big they are.  I get the feeling she likes the small “cute” ones anyway.  We did switch to slip bobbers because it is easier for her to fish that way than with live bait rigs.  One had a Fuzzy Grub and the other a Bobber Bug both with leeches.  I’ve had some pretty good luck with both setups in the past, but the walleyes moved out.

 

 

 

26 3/4 Inch Walleye

 

In the afternoon, I went out by myself for a bit.  Things were slow at first an I wasn’t marking many fish.  I bought a Lowrance HDS last year and have really liked it, and more importantly, I really trust what it says.  I was a bit ticked off this weekend though because the unit was not working well at all.  It was not booting up, and then when it finally did, the GPS maps were not working.  Pain in the butt!  Anyway, back to fishing.  I moved out deeper and started marking a bunch of fish between 38 and 45 feet.  Dropped my line down (I’m back to Redtails), and within about 45 seconds I had my first hit.  Once again, just hammered the bait.  I brought that fish up and it was a nice 25 inch fish.  Less than five minutes later, a 25 1/2 incher was in the boat.  The last fish of the afternoon was just shy of 27 inches.  It came out of about 42 feet of water, and when I brought it up it didn’t look good at all.  I spent almost 30 minutes trying to revive it, but had no luck, so that one had to go home with me.  My daughter was thrilled to see a big fish, but it always makes me sad when I can’t let a beautiful fish like that go.  I quit fishing that deep because I didn’t want to loose more fish, and had no more fish for the day.

Except for the one casualty I could not revive, all of my fish were released as they always are.  This day reminded my why I love fishing in Minnesota, and especially in my home area of Perham, MN.  The walleye fishing near Perham can be fantastic.

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