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      What did we do wrong? Not a single walleye.     

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SammyN
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09/12/2017 09:45AM
Just came back from a quick, spur-of-the-moment 3 day fishing trip on Alpine.
We wanted to target walleye.We caught 3 smallies (I can't believe I'm admitting this). Probably the worst fishing trip we've had in the bw.

We marked very few fish, and those we did mark, were on the bottom in 30ish feet of water.

We did mark some suspended @ 40ft, over the 60ft hole.

We trolled everything we had, and could only get down to 20ish feet with crank baits.
(crankbaits we tried were smithwicks, bombers, and rapala DTs. Chartruse, brown, blue, and the only one that produced was a chartruse/yellow tigerstrip DT).

Even got desperate and tried trolling a swimbait.

Tried jigging the bottom, one guy on jigs and leaches, the other guy on a bottom bouncer and leaches. Had a drift sock out. Tried different color jigs, and beaver flicks on the bottom bouncer.Also tried jigging with plastic minnows and plastic worms, on the bottom, and up the water column.

We also hit the Jasper falls, which is where we caught 2 of the 3 smallies (1 on a crank, one on a beaver flick+ leach). Also tried everything we had at the falls. (cranks, plastics, leaches) from 1ft to that 20ft hole.

We also targeted and drifted over reefs (which, is where we caught that other smallie).
Also trolled and drift-jigged around points and between island saddles.

We fished relatively hard (8hr days). Leaches were in the water @ campsite by 6am till we left in the morning (7:30ish) and then when we got back 6pm-9pm.

Although the wind wasn't brutal (we've ween worse), it was pretty hard, blowing out of the east or south east.

Next year we are planning on bringing crawlers or minnows.

What would you have done different? What would be your go-to lure?

 
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walleyevision
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09/12/2017 02:47PM
I've never fished that lake, so I can't say this with any experience, but it sounds like you were fishing too deep.

I was up on Big Moose about 10 days ago and the fishing was tough until we found them in one particular area. We were catching them in 13-20ft drifting with 1/8oz jigs tipped with half a crawler or gulp leeches. Our actual leeches were worthless as they were the smallest damn things I've ever seen.

Our first day we tried all sorts of tactics over 9-10 hours and only caught three eyes. Two were caught on a swimbait in 3-5 ft of water and the other was taken while trolling a shad rap.
SammyN
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09/12/2017 03:20PM
wow..we didn't mark anything shallow on our electronics.
I know at one time we did troll shallow on a 6ft bomber, but never tried jigging shallow.
Thanks for the suggestion.
Going to file that away for next time, when we aren't getting any bites.

so, the other thing to note, is that it was perfectly sunny out. Sometimes not a cloud in the sky.
Basspro69
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09/12/2017 03:35PM
My number 1 question is what was the water temp.
mastertangler
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09/12/2017 03:39PM
Perserverance usually pays off........but not all the time. I commend you for fishing hard and trying to "solve" the puzzle.

A few thoughts........low pressure? Sometimes fish just don't want to eat. It's hard to tempt fish into eating if they don't want to. Even live bait may often go untouched. But, fish may often be provoked into a reaction bite. And that means different lures than what you were using.

I like snap jigging lures like the Moonshine shiver jig or Rapala jigging lure. Another choice would of been a heddon sonar or even jigging a rattlin rap. Any of these options are known for getting cold water walleye to chew. Of course top quality electronics help pinpoint your presentation.

Another option would be fishing thick cover like weeds with a lure like a chatter bait, another lure which provokes negative fish. Thick weeds usually harbor some fish year around.
SammyN
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09/12/2017 03:51PM
62? 65? I think that was the range.

walleye_hunter
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09/12/2017 05:39PM
I usually suck at walleye fishing in September.
mastertangler
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09/12/2017 05:47PM
quote walleye_hunter: "I usually suck at walleye fishing in September."

Your the man but you keep saying that. Maybe it's just time to do things differently. The fish are there, and they still eat. Time to think outside the box.
cyclones30
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09/12/2017 07:10PM
We just spent a week on White Iron (just outside the BW) last week. We fished pretty hard most of the week and it was slow. Water temps were in the low to mid 60's and pretty cool all week.

We caught our most consistent fish in that lake from 13-22' with a hog caught at 25'. We use electronics a lot and marked some good areas but it was slow. Trolling cranks yielded none, trolling lindy rigs w/ a half crawler was my best. Jigs caught one or two. Minnows one or two, slip bobbers another couple.
walleye_hunter
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09/12/2017 07:19PM
SammyN- To better answer your question generally speaking the walleyes in the deeper lakes up here begin a progressive migration to deeper water starting late August or early September. In some cases a mid lake rock pile that is real good at 15' in July will be good at 25' in August, 35' in September, and 45' in October. In other cases you need to fish completely different spots in September and October. Humps that top out at 30-45' can be productive. I don't know if Alpine has any deep humps like that but Alpine does have some deep sand. I would have started in the sand. Working a jigging rap in 25-45' of water.
SammyN
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09/12/2017 07:59PM
Thanks for taking time to read the long winded post and for your replies.
Will be looking closer for those humps next year.
lundojam
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09/12/2017 08:47PM
Sometimes they don't go.
You mentioned you didn't mark anything shallow. I never do. Look for shallow fish with a jig and live bait. They spook.
The other possibility is 2 AM.
Basspro69
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09/13/2017 07:20AM
quote SammyN: "62? 65? I think that was the range.


"
About this range walleyes are in transition and are scattered and hard to pin down. If there is a consistent bite it will be deep at least during the day. You can get sporadic fish very shallow,mid depth and every thing in between. Once the water hits the mid to high fifties they will start to put on the feedbag especially at night if your on a clear water lake. You were fishing in extremely tough conditions and sometimes it just isn't happening.
FlambeauForest
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09/13/2017 08:08AM
quote walleye_hunter: "SammyN- To better answer your question generally speaking the walleyes in the deeper lakes up here begin a progressive migration to deeper water starting late August or early September. In some cases a mid lake rock pile that is real good at 15' in July will be good at 25' in August, 35' in September, and 45' in October. In other cases you need to fish completely different spots in September and October. Humps that top out at 30-45' can be productive. I don't know if Alpine has any deep humps like that but Alpine does have some deep sand. I would have started in the sand. Working a jigging rap in 25-45' of water."

^^this^^
They will always make shallow water ventures to feed but for the most part they are deep. Only gets deeper after turnover. I may get lucky and catch one while fishing for muskies, but for the most part they are at depths I will not target fish at.


Bigbriwi
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09/13/2017 10:15AM
We spent last week on Fourtown and Boot and caught one walleye all week. I threw everything at them with same results. I spoke to a couple other guys while I was there, one of them sounded like he was a Fourtown regular, and they all had the same results. I think it was just a timing thing.

mastertangler
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09/13/2017 10:23AM
Ordered the Damiki Axe blade from tackle warehouse over 6 months ago and they were back ordered. Finally arrived........

I think something along these lines would make for an excellent deep water / light line presentation which could provoke strikes from not only walleye but smallies as well. A guy could tie direct but the addition of a medium Fas-snap tied to 6lb fluorocarbon would be an ideal set up for clear water fussy walleye IMO.

Axe Blade
The Great Outdoors
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09/13/2017 11:16AM
Once I saw crank baits in the original post, I could read no further.
You mentioned your problem, now don't do that anymore!!!
Sheeeeeeesh!!!!! :)
SammyN
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09/13/2017 12:36PM
quote The Great Outdoors: "Once I saw crank baits in the original post, I could read no further.
You mentioned your problem, now don't do that anymore!!!
Sheeeeeeesh!!!!! :)"


Well, I tried to find some ciscos for lakers......

(ducks and runs for cover...)
mastertangler
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09/13/2017 01:46PM
quote SammyN: "quote The Great Outdoors: "Once I saw crank baits in the original post, I could read no further.
You mentioned your problem, now don't do that anymore!!!
Sheeeeeeesh!!!!! :)"



Well, I tried to find some ciscos for lakers......


(ducks and runs for cover...)"


I didn't get the memo either that walleye can only be caught on live bait. Who knew? I guess that makes me a rebel. Does that mean the couple dozen walleye over 27" caught on cranks and weight forward spinners don't really count? I'm so confused!

I know there is a dedicated group tossing big rapalas in October and November at night off Luna Pier in Michigan (Lake Erie). They catch some very big walleye like that.
shock
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09/13/2017 03:21PM
quote mastertangler: "Ordered the Damiki Axe blade from tackle warehouse over 6 months ago and they were back ordered. Finally arrived........


I think something along these lines would make for an excellent deep water / light line presentation which could provoke strikes from not only walleye but smallies as well. A guy could tie direct but the addition of a medium Fas-snap tied to 6lb fluorocarbon would be an ideal set up for clear water fussy walleye IMO.

Axe Blade "
reminds me of the lil george lure , a bit more slender , back to the OP , at certian times of the year even in pristine waters to target walleyes needs to be done under the cover of darkness, they are night feeders. these comments on alpine are my opinon with some facts. since the motors have been removed on seagull(past 3 mile)(1996) seagull has become a very good walleye fishery better than alpine. what gave alpine some notice(pre 1997) was you could motor seagull to the alpine portage and early in the year all you had to do was sit out close to jasper falls alot like eddy falls in SAK and it wasnt difficult to catch some walleyes, now one might think well since you cant motor to alpine portage the fishing should get better , but theres still many that have heard about apline and it still gets the perssure.(i recall groups bring in a row boat to alpine because word of mouth) i cannot remember the members name(sir lips ?) , but does anyone recall the big write up he did on going into alpine about 2 years ago) , he sounded like a very accomplished walleye fisherman , way better than me. but he did this huge write and took everything from 1-3oz botom walkers to the kitchen sink and they were going to have succes , knowing alpines best years were pre 1996 i thought (to myself) your setting yourself up for failure and damn thats a ton of fishing gear for a BW trip i dont care if its just 1 portage or not. well they didnt do very good at all. alpine is a fine lake but fishing has been better in the past ,, kind of reminds you of saganaga ???? so dont be to hard on yourself SammyN ;)
scat
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09/13/2017 04:03PM
May want to target a different lake. I've done real well in Sept. In the weeds and rivers. Alpine doesn't sound weedy. Lakes like Malberg produce nicely. I hope most have learned to disregard the anti crankbait drivel. If the guy wants to tell us the last time he's fished out of a canoe I'm all ears. I would venture a guess as to say twenty years ago, if then. Yeah, try to find fish on a new lake with a half a crawler on a hook and spilt shot in a canoe on a wind blown shore. Nonsense.
BearRaid
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09/13/2017 06:05PM
It might be a coincidence but the worst Basswood fishing we ever had in June was during persistent east winds. I almost believe the old saying " wind from the east fishing the least"
mastertangler
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09/14/2017 06:52AM
I have found "east is least" to be true so many times that whenever fish aren't biting I start thinking about wind direction.
SammyN
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09/14/2017 07:19AM
I'm also starting to believe it...which is why we noticed wind direction.

"Wind from the East, fish bite the least."
Basspro69
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09/14/2017 08:15AM
quote SammyN: "quote The Great Outdoors: "Once I saw crank baits in the original post, I could read no further.
You mentioned your problem, now don't do that anymore!!!
Sheeeeeeesh!!!!! :)"



Well, I tried to find some ciscos for lakers......


(ducks and runs for cover...)"
LOLOLOLOLOLOLOLOL
shock
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09/14/2017 08:23AM
quote SammyN: "I'm also starting to believe it...which is why we noticed wind direction.


"Wind from the East, fish bite the least.""
like all my BW trips i watch the weather patterns for days before we leave , on one given trip i saw we were going to have east winds basically for the whole trip , my concerns went up , well we killed the lakers on that trip , quit counting after 30 lakers. but i do kind of agree , "east is least" but never let the over ride confidence and perseverance ;)
The Great Outdoors
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09/14/2017 12:47PM
quote mastertangler: "quote SammyN: "quote The Great Outdoors: "Once I saw crank baits in the original post, I could read no further.
You mentioned your problem, now don't do that anymore!!!
Sheeeeeeesh!!!!! :)"


I didn't get the memo either that walleye can only be caught on live bait. Who knew? I guess that makes me a rebel. Does that mean the couple dozen walleye over 27" caught on cranks and weight forward spinners don't really count? I'm so confused!
I know there is a dedicated group tossing big rapalas in October and November at night off Luna Pier in Michigan (Lake Erie). They catch some very big walleye like that. "

I must have missed the part where the poster caught large walleyes on crank baits, only the part complaining about not catching any???
Hmm, also not familiar with any Lake Erie located in the BWCA, but may have missed that too.
Different lakes, different methods.
Perhaps if you had used live bait on a plain hook, you could have caught far more of those 27+ Walleyes, rather than just a few dozen. :)

Guest Paddler
 
09/14/2017 02:47PM
Snap jigging on Alpine?!? Let me guess...you've NEVER been there...because if you had you'd know the only thing snapping would be your line everytime your jig got stuck in the rocks. Me thinks you watch a little too much Al Linder..
mastertangler
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09/14/2017 03:57PM
TGO I am an unabashed live bait advocate and have not been shy about letting that be known and complained when the Quetico went to artificials only. But I am no one trick pony and with a few adjustments I can catch plenty of walleye which most folk would consider "nice" using crankbaits.

Granted most of my bigger catches have come off Erie but to continually suggest walleye can't be caught regularly on crankbaits in canoe country is of course nonsense (with all due respect etc.etc.). My best 2 hours in canoe country on walleye was with a Tail Dancer off the sides of a reef in August. It was one big walleye after another suspended 30' down over 70' of water. Good luck getting those fish to notice a itty bitty leech. Just sayin........

love live bait and I believe it usually means more and bigger walleye but it's not the "be all, end all" for every situation for every angler.
The Great Outdoors
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09/14/2017 06:41PM
quote mastertangler: "TGO I am an unabashed live bait advocate and have not been shy about letting that be known and complained when the Quetico went to artificials only. But I am no one trick pony and with a few adjustments I can catch plenty of walleye which most folk would consider "nice" using crankbaits.
Granted most of my bigger catches have come off Erie but to continually suggest walleye can't be caught regularly on crankbaits in canoe country is of course nonsense (with all due respect etc.etc.). My best 2 hours in canoe country on walleye was with a Tail Dancer off the sides of a reef in August. It was one big walleye after another suspended 30' down over 70' of water. Good luck getting those fish to notice a itty bitty leech. Just sayin........
love live bait and I believe it usually means more and bigger walleye but it's not the "be all, end all" for every situation for every angler. "


You'll get me on board with your misguided "crank bait's work great theory" the first time I clean a walleye and see the stomach contents have anything resembling a crank bait instead of a minnow, smelt, may fly, or any other form of natural food!! :)
mastertangler
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09/15/2017 06:02AM
I suppose I am wasting my breath TGO as many a folk are set in their ways but what the heck, I am certainly not averse to trying to get people to comprehend truth and reality wether it be politics or fishing.

I am sure we would both agree that walleye like to eat other fish, be they smelt or suckers, perch or Cisco and their pointy teeth are admirably suited to just that. When walleye smack the crap out of a crank bait I wonder what they are thinking? I would love to have you along some day as seeing is believing.

Secondly I have never understood your business model. The Quetico is off limits to live bait. To continually suggest that walleye cannot be caught any other way seems to me to be not only untrue but bad business. If I were running your shop I would be an expert not only with live bait but with all things crank bait as well. And I would carry a selection which was not widely available. "Here kid, troll this around until you catch a walleye and then break out your leeches".

Having said all that I am generally with you. Given a choice my first inclination for walleye fishing is to reach for live bait. But not always and I am just as confident with a crank-bait, a jig or even a spoon to be able to put quality fish in the boat.
mastertangler
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09/15/2017 06:23AM
quote : "Snap jigging on Alpine?!? Let me guess...you've NEVER been there...because if you had you'd know the only thing snapping would be your line everytime your jig got stuck in the rocks. Me thinks you watch a little too much Al Linder.."

Greetings Guest Paddler from the polite side of the tracks......hope all is well. Yup, you are correct, I have never been to Alpine. And, in the interests of transparency and full disclosure, I have never caught a fish on the Shiver jig. I only recently have purchased several and tried them on St. Clair but only for about 20 minutes.

But I have fished plenty of deep, clear and rocky lakes for walleye. The Shiver jig, Rapala jiggin minnow and the Heddon sonar type lures can all be fished vertically. On still water like a lake that means few, if any, hangs. There has been lots of "buzz" about these types of lures, especially in cold water situations. Utube has some impressive catches using snap jigging coupled with high end electronics (snap jigging seems to me to be a generally poor search tool). And of course lots of info in publications like In-Fisherman. Pretty sure several guys here use the Rapala already so maybe they can weigh in.

Send me your mailing info and I will send you one for Christmas. Nothing ticking inside (I promise ;-) just a card celebrating the birth of the Christ and a lure still in the package. Just let me know how it goes is all.
The Great Outdoors
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09/15/2017 07:52AM
quote mastertangler: "I suppose I am wasting my breath TGO as many a folk are set in their ways but what the heck, I am certainly not averse to trying to get people to comprehend truth and reality wether it be politics or fishing.

Secondly I have never understood your business model. The Quetico is off limits to live bait. To continually suggest that walleye cannot be caught any other way seems to me to be not only untrue but bad business. If I were running your shop I would be an expert not only with live bait but with all things crank bait as well. And I would carry a selection which was not widely available. "Here kid, troll this around until you catch a walleye and then break out your leeches". "

Then this is your lucky day!!!
The shop is for sale at a very reasonable price, and by purchasing it, you could then proceed with the business plan you suggest!!
Can I expect a call from my realtor shortly, letting me know you have contacted him?? :)
mastertangler
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09/15/2017 08:52AM
Wise guy ;-)

When I roll into town we can go have lunch (on me of course) and we can iron out the details.
The Great Outdoors
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09/15/2017 09:34AM
:)
Spookmeister
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09/15/2017 11:36AM
+1. I just spent a week fishing primarily bladebaits on Basswood. I was nearly always casting on rocky structure. You'd think I'd be forever losing baits, but only lost one all week. We mostly drift-fish, and if you cast "ahead" of the drift, when you do hang up you can nearly always pull the bait free once you drift past the snag point.

quote mastertangler: "quote : "Snap jigging on Alpine?!? Let me guess...you've NEVER been there...because if you had you'd know the only thing snapping would be your line everytime your jig got stuck in the rocks. Me thinks you watch a little too much Al Linder.."


Greetings Guest Paddler from the polite side of the tracks......hope all is well. Yup, you are correct, I have never been to Alpine. And, in the interests of transparency and full disclosure, I have never caught a fish on the Shiver jig. I only recently have purchased several and tried them on St. Clair but only for about 20 minutes.


But I have fished plenty of deep, clear and rocky lakes for walleye. The Shiver jig, Rapala jiggin minnow and the Heddon sonar type lures can all be fished vertically. On still water like a lake that means few, if any, hangs. There has been lots of "buzz" about these types of lures, especially in cold water situations. Utube has some impressive catches using snap jigging coupled with high end electronics (snap jigging seems to me to be a generally poor search tool). And of course lots of info in publications like In-Fisherman. Pretty sure several guys here use the Rapala already so maybe they can weigh in.


Send me your mailing info and I will send you one for Christmas. Nothing ticking inside (I promise ;-) just a card celebrating the birth of the Christ and a lure still in the package. Just let me know how it goes is all. "
 
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