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kyleyewongster
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09/19/2017 09:27PM
I am going to a BWCA lake the last week of September and wondering if anyone has an advice for walleye and pike fishing. The lake is ~300 acres and has a max depth of 35 feet with little to no current. There is not a lot of structure so it's tough to plan where to fish. The current plan is to scout by trolling crank baits using a fish finder. I am thinking 10-20 ft is a good depth to start. What depths would you focus on in a lake like this? Also what live bait would you bring? We plan to bring minnows for jigging once we mark fish. Is this a sound plan or am I forgetting something? Thanks for any advice.
 
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carmike
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09/19/2017 11:22PM
One traditional fall pattern is main lake points, ideally with steep drop-offs, or big flats with close access to deep water. Wind can play a big role...the windier, the better (but obviously there's a trade-off when fishing in a canoe).

Given the lack of obvious structure, I think trolling is what I'd start with. If you can find any weeds, fish those areas hard. Regarding depths, I'd start shallow, trying different styles of crankbaits every ten minutes or so, then moving progressively deeper. Around home here (central MN), I'll be fishing walleyes almost every day from late September through October, and we'll catch them anywhere from 3-4 feet down to 50 or more.
mastertangler
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09/20/2017 05:51AM
Geez, from what I have been reading do photography instead of fishing. And I thought August was a tough month.

The best advice is make sure you are living right. ;-)

Trolling cranks? I like to troll fast in August but slow might be the ticket with cool water. I like Balsa wood and lures with no rattles in cooler water. Balsa wood needs light line to really strut its stuff. Light line (6lb) means ditching the split rings (weak knots to oval shaped thick split rings) and using a tiny snap like a wee little bass type snap or preferably a medium fas snap.

Then I like using chatterbaits in the weeds. Big bite bait war mouth rigged sideways as the trailer.

And probably most effective would be drifting a minnow / jig combo.

For pike I like the Super Shad rap in perch.
09/20/2017 08:55AM
Mouth of bays, remaining weed beds if there is deep water relatively close, transition and areas, gravel or rocks to mud,
Basspro69
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09/20/2017 03:29PM
quote kyleyewongster: "I am going to a BWCA lake the last week of September and wondering if anyone has an advice for walleye and pike fishing. The lake is ~300 acres and has a max depth of 35 feet with little to no current. There is not a lot of structure so it's tough to plan where to fish. The current plan is to scout by trolling crank baits using a fish finder. I am thinking 10-20 ft is a good depth to start. What depths would you focus on in a lake like this? Also what live bait would you bring? We plan to bring minnows for jigging once we mark fish. Is this a sound plan or am I forgetting something? Thanks for any advice." Do exactly what you have planned except start in 5 feet of water and s troll from 5 to 35 feet until you mark fish. If its a really clear lake then fish on or near the bottom or fish in little to no light.
Basspro69
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09/20/2017 03:29PM
overthehill
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09/20/2017 04:49PM
Echo "transitions" . I'm too lazy to trip with minnows, So crawlers. Also ; On the way back to camp for sundown, throw some skinny minnow lures shallow or even floating F-9. And try those choppy blown shorelines near deeper water. Early evening can be cool.
mastertangler
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09/21/2017 06:44AM
OTH........minnows, minnows, minnows in the shoulder seasons. Not so hard to keep alive either in cooler weather.

If I were fall fishing for walleye I would be lugging in a pile of minners even if I had to make an extra portage to do so. And not small ones either. It would probably be all I would fish with wether slip bobbers, casting them on jig spinners, plain jigs or feathered.
overthehill
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09/21/2017 02:09PM
Yep. Big minnows would be tops; but still not gonna lug them in portaging /camping. Truck or boat....absolutely.
kyleyewongster
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09/21/2017 02:20PM
Thanks for all the replies. Good thing we only have a couple very small portages. Minnows should be very easy to bring in. How do you find the gravel and rock transitions to mud with just a depth map and a cheap fish finder?
mastertangler
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09/21/2017 04:17PM
quote kyleyewongster: How do you find the gravel and rock transitions to mud with just a depth map and a cheap fish finder?"

Swim fins, mask and snorkel. Tie a rope to the "new" guy and paddle him around slowly. When he turns blue bring him in to warm up a bit. Rinse and repeat until desired results are obtained.
golanibutch
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09/22/2017 09:23AM
quote mastertangler: "quote kyleyewongster: How do you find the gravel and rock transitions to mud with just a depth map and a cheap fish finder?"


Swim fins, mask and snorkel. Tie a rope to the "new" guy and paddle him around slowly. When he turns blue bring him in to warm up a bit. Rinse and repeat until desired results are obtained. "
Hehe
missmolly
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09/22/2017 10:36AM
I've had good luck in the fall randomly trolling. I was fishing a lake thick with reefs and I expect my crankbait kept bumping into them. The fish were big, lots of 18" to 20" smallmouth.
murphylakejim
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09/24/2017 05:28PM
quote mastertangler: "Geez, from what I have been reading do photography instead of fishing. And I thought August was a tough month.


The best advice is make sure you are living right. ;-)


Trolling cranks? I like to troll fast in August but slow might be the ticket with cool water. I like Balsa wood and lures with no rattles in cooler water. Balsa wood needs light line to really strut its stuff. Light line (6lb) means ditching the split rings (weak knots to oval shaped thick split rings) and using a tiny snap like a wee little bass type snap or preferably a medium fas snap.


Then I like using chatterbaits in the weeds. Big bite bait war mouth rigged sideways as the trailer.


And probably most effective would be drifting a minnow / jig combo.


For pike I like the Super Shad rap in perch. "



Here is some anecdotal proof. This was just caught on a perch super shad rap trolling a main lake point.
mastertangler
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09/25/2017 06:17AM
Nice pic Jim, looks like a great day. We have been using the Super Shad Rap for many a year. We started using it when we would go to drive in Canadian fish camps not to long after high school and it has found a place ever since.

What so great about the big lure is that its balsa, has great action and is not real heavy so you don't need really heavy tackle to use it. Lands on the water with an attractive splash and can be fished a variety of ways from trolling to straight retrieve to stop and go. Probably still needs at least 12lb test however.

It will also take some nice walleye. I have caught several in the 4 to 6lb class with this lure.
newguy
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09/25/2017 02:22PM
The MN Lake Finder site has not just depth maps but also bottom substrate maps, which explain whether it's sand, clay, muck, gravel, marl, rock ledge, boulders, etc.
mastertangler
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09/25/2017 02:26PM
Whoops, there really is a "newguy"..........about that comment of tying a rope to you and dragging you around.......I was kidding, honest.
kyleyewongster
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09/25/2017 02:26PM
Unfortunately this lake does not have one of those bottom substrate maps.
mastertangler
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09/25/2017 02:29PM
Well heres a few helpful hints.........If you see reeds in a bay there is usually a good possibility that there will be cabbage weeds out from them.

Any sort of inflow will usually deposit sediment and organic matter. Such material can be the start of a productive food chain.

Flat shorelines usually indicate flat bottoms, again a place where sediment can congregate. And what about wave action? Prevailing westerlies will often push sediment and deposit it. Narrowed down areas will often stay scoured clean due to the current caused by waves.

You can also tell much by the thickness or lack thereof on the bottom line of your depth finder. A thicker bottom line indicates a softer bottom and a thin line indicates a hard bottom.

And what can you tell by your lures? Lots of little clues in which the thinking angler can use if they are paying attention.
huntfun2
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09/25/2017 03:06PM
My experience with walleyes at this time of year has been deep water basins near main lake points and bays with weeds in them.
mastertangler
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09/26/2017 06:40AM
quote huntfun2: "My experience with walleyes at this time of year has been deep water basins near main lake points and bays with weeds in them."

I have very little experience with fall walleye but the deep water main basin has been mentioned several times now. Can never go wrong focusing near main lake points regardless time of year. Plus I have seen some vids of fall snap jigging in 30 ft of water. Good electronics seem like it would be key.

But less has been said of bays with weeds this time of year. Interesting, do the weeds need be green? And what presentation do you like? I know I sound like a broken record but I have had good luck with Chatterbaits and walleye in weeds, good vibration and goes through weeds fairly well.
 
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