BWCA Walleye progressions as evening turns to night Boundary Waters Fishing Forum
Chat Rooms (0 Chatting)  |  Search  |   Login/Join
* For the benefit of the community, commercial posting is not allowed.
Boundary Waters Quetico Forum
   Fishing Forum
      Walleye progressions as evening turns to night     
 Forum Sponsor

Author

Text

06/15/2021 09:22AM  
I have a question in regards strictly to walleye fishing when it comes to late evening, twilight, and night fishing.

Capt'n Tony and I have been going to the BWCA for many years and have been successful with all the species but one thing frequently hangs us up on walleye that I haven't been able to quite figure out but see other fishermen posting pictures with great success.

We have success finding walleyes in the early morning.

We have success finding walleyes in the mid day.

We have success finding walleyes as the sun is going down.

We STRUGGLE finding walleyes when the sun is down.

Where did they go?

This is my technical question to you:

As the sun sneaks behind the tree's and we move from evening sun to twilight to darkness. What is the progression of the walleye?

1. Does the progression matter in terms of seasonality (summer vs. fall) and water temps?

2. Am I targeting the wrong spots?

3. Are my assumptions of depth off?

4. Am I using the wrong bait?

I included an image below so we have something to work off of. So below is a picture of a well known pinch point on Ottertrack. It was recommended I try this spot in 2019. I was told they did well on walleye there. So, we start while the sun is up in the evening and work the transition lines in that 20-15 ft range with no success. As the sun goes down and gets dark we actually jump in the that channel where it is about 8 ft deep and don't even get a bite. I felt like something was wrong.



Here is another interesting scenario that really outlines the struggles I have when it gets dark. We are targeting walleye in mid July and absolutely crushing walleye at this reef. It's non-stop and all of a sudden the walleye just stop when the sun goes down and we don't catch anymore. Where did they go? shouldn't they then just be shallower on that reef? I'm perplexed




Help me understand what my fishing progression should be as the the day turns to night!!
 
      Print Top Bottom Previous Next
Savage Voyageur
distinguished member(13897)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished membermaster membermaster member
 
06/15/2021 12:04PM  
Walleye do about three things. They eat, sleep and make more Walleye. The trick is when you find them is to ask yourself why they are there. Are they headed to a feeding spot or returning from feeding? Feeding is when they are most active and you will catch them. Feeding is when they are hunting, predators hunting prey. They feed in water that holds bait fish, usually in shallower water. But they are always on the move to find more food.

When they are resting they are not that interested in your bait, but will still hit an opportunity bait that is presented to them. But they are not actively hunting for food like when they are feeding. You need to bring the bait to them, when they feed they come to you.

Walleye breed when the season is closed so that’s not what’s happening in your question.

My thinking is they moved to other waters feed on other bait. I find in the BWCA just like you do on the times. Early morning is good 6-9 am. During the day I still catch Walleye but numbers are less. Then after dinner from 7-10 pm is the evening bite and is the best. Then I find the bite tapers off after 10 pm. No problem for me because it’s tent time for me too.
 
ericinely
distinguished member (183)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
06/15/2021 12:43PM  
The idea of catching walleyes at dark is appealing to me as well, but I don't think I have ever caught a walleye at night more than an hour after the sun went down. I have pretty much given up entirely, at this point.

One thing could be the stained water. I am assuming that even walleyes have trouble seeing at night in that super stained water like Basswood, Kawishiwi river, Crooked, Iron, Ensign, Wind, Wood, etc.

Do you find this trend is the same on clear water lakes like Knife, Snowbank, Seagull etc.? I would assume clear bodies of water with higher visibility might provide a better night bite, but I haven't fished enough at night to be able to tell.

 
06/15/2021 02:28PM  
2 thoughts to chew on
Ciscos suspend near the surface in the evenings.
Perch are inactive at night.
 
jackpotjohnny48
member (20)member
 
06/15/2021 07:57PM  
AmarilloJim: "2 thoughts to chew on
Ciscos suspend near the surface in the evenings.
Perch are inactive at night."
"

Yup. We've done VERY well fishing for walleyes after dark on clear, cisco based "lake trout" type lakes in Northwest Ontario. (Not in the BWCA or Quetico per se, but in the same neighborhood).

On the deep, clear, cisco lakes, we don't even start fishing walleyes (during our mid August trips) until about 8 or 8:30 pm.

We find that the walleyes are suspended out over very DEEP water (water that is anywhere from 70 feet deep to 140 feet deep), and they are absolutely crushing the suspended ciscoes, as the ciscoes make their daily vertical migration (straight up as if riding on an elevator) to feed on zooplankton.

We troll crankbaits for walleyes, and run our baits anywhere from 3 feet under the surface to about 20 feet under the surface, with 12-15 feet down usually being the best sweet spot, on average.

On the second to last day of our last trip to Canada in 2019, we had a night where we jerk trolled Smithwick Perfect 10 Rogues in water from 85 to 110 feet deep (starting at 8:30 pm and ending at 2:30 am the next morning). We ended up catching 3 different 29 inchers, 2 different 28 inchers, and a 27 incher that night, along with 6 other walleyes. So I figured 6 walleyes over 27 inches in one night wasn't too shabby.

On the very last night of the trip, we didn't stay out much past midnight (because we had to be up early the next morning for the ride home). But we did manage to boat 8 walleyes after dark, including a 30 incher, a 27, and a 25, along with 5 smaller ones. (Again, this was in water ranging from 85 to 110 feet deep, running our crankbaits 12 to 15 feet under the surface).

So I've become a HUGE fan of trolling crankbaits "out in the middle of nowhere" when walleye fishing after dark on cisco based "trout lakes" in NW Ontario.

I'm sure it would work very well in the BWCA / Quetico as well, but it would be a bit more difficult to implement, because it's hard to paddle and aggressively rip / jerk the fishing rod at the same time. (And we've found that we catch a lot more walleye's when we aggressively rip the rod and/or change trolling speed - of course this is much easier to do with a 4 stroke outboard motor or an electric motor as it keeps your hands free to aggressively work the jerkbaits rather than having to paddle).

Here's a 10 minute video from Lindner's Angling Edge which does a very good job of explaining this particular tactic

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=55-AVdeGmuo

 
jackpotjohnny48
member (20)member
 
06/15/2021 08:14PM  
Oops, here's a hyperlink to the video...

Lindner's Angling Edge suspended walleyes video
 
Basspro69
distinguished member(14031)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished membermaster membermaster member
 
06/15/2021 10:25PM  
If you want to significantly increase your odds of catching walleye at night, fish lakes with very clear water. These lakes have some action during the day as well, but nighttime is when the bulk of feeding occurs, as well as early morning , during rain , and shoal areas on windy days when light is diffused. Depending on the season, they will feed near shoreline areas with quick access to deep water , reefs, flats , humps. One thing that holds true most of the time when fishing walleyes at night, is they go shallow chasing baitfish , feeding on crayfish, and other shallow water creatures. Rapalas, swim baits, or just sitting in 5 feet of water with a leech under a bobber .
 
Basspro69
distinguished member(14031)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished membermaster membermaster member
 
06/15/2021 10:36PM  
 
06/16/2021 09:03AM  
Thanks for some of the advice. Do you find it true when people say the bite actually turns off for about an hour at dark before turning back on?

Would it be beneficial to go back out fishing after an hour or so after dark?

Would you say that I'm looking for shallower water on top of reefs? Or should I be targeting shallow bays near deep water?
 
HayRiverDrifter
distinguished member(774)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
06/16/2021 11:54AM  
I have heard that there is a transition period when it gets dark where walleye do not bite for a 1/2 hour or so. They have eyes designed to see at night like a deer, so maybe their eyes have to adjust for a bit.

I would also confirm that there are some clear water lakes where the walleye mostly feed at night. Whitefish Lake in the Timber Frear loop is and example. I was fishing some great points and other places all day with no bites until someone told me to troll at night with crank baits which worked well.

In Canada on White Otter lake, we would wait until the sun hit the tops of the trees at sunset, then head out. The bite lasted until dark.

Dark water lakes can be just the opposite. Walleye can bite all day.
 
lundojam
distinguished member(2594)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
06/16/2021 08:08PM  
It depends on the body of water, I think. Usually, clearer lakes have a stronger night bite. I always think that if the fish seem like they disappeared they're probably way up shallow. Try it in a foot or two.
 
Basspro69
distinguished member(14031)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished membermaster membermaster member
 
06/20/2021 12:44AM  
lundojam: "It depends on the body of water, I think. Usually, clearer lakes have a stronger night bite. I always think that if the fish seem like they disappeared they're probably way up shallow. Try it in a foot or two." Exactly!
 
      Print Top Bottom Previous Next