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Dozer

Searching out Walleyes

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There is a local lake that I would like to try to get some eyes out of. Im used to Alexandria area lakes or LOTW where this time of year I usually fish sunken islands surrounded by deep water but this local lake is basicly a 3 deep basins ranging from 60' to 40' and about 30' deep trench between them.

I can catch 20 9"-10" crappies a night but would like to find some Walleyes.

According to the DNR surveys there are more walleyes than crappies in the lake so I feel like they gotta be there somewhere.

According to the DNR map the lake is basicly a series of conected bowls with no real points or sharp bends. There are areas where it does droop off fairly quick from about 20' to 40' within 200yds or so. Its not been mapped by lakemaster.

Where should a guy start looking?

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The spot where the deepest part of the lake is the closest to a shoreline. Vast weedbeds that have significant edges and drop into deep water. (fish as close to the weeds as you can) Hurry though. This pattern will change in a week er so if it hasn't already. Then it's a deep water, slow bite. Mid lake humps.

Also.. Watch for rock to mud, weeds to mud, weeds to rock, rock to sand to weeds, ect. ect.

Slow tapering weed lines with a slow tapering basin are more for spring to early summer if deeper options are available. Not saying they won't be there, but just not as good at this time of year.

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Dozer. Do they make a lake map of any sort? Lake finder?

Just to old school paper ones. Its in 10ft contours on my Lakemaster chip but its not accuarate at all.

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what is the name of the lake? if you do not wish to put it on here pm it to me im curious, I just baught the new uppermidwest chip from garmin. ps I have no intention on fishing there that is a lonnnnng way from my neck of the woods.

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Sorry Dave there are no PMs on this site, I dont want everyone out there so I wont say a name. According to Garmin's HSOforum its on there but are all the lakes on the list in 1',5' or 10' contours? Which got me thinking, I down loaded the Navionics app on my phone and its on there in 1' contours! There is more structure than I thought! Even a sunken island, what depths would a guy target in the next week? Fairly shallow?

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ohhh gotcha its all good I was just curious, I got my own honey holes but its all good man! word was lakemaster quit making chips for garmins because of a buy out.. the new chip I have from garmin has 1' countour lines on 99% of the lakes iv looked at on there.also included on that chip are lotw and rainy lake which used to be on a separate chip, kinda neat.

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Do you have any idea if there is rock or gravel substrate in or around any of the basins? If so check out the flats in those areas and the first break leading into the basin near those areas. What is the primary forgae base. Are there shallower narrows areas between basins, these neckdown areas may be good places to look. Is the water stained or fairly clear? Clearer water tends to mean fish deeper while dingy water you will want to fish shallower. Do you know where the weedlines start and end moving out into the basin? If so the deep edge of the weedlines with a breakline or gravel flat nearby might be key to catching fish. The perch and minnows will be near the weedlines. Lots of thhings to consider. Look on your maps and see if there are "underwater points where contour lines pinch in where there are inside corners. Look for the hardest break in an area and setup right tight to where it bottoms out into the basin, eyes will chase baitfish into the "wall" at the base of the break. All kinds of options, but that is the fun of figuring out a lake. Good luck!

Tunrevir~

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My home lake we are seeing fish in the 15' range and they are feeding shallower at night. There are probably fish that realte to the midlake humps this time of year and its always worth a try poking around to see whats out there.

Tunrevir~

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First weekend in February going to devils lake. I've worked on the levies on the lake the last 2 years. Fished alittle from a few of the bridges. Going to be the first time I hit the hard water here. Where does a guy start? Walleyes, jumbos, northern. I've heard a lot about the " Golden Hwy" for jumbos and walleyes and black tiger bay is the ticket for northerns. Any pointers out there?

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Welcome to the boards Jigging eye! I haven't fishdd DL yet myself but you could try posting in the North Dakota forum. I'd try to get some intell from google earth maps, talk with the local bait shops and resorts and they should point you in the right direction. If your really stumped, a great way to get to know a body of water is to hire a guide for a day and learn what they look for and what they identify as fishy areas. They may also tip you in on hot baits and how to work them. Can be money well spent if you have that optin.

Tunrevir~

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I moved the house to a new spot yesterday. A mid-lake hump that tops out around 25 ft. surrounded by 35-40 ft water. Catching a lot of perch until sundown. Perch quit and just after 6pm first walleye. 2 more eyes before 9pm. Any ideas on where the eyes are before sundown? Do they come in to the humps from the deep water? Should I try the nearby deep water during the day on the bottom edge of the hump. Maybe out in the flats more? I'm fairly new to walleye fishing. Any advice would be appreciated. Thanks!

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What kind of depths should a guy be targeting now around sunset and early evening? 26-30ft? Are perch that disapear around sunset a good sign?

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Most of my productive spots will have perch thick up untill dark to the point where putting down a small shiner or fathead is tough before sundown because they peck at it. Ocassionally I will see sunfish roam through during the day and a few crappies after dark but the perch in my opinion are key. That being said, there are many more areas that hold perch then hold walleyes, but it sounds like you are in a good spot where the walleyes are moving up to feed on the perch in the evening and then sliding back out deep during the daylight hours. Midlake humps can be very productive this time of year when adequate forage is nearby. Some things to look for are sand to muck transitions, weedlines within close proximity to a hard break, neckdown areas where deepwater meets shallow water with sand or gravel flats nearby. One thing I start looking for this time of year is areas near spawning shoals or shallow gravel flats or rock, rubble areas with deep water nearby. As the season goes on, walleyes will stage within a half mile or so of these areas using the deep water during the day and feeding shallow to a hard break or weedline in the evening and then move back to deeper water during the day. This is not a hard and fast rule but has helped me stay on fish over the years and keep catching walleyes right up till the season closes.

In any system, there will be fish that remain relatively shallow all season and other fish that will remain relatively deep and it is trying to decipher the movement patterns when they are feeding that becomes the biggest puzzle for most of us. If you find one walleye, then there are generally more in the area and if your only getting on 1-2 fish a night small moves around the area can sometimes help you hit the jackpot.

The cliche is the spot on the spot. I like to use a buddy sysstem where we punch 10-15 holes on and around the area and each setup a tipup and then hole hop with a small spoon and work the deeper water progressively moving shallower. This of course is infinately easier to do, when you have warmer temps!

Tunrevir~

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Thanks for the info tunrevir. I'm going to try moving around to find the "spot on the spot". How do you find different types of bottom content such as sand, muck, gravel, rocks? Are there maps that show this? Thanks!

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Dozer I think i could help ya out im pretty sure i fish the lake that you are tlking about though i know there are two in the area if ya want to pm me the lake name i could give ya some insight on em was actually out yesterday and did ok on one of em.

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I would appriciate some insight Hole Hopper, its says your pm box is full.

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Rooky,

There are several methods to find bottom changes. First is to fish the lake during open water and find out where the weedlines start and end. Soft bottom areas typically start on the deep edge of the weedline. Certain weeds will grow more prolifically in sand and gravel versus mud. Bulrushes(reeds) typically grow in shallow sand, gravel and rocky substrates. Coontail and milfoil will dominate areas of mucky bottom while cabbage will tend to grow in a more sandy bottom.

Secondly, your electronics can determine bottom content both summer and winter depnding how electronic saavy you are. A camera is a definate bonus for finding bottom transitions and bottom makeup as well as seeing fish in the area.

A third method which is cheap and easy, is to drill holes and walk around with a metal 30' tape measure and simply pushing the tape down the hole and poking around. Muck will allow the tape to squish in a few inches, sand will stop the tape on contact and gravel you will feel the rocks through the metal of the tape. You can verify your findings by dropping your transducer down and reading the bottom redline, thicker=softer bottom readings tend to be muck but if a lake has alot of chara(sandgrass, smells skunky) you may get a false reading but the tape won't let you down, and chara typically grows on sandy bottoms from the inside weed edge towards shore and in depths of 10-12' or less. Most sand to muck transtions occur at the breakline into the deeper basin but can occur at the edges of sunken humps(Mille lacs is a good example) These are just a few ways to find the transitions and are another tool for the tacklebox so to speak.

With the advent of HD sonars, down and sidescan images ect you can do alot of prewinter scouting while out on the water. DNR lakemaps and surveys can often give you clues to bottom content, whereas some of the better topo maps from Navionics and such can give you some clues to bottom content as well. Good luck in your search, I love putting the pieces together as much as possible before I hit the water and then putting the plan into action once I am on the water. After you hit paydirt a few times, it starts to become second nature.

Tunrevir~

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Tunrevir~

Thanks for the great post I to am still trying to figure these things out. I dont live far down the road. If you find your self lacking a partner for the day give me a shout. Doesnt have to be to one of your honey holes you or I can pick the lake and just give me a lesson for the day Ill bring the beverages and brats. I would just like to get more of a hand on those dam eyes

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