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mrjigger

searching for walleye on structure

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Just wondering how everyone goes about searching for walleye on specific pieces of structure, humps, points, flats, etc.

How fast do you go over the structure? what side of the structure do you check first? do you use your big motor or trolling motor?

I typically run over the top of the structure with my big motor and mark waypoints whenever I see fish on the graph. then I drop the trolling motor down and troll back over the fish with a live bait rig. But I struggle to catch not only walleye, but pretty much any fish using this method.

I catch a lot of fish trolling raps, but struggle when trying to catch fish while hovering over a specific piece of structure. I feel like I have a pretty good understanding of walleye movements throughout the year and know how to present a live bait rig cause I have caught many walleye with rigs in other guys boats.

have any tips for searching and staying on fish on structure?

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I know when we troll raps and get a few bites its hard to guess-ta-mate how far back you got that bite and we all know how tight walleyes can be on a spot. I know when I pre-fish for a tournament I always take a under-water camera with. It was my best investment you can see whats going on down there and what type of fish they are along of time there will be along of suckers mixed in with the walleyes. another thing is how fast are you going when you say your trolling?

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Fish relating to flats are typically roaming, less wind-dependent and more dependent on where the bait is, where as fish on structure like a little wind. Food in the area is a bonus. If you're catching "a lot" of fishing trolling Rapalas, continue trolling Rapalas. Specific pieces of structure are most easily fished when fishing slower on the wind-ward side, so keep that in mind on your next search.

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It really depends on the structure. Big flats, long points, long breaklines, basin areas, etc --- the fish are likely to be spread out and roaming like TO pointed out. Other structures like reefs, rock humps, points, small structures, etc --- the fish are more likely to be concentrated. Using your locator to find fish before you start fishing is always a good idea, but then you should match your presentation to the conditions -- fish that are spread out and roaming, trolling cranks is probably more effective. Fish that are concentrated, especially if actively feeding - jigging or rigging is probably more effective.

It's a generalization, but at this time of year there's so much food available to the fish that I usually prefer to cover water - the exception might be the tight "feeding windows" around dawn and dusk.

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I try not to run over known prime structure with the big motor and I never "hover" with a live bait rig. Instead, I'll backtroll the structure while dragging live bait (usually on spinners) and do slow donuts and figure eights over marked fish. That way you still cover some water, gain information on what is going on below you, and are in better shape for a hook-set should a bite arrive.

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If I mark tight concentrations of fish, or get big marks that I think are big fish, I will try to stay right on top of them and get them to bite. Works better with deep vertical jigging than it does with rigging, but both work especially if you are rigging with a shorter snell and not pulling spinners, etc.

If the fish are not as concentrated, or not biting very actively, then I'd be more inclined to keep moving around.

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Agreed. I start by pulling everything except one bead off the spinner rig, and possibly shortening the snell, that is unless they're deeper, on gravel, or really concentrated, and then it's Fuzz-E-Grub time.

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