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Jordyn Kaufer

How shallow?!

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Hey guys,

I was just wonering how shallow you can catch walleyes in the fall when the water temp drops to around 60 degrees. I was also wondering how shallow you can find them now that the water temp has dropped to around 70ish degrees.

Thanks,

YFG

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It really varies. During the frog run in mid October you'll find walleye as shallow as 6 inches of water. But certainly less than 3 feet is not uncommon in October even in lates without a good frog population nearby. Given the water temps your talking about you can still find eye routinely in less than 5 ft of water especially after dark.

Mid day in the fall it's not uncommon to find walleye staging in 40+ ft of water. So there you go from more than 40 feet to less than 1 foot and naywhere inbetween. On thing holds true though, where's there food there will be walleyes.

Good Luck!

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Pitching jigs or twitching floating crankbaits reeled slowly. These shallow fish are very aggressive for the most part so if you find them there they will usually bite.

We've seen them with their backs frequently poking out of the water. Do we find them that shallow often? No. But certainly in a foot or so at night in the fall is more common than most of us think. Late fall the shore anglers actually can have the advantage if they have access to good shoreline spots.

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Fall brings an interesting situation to the table, in lakes with deep expanses of water, a thermocline will develop during the summer months. This will essentially leave some of the deep water with little to no oxygen, forcing the walleyes to stay shallower than that. Once the lakes "turn over" in fall, the oxygen in dispersed throughout all depths. This means that the fish can go to depth in the lake that they please.

What Borch said about find the food and find the walleyes holds true at all times of year. In fall a good place to look on any lake is a shallow shoreline flat that has a quick drop into deep water. An area like this will allow you to pick off fish that are activly feeding on top in the shallow water, transitioning up the break, or loafing around out deep. Cast cranks to the flat, work a jig down the breakline, or lindy rig with a large minnow on the deep end.

Shallow water is always a good place to look at night in the fall, but during the day don't rule out any peice of good looking structure, no matter what the depth. If the forage is in 45' the walleyes will be there, if it is in 6" they will be there too.

I like the jig and minnow or stick baits as well in the fall.

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I have seen walleye practically beach themselves chasing frogs, minnows, young carp, white bass, or whatever caught there eye in the fall.

Ultra shallow feeding in the fall usually happens at night, but not always. Windy conditions can concentrate forage and the walleye ride the chop taking advantage of the conditions and the topography to feed. The face of cattails with a 1-2' drop near. Inside corners, reels or sand bars, even rip-rap are prime ambush feeding areas for roaming walleye in the fall.

Soft bottom shallows or sand to gravel, try jigs with oversizes plastics pitched right up to the waters edge and worked out to match the contour. Swim shads excel here, 4" to 5" twister tails, even Tube jigs and 5" tubes. Shallow cranks like Bomber Long A's, Smitwhicks, Original floating raps, even rattle traps do well here.

Rip Rap, faces of dams, reefs that top out at 1'....shallow but fast breaking rocky areas. Shallow minnow baits swim shads, floating shad style cranks, Rattle Traps, and slip float rigs will do well here. Trolling tight to these long rocky rip rap shorelines often produce big fish with winds pushing into them. A plainer board ran tight to the rocks with 20' to 60' of line and a #13 or even a #14 floating Rapala at night is a proven producer.

Cranks cover water and locate fish quickest. Once you hone in on them, jigs may be the ticket, or casting and slow dragging live bait slip rigs from the shore outward to the boat.

Most if not all of these opportunity's are open to the shore angler as well. Very often the stealthy shore angler has the advantage in the fall. Casting parallel to the shoreline or quartering your retrieves to the structure is the ticket.

In high percentage areas in the fall, at night, wadders and a 7' spinning rod will out do a boat every time. That is a favorite of mine on lakes with rivers feeding into them. Highlight the areas with creeks, sloughs, and feeders and slip on the wadders, grab a short net, a smaller select tackle tote of cranks/jigs...and stalk the sumo's toe to toe.

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At my cabin I have either: a small hump topping out at 13' from 21', a small connecting river flowing in with a small flat from the mouth out to the drop off to 16', a very fast dropping point in to 32', or a couple sunken islands surrounded with heavy weeds from 12' up to the top in 1-2'. Where would you concentrate for fall eyes with this structure being your options? I have caught fish at all these places it the fall, but never really hammer them. Any ideas?

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Fall water eyes coming up! I can't wait!

For some reason I got hooked on shallow water eyes from some guy...uggg, and well wow, it works.

I am not 'confident on the crank bait bite as stated yet, but I will attest to jigs cast upon shore lines in null feet of water.

Thanks TO! smile

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Walleyes call be found shallow all year long, usually early June will bring the first good solid shallow crank bite. Depending on the lake the shallow bite may be going already, or they may be using the shallow to feed and spending the days out deeper. Once water temps hit 60, look for the fish to be spending more and more time in shallow water.

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I was messing around on my dock with a 2" floating Rap firetiger last night at around 6:00pm. Nailed about a 1/2 dozen 10-13" walleye in 10-20" of water for the 30 minutes I was fishing. Not worth keeping but it was fun catching something other than Bass off the dock.

When the eye's are shallower (1-6ft) in stained water,I have had good luck with #5 Rapala rattlin raps in firetiger.

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We are new to "rappin" but have really enjoyed it. One night during the August full moon we were fishing a local lake and there were a lot of boats out but not much happening. most boats were fishing about 10 fow. We went into 4 feet and that was magical. We caught about 25 eyes in about 20 minutes.

Made us understand that you really need to check all depths.

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