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riverrat56

2008-09 Recap

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With the season drawing to a close shortly, I thought this would be a good time for everyone to look back on the past walleye season. How does it rate with past years? What did you accomplish this year? What things did you learn about walleyes/walleye fishing?

Season Recap-

For me it was a slow start to the season, but once early June rolled around things started to pick up big time. From then until mid July I spent alot of time fishing South Central MN and was on a great shallow water bite for the majority of the time. I also made it up to Leech for the first time in a few years this past summer. Mid-summer brought a few very good trips to Diamond lake near Willmar, fish were holding tight to weeds and crushing crankbaits and spinner rigs. My fall walleye fishing included alot of time spent on Willmar area lakes were I enjoyed some very good mixed crappie and walleye fishing. I also went to Mille Lacs for some night trolling, a first for me. Early ice brought on a few nights of great fishing, including a two man limit in less than a half hour one night and my new PB walleye through the ice a few days later. After that it got tougher but I hit some new water and had some good days in late January. That brought an end to most of my walleye fishing as I spent the rest of the ice season targeting panfish.

Overall I did not catch near as many fish as last season, but there were many more quality fish put in the boat this season.

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Quite honestly I had a poor summer and went the entire hardwater season without icing a single eye. I know people are used to hearing all the success stories on this site, but I for one did not have a good year at all.

~piker

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Quite honestly I had a poor summer and went the entire hardwater season without icing a single eye. I know people are used to hearing all the success stories on this site, but I for one did not have a good year at all.

~piker

I was in the same boat as you. I got 2 walleyes during the summer and not a single one in the winter. I didn't even see one on the camera.(That might be because i accidentaly cut the power cord on it in December and haven't gotten around to fixing it yet.) frown

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This was one hard year down in SW Minnesota. For the hard water season I caught 1 eye, 2 northern, 6 perch and 1 bullhead! Hopefully this spring will bring better luck. To tell you the truth, it still is fun to be out with your family and friends even if you are not catching fish. Nothing like seeing your daughter looking at the underwater camera at all the fish down there wondering if they would take the bait. Then having your wife ask how do you sit out here all day and not catch anything. Tell it is easy as long as you have the beer, food and great company!

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I did a little walleye fishing on the river before the opener, and for the opener we fished Upper Red which is about an hour away from my cabin. It's one of my favorite trips and we've done it every year since the season re-opened on Red.

During the summer I didn't do as much walleye fishing as normal, for two reasons. One is I joined a multi-species fishing league and had to learn how to catch bass and pike and panfish grin The other reason I didn't do much walleye fishing this summer is because I have a 5 year old that fishes with me, and he's big into casting but doesn't have the patience yet for trolling or live bait fishing, so we mostly prefished for the league this summer.

I troll cranks a lot in the fall, spent quite a few nights on Mille Lacs and also on Tonka which is right in my backyard. We boated a 30 incher on Tonka, the largest walleye I've had in Minnesota.

I love fishing walleyes, but last year I really enjoyed mixing it up and having to go after some other species too.

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I learned that the consistency of patterns I have been used to do not carry over from year to year. Continuing to think "out of the box" helps to maintain a steady success rate in my boat or fish house.

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One of the best seasons for me in a long time. Maybe not in total #'s, but the size of fish I caught this year was fantastic. Caught a ton of shallow fish up until the middle of June while finding about 3-4 "new" spots to yank them out of. Really found the 2'-4' emerging weeds holding some darn nice fish until early summer. I take the summer off to fish for other things (bass), but the Fall bite was one of the best I've ever experienced in classic spots. I guess if I had to pick one or two things that I learned this year is that plastics do put alot of fish in the boat. I also think they catch a nicer fish. The versatility of these baits are endless and it makes fishing for eye's something of an adventure. Looking forward to the open water...winter is just too darn long!

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I had a great year with the walleyes many personal bests broken. My new one is a 29 incher out of the St.Croix. I caught PB's out of 4 different bodies of water. It sure was a lot of fun and really got hooked on trolling cranks this year. So I learned some new techniques as well overall I would give the season an A.

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Summer was awesome for me. Four new personal bests, which now stands at 28. This winter however was awful. The last keepable walleye I caugh was when the ice was about four inches thick.

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2008 was my best year ever for walleyes.

I started early fishing rivers in February, March and April. Landed the most numbers, the longest fish, and the heaviest fish ever in my boat.

I learned to rely on plastics more than I ever have before, and that carried over into the early summer. Artificials for walleyes was incredible last May and June, and I did something else I'd never really done before...sightfishing walleyes in weedbeds and on the sand.

I am going to hope that Jamison is wrong about using the same patterns from 2008 for 2009, but I'm afraid that I am prepared to find that he is right. We gotta try though, don't we?

Once July 1 hit, I was off musky fishing hard core, so I don't have much to report on walleyes after that time.

River season will be here soon now. The waiting is tough!

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I also had my best season. Plastics were the trick for me on the southern lakes, live bait up north. I caught my personal best on opener, but kept it going with an uncountable amount of eater size down here.

The key thing I learned was to be confident in the bait, i.e. plastics. Keep working them until you trigger the bite and figure out the pattern. When I used them in previous years, I didn't think they 'worked'.

My 2009 goal is the shallow water rap/trolling (thanks Jamison).

I am looking forward to an even more successful 2009 open water eye season!

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i didnt get out summer fishing even once last summer. to many other toys to play with i guess. I did however have my best hard water season ever. got my personal best eye caught the most eyes and just had a great time. I got skunked only 2 times. I do hope to do more ice fishing and hopefully some summer fishing too

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The 08-09 season can be summed up in one word for me... backwards. Reason is I usually just fish walleyes in the winter and do quite good, but this year the ice walleyes were tough for me. I iced maybe 10 all winter??? BUT, the soft water was actually alot better for me, including a perfectly calm full moon night of casting HJ's in the shallows and having walleyes just crush!!! That was alot of fun and a great memory. Overall, I'd give it a 7 out of 10

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Opener found me fishing on Vermilion next to massive sheets of ice, wasn't sure what to expect but found lots of fish.

Took the summer off from Walleyes.

Fished Tonka pretty hard for the first time in the fall with limited success, would get them one night and then go 3 without any.

Ice fishing found myself only fishing Tonka, this is my 4th year of fishing Tonka pretty hard and things seemed to start to come together. Ended the year with 32 walleyes over 14 inches from Tonka with the biggest being 29.5 and 18.5 girth. Was kinda wierd caught a ton of them early ice and then I completly lost them for a month, I think I got skunked 10 times in a row. Fishing Tonka for 4 years this was not real unusual. Luckily I found them again and got walleyes my last several trips out.

Already looking forward to opener!!!

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Hey TO i can tell you one thing that worked last year that will work again this year, shad raps for winnie walleyes.

I netted 5 walleyes between 29" and 31 1/2" this past season. My wife landed her biggest at 29" on Lake Pepin last may. My friend within a 12 hour span caught a 31 1/2" and a 30 1/2" with me and then 2 days later stuck a 29 3/4". Another friend landed his biggest at 29 1/4". Our family trip to winnie was great. I was able to get my 2 young kids out with me and they reeled in a bunch of nice eater walleyes. I'm looking forward to 2009 up there already. The fall bite on the river was stellar although i personally only got 1 day over there and it resulted in some 23-27" fish including the one in my avatar. One thing i started doing a bit last year was catching my own bait and it really paid off nicely. Those river shiners really work and i'll be doing more of that this season.

My hardwater season as far as eyes was pretty minimal. I spent a couple of long nights on southern MN lakes with nothing. A weekend on Mille Lacs netted only a nice eater. I did have a few nice crappie outings and was able to get my 4 year old son out in the portable a few times and caught some small gills on his new ice pole, i think hes hooked!

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