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Evenflow

Walleye Tactics - A Case Study

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I will be spending a few weekends this summer on a small lake (340 acres) in Wisc. I have been on the lake but have never fished it. No one has ever done very well fishing on the lake. Well, I talked too much last winter about fishing the lake (and maybe shot my mouth off) now everyone expects me to bring home dinner when we are there. But I would like to use this as a case study where I will try some techniques but if someone has an idea (off the wall or not) that I have the ability to try, I'll try it.

The Lake:
The lake is a deep (68' max) spring fed lake with crystal clear water. It is very long and skinny with a mostly sand and muck (in the deep water) bottom. There is no rock pile or other significant structure on the lake besides the quick dropoff from virtually every shoreline to 30+' of water.

The Plan:
According to the Wisc. DNR, the lake contains good numbers of Walleyes, Northerns, and Smallmouth bass. There are also panfish but from everything I know, they are very small.
My plan is to focus on the walleyes.
Because the water is so clear, I beleive light levels are going to be extremely important to fishing sucess. Low light periods in the morning and evening are critical for me to fish.
The lack of structure makes me believe I will have to cover lots of ground to pick up fish. So trolling, either long lining raps or using a spinner setup with live bait would be my first choices.
Obviously if I run across some structure, I would try to jig it if it appeared to have fish around it, but I never saw any of these places last year while on the lake.

If you have any other ideas let me know, and I'll keep you updated throughout the summer on my progress.

Evenflow

PS- Maybe this should be in the Walleye
forum...?

------------------
It's all just theory till you hit the water.

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The first thing that comes to my mind is fish shallower than you would normaly think to, if wisconsins rearing ponds are anything like Mn's, they are shallow and the fish more than likely are used to that type of enviroment. weed line or shallower twilite times and during the day after a good warm up Id try some trolling in the depths for suspended fish, mabey even after dark.

what type of bait is there? any inlet or outlet?

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Sounds like you're right on track. Because of the clear water, trolling with planer boards to get close to shore without spooking fish is a tactic to try, especially in transition light. I don't think walleyes will be deep early unless the lake has deep forage baitfish. These would show up on you're graph. But the forage is likely to be shallow also this time of year.

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I've never thought about the whole rearing pond thing... Very interesting...

I'm not quite sure what the bait fish situtation is, but there are very few if any perch in the lake.

There is one inlet and one outlet...They are both very small. The inlet comes from a small 50 acre lake that is 37' deep and is in contrast a very dirty lake with low water clarity. The water flow between the lakes is very minimal if any. The outlet on the lake is also very minimal and the goes through a 2.5' pipe, with little or no current...

Thanks for the input.

Evenflow

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You said that the lake drops off very quickly along the shore. What is the weed growth like and how deep does it go? This could be a factor in fishing the weedy shallows, and by the sounds of it there are no shallows.
Do another check with the WIDNR and see it there are any ciscos, tulibees or whitefish in the lake. If there are, there is a VERY GOOD CHANCE that the walleyes are suspended out over the basin chasing this forage. Refer to Toad's posts regarding this technique on the Brainerd forum.
Other than that, you are approaching this lake in the same way I would. I would also continue to fish well after the sun sets.
Good luck and keep us posted.

------------------
>"////=<
Gull Guide Service
fishingminnesota.com/gullguide
Brainerd-Mille Lacs-Willmar
Bemidji-Ottertail

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Sounds like some of the lakes up here. One thing you didnt mention was weeds. Decent wide leafy weedgrowth will hold fish all day if thats all that is available and the food source is handy. If you find fish shallow early and late but they seem to dissappear during the day they might be suspending out over the basin. Key on the same depths but out over the deep stuff. Is trolling legal in that part of wisconsin? If it is break out the crankbaits and precision trolling handbook and go to work! Paul

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Paul Rohweller
Pine to Prairie Guide Service
218-962-3387
http://fishingminnesota.com/pinetoprairie

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You didn't say when you were going to be on this lake so I'm going to give you my answer assuming you'll be there in late May or early June. If it were me, I would start trolling sand, gravel or rocky shoreline, with an electric, no more than 5 feet in depth, about 1/2 hour before dark and continue at least until midnight. If this approach didn't work, during low light periods I would look for inside turns where the bottom changed either in depth or structure. At any rate, finding walleyes on a strange lake is always difficult. Good Luck

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I'd check the regulations about trolling. In Wisconsin trolling is only legal on some of the larger lakes. I could be wrong, I haven't checked the regulations in a while.......Just something to look into when planning your attack.......

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Flyingfish would have to go and ruin all the fun! But, he is from Wisconsin so I am sure he knows.

I would bet the lake has a pretty good transition area, Sand to muck! Don't forget this area for later in the summer. But, I am with the weed guys. Figure out ways to fish the weeds, they will hold fish no matter what time you are fishing the lake. Small spinners, weedless plastics, slip bobbers or cranks-all very effective ways to fish the weeds.

As for the panfish, I am sure the ones most people catch are small because that is what happens in really clear lakes. Believe me, there are some big ones there to. Try to find them early in June when the big gills are in spawning or staging getting ready to spawn. I think you will be suprised at the size of the Mature gills in the lake. Usually people are suprised in lakes that are known to have "small bluegill" or lakes that are "stunted". They are there!ScottS

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I checked the Wisc. regs and I can troll on the lake. I didn't realize that was even an issue.
I've never used planer boards before. How are they set up and how much of a hassle are they?

Thanks for all the great ideas. Keep them coming!!

Evenflow

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Read those Wis Regs carefully. Trolling is a big issue in Wis, and many lakes have the same name. Check under County - and, make a phone call to confirm. (Wis muskie anglers often get cited for moving along the shoreline with electrics while fishing a second line with float and sucker -- in Wis that's trolling.)

For boards, check the Yellow Birds. I've used them for years and they are easy to rig and deploy. Replace line clip with a small alligator clip for best release performance when lure is hit.

When fishing a lake such as you describe, I'd also want to probe with a temp guage. No sense fishing below the thermocline. If you are after lakers, trout, whitefish, or ciscoes, you can score below the thermocline. Walleyes will be at and above. Use those depths for lures even when you troll open, deeper water.

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What has been effective for me in clear lakes such as the one you have described for walleye is to be on the water as early as you can see the bull rushes, usually these clear lakes have a border of them in several area's, quietly approach the area and begin electric trolling (if legal) with a plain snelled hook, and night crawler, leech or minnow as close to the rushes or weeds as possible. Very early morning works better for me on a clear lake because the lake has not been disturbed for many hours, you should have a good catch before breakfast. Good luck.

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evenflow, you got some awesome advise from some seasoned fishermen.!! i my self would not believe any maps and check every point on the lake period!! If its spring time, your going to have to test out the shallows, wind side first, dark day anywhere. the weed guys are right on, but that might not happen till growth is on, i like weeds!! the rest of the people are on!!, if its ciscoes and such shads and trolling rule!!! i'd like to see what you do? ...let us know!!!

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