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Making Quick Work of Walleye
Finding Fish Fast Out on the Water

When looking to find walleye quickly, consider what season it is because this will play a big role in where the walleye are most likely to be.

Early spring is spawning time and walleye will be found in spawning areas or just beyond them.

Look for gravel or rocky bottoms, as these are favorite spawning grounds for walleye.

Once the spawn is over, the fish will be on the hunt and under water structures or emerging weed beds are excellent places for walleye. As summer heats up, walleye will go deeper to avoid the raising temps and intense sun. Target you efforts on drop-offs or deep holes. Fall brings a renewed activity, but it is challenging because the walleye will be on the move in hopes of getting a few last bites before winter. This time of year, try to find the natural forage fish, because the walleye won't be far away.

Weather can influence walleye behavior, especially when paired with the lakes natural conditions. Fish that live in clear lakes will be more sensitive to intense sunlight, while their counterparts that live in murkier lakes will be less affected. If it is warm and sunny on the clear lake, you'll find the fish in deeper depths or cover. Keep an eye out for places where the wind is blowing the water onto a structure. This situation breaks up the incoming sunlight and gives the walleye some protection. Overall, walleye seem to prefer overcast days with moderate temperatures. On these days, look in shallower waters near weed beds or structures.

The time of day is also a key player in finding walleye. These fish prefer to hunt in the early more or late in the day into the night, especially the trophy-size ladies. Shallow waters where there is plenty of forage fish is the best place to start. Middle of the day fishing is more challenging, but not impossible. Focus more on transition or drop off zones that are just beyond places where walleye normally hunt.

If your time on the water is limited, don't waste it by trying to cover the entire lake or river. Use the season, weather and time of day you'll be there to pinpoint three to four promising spots on a map. If you plan to hit a sunken island or underwater structure, narrow your target down even further. These structures typically have bends and transitions zones of their own. Fishing the whole structure can waste time and yield very little results. Choose two to three key points on the structure that look promising. This will hone your search and make better use of you limited time.

Fishing doesn't have to be an all-day commitment. If you hit the water with a plan of action, you are more likely to find the walleye quickly than if you just tool around the lake. Balancing the influences of season, weather and timing can help you make quick work of walleye.

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