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Andrew Martinsen's Walleye Fishing Update

Catching Walleyes in Reservoirs

Reservoir Fishing for Walleye

One of the main advantages of fishing for walleye in a reservoir is that, because reservoirs are man-made, the fish often display less natural behavior. In other words, in a lake or river your best chance of catching walleye comes at dawn and dusk, because this is when the fish immerge from the deeper water to feed. However, although, in a reservoir, these rules still apply, you are also likely to find active walleye in the middle of the day, especially during the early part of the season. After the ice melts, walleye will typically revert to their pattern of daytime lethargy.


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When fishing for walleye in a reservoir, the key is to ascertain their location. Typically, walleye found in a reservoir are easier to catch then those in rivers or lakes, so, if you can find them, chance are you’ll be able to catch them. Walleye tend to swim upstream in the fall and remain there throughout the winter. Therefore, in reservoirs, many anglers discover that the walleye is positioned in the upper reaches of the water. If you are looking to catch big numbers of walleye, then this is the spot for you. However, not all of the fish will venture upstream, some can still be found in low end of the reservoir. Subsequently, these lower end walleye offer a great opportunity to anglers.

It is also a good idea to examine the reservoir for its feeder creeks and river arms, as these areas often provide fast breaks, which indicate underwater shelves, bars or flats that are popular feeding spots for the walleye. It is advisable to look for the fast breaks from steep drop-offs, because these are excellent spots for walleye.

You may find it useful to obtain a detailed map, to pinpoint these areas, before setting out on the reservoir. In terms of equipment, it can also be beneficial to utilize a depth finder, because this will help you analyze the depth and how the walleye are responding to your choice of bait.

In some places, anglers use up to four lines while ice-fishing for the reservoir walleye. Obviously, this gives you the advantage of being able to cover more water. In addition, you can be more flexible in your search for that huge walleye. Many anglers advocate the use of two tip-ups in spots that are likely to contain walleye and setting up a couple of rods in the areas of a high-concentration of fish. For the two rods in the hotspots, you may like to use a bobber and minnow, and, perhaps, a spoon on the second rod, but you may find a more effective combination.

A bobber and minnow is a simple presentation that is particularly popular among anglers fishing for walleye. For the spoon, you will need a 1/4oz to 3/8oz; depending on the depth of the water, you may need an even heavier spoon.

It is always wise to cover as much water as possible and experiment with the varying depths of the reservoir. In addition, you may like to consider employing different presentations. Eventually, you will find one that really works for you and those walleye are yours for the taking.


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