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Thread: Finding walleye

  1. #1

    Default Finding walleye

    I finally got my new boat and tool it out last weekend for its maiden voyage. Mostly a test run and just getting out.
    I stopped at Kelley's island shoal toward the southern part (Northern part was full of boats) tried jigging with a purple jig and white jig for a little while. Got zero takers on the jig. Did see three fished netted near me. About 6 people aboard. Also tried throwing a plastic bouncing it off the bottom.

    I am curious how the veteran walleye anglers decide where to fish and how to find fish? I was watching the sonar and really didn't see what I think a walleye would look like. Did see a large "ball" of fish go by. Seemed like a ton of smaller fish. With Lake Erie being so massive how do you zone on where to search?

    Like Capt Porkchop and Juls always know how to find the fish and I am sure years of experience pays off. I realize there are seasonal patterns and the walleye stack up on the reefs but now they are probably moving on post spawn.

    Looking for some Lake Erie pointers and some knowledge. Next time out I want to do some trolling but where to start... 35 fow, 45 fow, east of Kelley's, straight north of Huron, west of the bass islands... etc...
    I dock in Huron.

    Thanks

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jul 2015
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    nroyalton
    Posts
    731

    Default Re: Finding walleye

    The charters and others that fish a lot have a network of other fishermen they talk to get current info as to where the current bite is.Myself,and others keep a journal as to where they have fished at certain times of the year and caught fish.Then go to those areas related to where they have caught past seasons.
    You can look at all the fishing posts and sometimes find a current location where people are catching.Capt Sam posted he recently headed east out of Huron to catch his fish.Most posts don't tell where they fished though.
    If your transducer is placed correctly,you can mark fish moving at cruising speed.So that would greatly help finding fish in open water.Others like to chase the pack of boats they see.Sometimes that works,but can turn off what was once a good bite.Try and avoid the middle of pack and troll on the edges.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jul 2015
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    nroyalton
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    731

    Default Re: Finding walleye

    When your trolling its actually important to catch fish if they are there.So keep informed on how to troll with all the different techniques there are to catch.Know how to correctly fish with boards and cranks,dipseys and spoons/harnesses divers and weights.Know how your electronics work and use it properly.Have enough tackle and colors to keep changing things till you start catching.Cover the water column with your spear of rods till you find the active fish.You are hunting for them and that is part of the challenge.Luckily there are a record number of walleye in Erie now,so your chances are good catching walleye.Not so much with perch though.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jul 2015
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    nroyalton
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    Default Re: Finding walleye

    I don't own a boat now but had one for around 30yrs in our family.I go out with 7 different buddies.Some of them are just casual fishermen.Boat not really set up to fish or have the proper gear.I show them how to properly set up their boat and how to use electronics better.Hoping it will help them catch more when they fish on their own.But they inevitably don't do what will help them catch more for one reason or another.But they have gotten alot better over the years.
    Another great way to improve your success is to go out with a charter.They can teach you a lot on how to troll properly.Several are regularly on this website.Capt Sam,Juls and Capt Eric with the pirate clipper.They could teach you a lot on setup and technique.If you go yearly with them,and get to know them,they may even help you with location of current bite.I've gotten to know several charters fishing with them over the years and they often help me with location of current bite.

  5. #5

    Default Re: Finding walleye

    Thanks for the reply. I plan to keep a journal once I get catching. I have been reading lots and watching videos to learn technique. Tons of great educational info out there. I do appreciate the posts from the charter captains.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Location
    north coast ohio
    Posts
    106

    Default Re: Finding walleye

    You really have to dial in your sonar and learn to recognize fish and bait while cruising or on plane. Some of my favorite times are when I am going to "the spot" and somewhere along the way I see great marks. Setup to fish them and have some success. Usually I'm the only boat around too. Then also take good notes, or mark your spots with dates on electronic map.

    Sometimes, you will not mark fish and you can catch them. Learn the limitations of sonar like the size of the cone as you get deeper. Any fish you mark in the upper 15 feet, is more important than the deep marks. Those fish are feeding and you just ran over top of it. How many other might be around. Learn that fish on the bottom, might not show up if there is shallower bottom in the cone. The sonar will register the shallowest spot in your cone. If deeper all around, the fish can hide below this level. Also note that a fish appears as a distance from your transducer. So a fish on the side of cone, at bottom, will not show because the bottom in the middle is closer to the transducer.

    Learn to mark bait on your sonar. I've had days in Central basin where we see bait and maybe one fish mark or two. Yet we figure eight over that area for a few hours picking off one or two walleye each time. Learning to find bait is as important as marking fish.
    Rickerd
    Last edited by rickerd; 05-03-2021 at 11:38 AM.

  7. #7

    Default Re: Finding walleye

    I went out yesterday in spite of the wind and slowed down once i hit 35fow, seen a few decent marks (or what i think are decent marks) so I stopped and set up to troll. I was alone so I only set two lines (too hard to fight the wind and waves even trolling with the wind). 15 minutes later heard one reel start clicking as drag was being pulled (i set clicker on and backed the drag off). Reeled in a 21" walleye. Kept going for awhile and got no more takers. Got tired of fighting the waves and headed back in.

    While on plane i see some small marks but no way to equate those to fish or bait yet. My transducer is a factory installed SS60 thru hall. Cruising along at 25mph i would expect a walleye to look like a tiny line or speck on screen.

    Quote Originally Posted by rickerd View Post
    You really have to dial in your sonar and learn to recognize fish and bait while cruising or on plane. Some of my favorite times are when I am going to "the spot" and somewhere along the way I see great marks. Setup to fish them and have some success. Usually I'm the only boat around too. Then also take good notes, or mark your spots with dates on electronic map.

    Sometimes, you will not mark fish and you can catch them. Learn the limitations of sonar like the size of the cone as you get deeper. Any fish you mark in the upper 15 feet, is more important than the deep marks. Those fish are feeding and you just ran over top of it. How many other might be around. Learn that fish on the bottom, might not show up if there is shallower bottom in the cone. The sonar will register the shallowest spot in your cone. If deeper all around, the fish can hide below this level. Also note that a fish appears as a distance from your transducer. So a fish on the side of cone, at bottom, will not show because the bottom in the middle is closer to the transducer.

    Learn to mark bait on your sonar. I've had days in Central basin where we see bait and maybe one fish mark or two. Yet we figure eight over that area for a few hours picking off one or two walleye each time. Learning to find bait is as important as marking fish.
    Rickerd

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Location
    north coast ohio
    Posts
    106

    Default Re: Finding walleye

    Yes when you are cruising above 15 mph, the fish appear as a line up and down or a spec. I have mine set to show yellow as strongest returns. So when I see yellow lines on screen, I might slow down to 10mph or less to check them out. The faster you go, the more water you are marking, so even at 5mph instead of drifting at 1 or trolling at 2, the fish might seem to be more, but when you slow down they dissapear or break up.
    Rickerd

  9. #9

    Default Re: Finding walleye

    That makes perfect sense. I seen some lines at cruising speed and that stands to reason, since the return enters and exits the cone edge (longest distance from transducer) to form a vertical line. I believe my simrad evo3s is set to pallet 4, which has yellow or red as the strongest return signals. Very helpful information and I appreciate the reply.

    Quote Originally Posted by rickerd View Post
    Yes when you are cruising above 15 mph, the fish appear as a line up and down or a spec. I have mine set to show yellow as strongest returns. So when I see yellow lines on screen, I might slow down to 10mph or less to check them out. The faster you go, the more water you are marking, so even at 5mph instead of drifting at 1 or trolling at 2, the fish might seem to be more, but when you slow down they dissapear or break up.
    Rickerd

  10. #10

    Default Re: Finding walleye

    I get too much interference on my screen when running at any speed to see fish marks. Is there a solution for that? I have an older boat with older Matrix 97. I'm sure the wiring isn't great, but I'm not up for rewiring the whole thing. Any suggestions appreciated.


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