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Fall & Winter Walleye

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Fall & Winter Walleye fishing on Bull Shoals Lake -

Mike Worley (www.bullshoalsfishing.com) Bull Shoals Lake Guide Service

In the fall of the year after restradification (turnover) water temperature (lower 70's-lower 60's) the Walleyes are on the feed. You should find some of the best Walleye fishing of the year, this period is when the Walleyes are feeding and starting to develop eggs for the next spawn. This process is governed entirely by water temperature. The source of protein is mainly threadfin shad. You need to find areas that are holding shad to be successful in finding actively feeding Walleyes. The shad will be attracted to areas of current this may be a creek arm or the main channel of the lake. Current brings the small organisms that the shad feed on. Bull Shoals lake is a man made reservoir with a dam at each end with the White river running though it. On the surface it appears to be a still body of water but it has many sources of current which you must keep in mind to constantly find the shad and Walleyes. Power generation is one source of current, wind is another. Rising & falling water levels can help you find shad & Walleyes, rising water levels will generally move the shad into the creek channel as will falling water temperatures. The shad and most of the actively feeding Walleyes will eventually end up in the back sections of the creeks or in the upper sestions of the river channel when winter sets in. During this period you may find shad & Walleyes shallow on a windy bank or deep in a area of river channel current. Remember that the White river has been dammed but it still flows though the depths of the lake. Each day that you plan to fish Bull Shoals lake for Walleyes you should try to get as much information about current as possible. Check to see if the dams at both ends of the lake are generating, what is the weather forecast will there be a wind? what direction and how strong?

Cold fronts are a Walleye fisherman's worst enemy, it moves the shad out over open water and can make it though to find them. If you have been finding shad & Walleyes in 30'-40' in the back section of a creek arm but following a cold front they aren't there try looking half way back in the creek arm where downstream from where the largest branches of the creek are located. Look for suspended schools of shad & Walleyes to be suspended at about the same depth over deeper water.

During this water temperature period Walleyes will respond to pretty much the same baits and techniques that worked during the summer. Nightcrawlers fished on many types of rigs like bottom bouncers with crawler harnesses, slow death rigs or Carolina rigs will all catch Walleyes. Trolled or cast crankbaits are another option. This is also a time that a jigging spoon can be deadly, nothing imitates a dying shad better than a jigging spoon and Walleyes cruise under the schools of shad picking up the dying shad. A jigging spoon will work at any depth from the surface to the deepest water you find the fish in.

Water temperature lower 60's-upper 40's

This is the main part of winter the shad have been stressed to the point of starting to die off in large numbers at the lower end of this temperature range. This is the time of year to cast suspending stickbaits that imitate a dying shad. The best time of day for this technique is late afternoon and at night but with a good wind and cloud cover anytime of day can be productive. I will generally select a larger size lure of about 5" for this presentation. The Walleyes will respond to a larger easy to catch meal at this time of year and you will find them in very shallow water. The late afternoon has several things going for it mainly the water temperature will be the warmest after the sun has been on it all day and the light level is also lower which is to a Walleyes advantage. You must be very careful not to spook these fish if you are going to be successful, these are large fish in very shallow water and they will be spooky. Do NOT pound the water with your bait try to make as few casts as possible with as little splash as you can. You must work the bait very-very slowly. Take the time to tune your bait it must run true from side to side as well as suspend as naturally as possible, you can use glue on strips or dots to adjust the way your bait suspends I prefer the strips because you can remove a small piece with your pocket knife if it's too heavy. Sometimes a slowly sinking stickbait is a killer a slowly rising one is generally not very effective. If there is more than one angler you should try not to cast near each others lure. Nothing will spook a Walleye like a big splash near a target it is homing in on. Walleyes spawn all over the lake on windy banks they don't all go up the river or into the creeks to spawn that is the reason these fish will be shallow. They are developing eggs and this takes warm water and fuel (food). The best banks will be north or west banks facing south and east as a general rule but the most important feature will still be current (wind) and being near deeper water. Walleye eggs need current to hatch and the spawning fish will be attracted to these areas long before the spawn takes place.

Always have a jigging spoon rigged and ready all year round. If you mark fish on your depth finder pick it up and drop it down to them. Nothing imitates a dying shad like a jigging spoon and it will catch Walleyes at anytime of year

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Mike,

That is a great article you wrote above. You are definitely out to help guys catch fish and it is very admirable. Great job my friend!

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Posted · Report post

Nice article...thanks Mike!

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Fall & Winter Walleye fishing on Bull Shoals Lake -

Mike Worley (www.bullshoalsfishing.com) Bull Shoals Lake Guide Service

In the fall of the year after restradification (turnover) water temperature (lower 70's-lower 60's) the Walleyes are on the feed. You should find some of the best Walleye fishing of the year, this period is when the Walleyes are feeding and starting to develop eggs for the next spawn. This process is governed entirely by water temperature. The source of protein is mainly threadfin shad. You need to find areas that are holding shad to be successful in finding actively feeding Walleyes. The shad will be attracted to areas of current this may be a creek arm or the main channel of the lake. Current brings the small organisms that the shad feed on. Bull Shoals lake is a man made reservoir with a dam at each end with the White river running though it. On the surface it appears to be a still body of water but it has many sources of current which you must keep in mind to constantly find the shad and Walleyes. Power generation is one source of current, wind is another. Rising & falling water levels can help you find shad & Walleyes, rising water levels will generally move the shad into the creek channel as will falling water temperatures. The shad and most of the actively feeding Walleyes will eventually end up in the back sections of the creeks or in the upper sestions of the river channel when winter sets in. During this period you may find shad & Walleyes shallow on a windy bank or deep in a area of river channel current. Remember that the White river has been dammed but it still flows though the depths of the lake. Each day that you plan to fish Bull Shoals lake for Walleyes you should try to get as much information about current as possible. Check to see if the dams at both ends of the lake are generating, what is the weather forecast will there be a wind? what direction and how strong?

Cold fronts are a Walleye fisherman's worst enemy, it moves the shad out over open water and can make it though to find them. If you have been finding shad & Walleyes in 30'-40' in the back section of a creek arm but following a cold front they aren't there try looking half way back in the creek arm where downstream from where the largest branches of the creek are located. Look for suspended schools of shad & Walleyes to be suspended at about the same depth over deeper water.

During this water temperature period Walleyes will respond to pretty much the same baits and techniques that worked during the summer. Nightcrawlers fished on many types of rigs like bottom bouncers with crawler harnesses, slow death rigs or Carolina rigs will all catch Walleyes. Trolled or cast crankbaits are another option. This is also a time that a jigging spoon can be deadly, nothing imitates a dying shad better than a jigging spoon and Walleyes cruise under the schools of shad picking up the dying shad. A jigging spoon will work at any depth from the surface to the deepest water you find the fish in.

Water temperature lower 60's-upper 40's

This is the main part of winter the shad have been stressed to the point of starting to die off in large numbers at the lower end of this temperature range. This is the time of year to cast suspending stickbaits that imitate a dying shad. The best time of day for this technique is late afternoon and at night but with a good wind and cloud cover anytime of day can be productive. I will generally select a larger size lure of about 5" for this presentation. The Walleyes will respond to a larger easy to catch meal at this time of year and you will find them in very shallow water. The late afternoon has several things going for it mainly the water temperature will be the warmest after the sun has been on it all day and the light level is also lower which is to a Walleyes advantage. You must be very careful not to spook these fish if you are going to be successful, these are large fish in very shallow water and they will be spooky. Do NOT pound the water with your bait try to make as few casts as possible with as little splash as you can. You must work the bait very-very slowly. Take the time to tune your bait it must run true from side to side as well as suspend as naturally as possible, you can use glue on strips or dots to adjust the way your bait suspends I prefer the strips because you can remove a small piece with your pocket knife if it's too heavy. Sometimes a slowly sinking stickbait is a killer a slowly rising one is generally not very effective. If there is more than one angler you should try not to cast near each others lure. Nothing will spook a Walleye like a big splash near a target it is homing in on. Walleyes spawn all over the lake on windy banks they don't all go up the river or into the creeks to spawn that is the reason these fish will be shallow. They are developing eggs and this takes warm water and fuel (food). The best banks will be north or west banks facing south and east as a general rule but the most important feature will still be current (wind) and being near deeper water. Walleye eggs need current to hatch and the spawning fish will be attracted to these areas long before the spawn takes place.

Always have a jigging spoon rigged and ready all year round. If you mark fish on your depth finder pick it up and drop it down to them. Nothing imitates a dying shad like a jigging spoon and it will catch Walleyes at anytime of year

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Thanks Mike. You are one of a kind.

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