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Walleye Patterns


FishinJack

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I want to start a discussion on Walleye at Lake of the Ozarks. I have caught several over the years, but have never been able to produce a big stringer or establish a predictable pattern. I've caught some on jerkbaits, jigs, and jigging spoons. I hear many people talk about catching them on crankbaits and crappie jigs sometimes tipped with minnows. I understand that the peak time to catch them is soon approaching towards the end of the month. The upper Osage, upper Niangua, and below Bagnel are the best spots. But I know there is more to it than that. Because I tried some of this stuff and struggled. What are your thoughts? Where am I missing the boat?

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Hap-hazardly caught a walleye last season (in Sept) near the Hawaiian Island Ferry Crossing up in North Shore. Was using a texas-rigged, 6" Chartreuse Zoom Lizard on braid; was in very, very choppy water right off the main channel. Conditions were sunny, warm, and windy.

I've always heard chop is where you catch a walleye. It was, may I say, the ugliest fish I have ever caught.

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They may be ugly, but they are the very best fresh water fish to eat. Since I love catfish and crappie, that means much.

In Ozark lakes, walleye feed primarily on shad. At times they will suspend under balls of shad. Other times look for them to relate to structure like bass, but primarily at places they can ambush shad schools.

There is a small, but hardcore group who fish primarily for walleye on Stockton, Bull Shoals, and Tablerock. You might see if you can work an invitation to fish with one of them to see how they approach the species. Another idea would be to hire Mike Worley on Bull Shoals and have hime teach you a bunch in a short period of time.

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Oh, I've caught them on other lakes. In some ways they are a combination of catfish and crappie in their feeding habits. Comfortable mostly at night, live bait/minnows are popular, light action rods and let the fish mouth the bait before you set the hook.

I'd like to learn more about their spawning habits. Who far up the creeks/rivers do they run to spawn? Do you catch them in the riffles or past the riffles? I'm sure they hold up in some deeper pools, but how deep, are we talking 6ft or 16 feet? Are these areas easily accessed by a canoe or is a jet boat needed?

I know there is people out there that catch some monster walleye in the 10-13 pound range. But thise people are prety tight lipped.

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Here at Table Rock, I've never found them in riffles. Look for the humps in the bottom of the channel where the channel is 5 to 20 feet deep and the hump comes up to 2 to 10 feet. Fish just below the hump. After dark they move up to the humps.

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Fjack,

Not this past year so much but years before I fished LOZ ALOT for walleye. I targeted them exclusively when other guys were going after crappie and those other green fish. I think you call them bbbbaaassss. Have caught them up to 9 pounds on loz. Since I haven't been down in awhile, I will tell you to start on the Niangua arm around Haha Tonka and just down the lake. Years ago there was a 14 pounder caught in the area. This is also the area I caught my personal best, but this was late in august. The sows should be staging below haha tonka as we speak. The little niangua is also pretty good. You best chance for numbers is below the dam. Fish a vertically jigged, bright colored 3/8 ounce fireball jig tipped with a minnow right off the bottom. There are big un's below the dam however, you will check more in he 16 to 20 inch range. They are there you just have the patience to exclusively fish for them and find them.

IN the lake fish stickbaits and large chubs behind a bottom bouncer. They are there just fish for 'em.

Good luck.

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Below the dam did you prefer water flowing heavy or light generation? Did you cast out from the bank or boat? Were they in current breaks (eddies), current seams, or just along the bank? Did you night fish this time of the year? How close to the dam were they? Or are you talking deeper holes down stream from the 54 bridge?

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any deeper hole below the dam is a good place to start generally in the slow eddies. I always fished right below the dam. Light generation is the best as it allows you to hold the boat over the fish once you find them. Once you do this a couple of times you will be amazed how much fishing line and crap is bunched up on the bottom and anything but a vertical presentation will result in alot more hang ups. You really can only fish for the ones I catch from a boat. I have heard that guys have caught them on husky jerks on the north bank in the evening and at night but I haven't tried it. The fish should be there right now. Feb. is usually when they get up there.

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