Locating and Catching Deep Water Walleye in the Great Lakes

August 9, 2017

Lake Erie Great Lakes Walleye

It’s no secret that locating and catching walleye can be more difficult during the late summer months for some anglers. During the late spring and early summer anglers can typically find walleye on shallow reefs, rock piles and bays. As summer progresses and the water temperatures increase, walleye begin to space out and move to deeper water. While walleye can be unpredictable after a front moves in, here are some tips for locating and catching walleye during late summer months in the Great Lakes.

Find the big boats. Some anglers may not like to hear this, especially if they have big boats or are charter boat captains. However, if you haven’t been out fishing for a while or don’t know where to find the fish, there is a good chance finding a few charter boats in the area will indicate there are fish.

Use a Fish Hawk. This becomes as important as your fish finder during the summer months. When you are fishing deep water walleye, a Fish Hawk is going to give you down speed and temperature, which are crucial. During the summer, strong lake currents can cause your trolling speed to be way more or less than your surface trolling speed. The Fish Hawk will also help you find the thermocline and cold water pockets, which are essential to finding feeding fish.

Vary your lure depth. This is important almost anytime, but varying your depth will put more and bigger fish in the box. While most of the fish will typically school near the thermocline, big walleye are commonly found closer to the bottom in the deep “ice water”. There are also times when walleye will school higher up in the water column to feed on baitfish. This is more common during the first few hours of light and heading into the twilight hours.

Use a bait that rattles or has a wide wobble. Every variable counts when fishing for deep water walleye. Using baits that have a strong rattle, like Bandit’s Deep Walleye Divers, or a strong wobbling action, like Reef Runner’s 800 Series Deep Divers, will draw fish in from a distance which helps when fish are spaced out.

Research the color phases. This is, by far, one of the most important factors to consider when fishing for deep water walleye. You will hear anglers say, “that color was good last year, but not this year.” While there could be some freakish reason for that lure working last year versus this year, a more common reason is the color does not match the depth you are fishing or the current light situation. Understanding the color phases will help you key in on what colors to use at what depths and whether to use bright, flashy colors or dull color patterns.

Find areas that depth changes quickly. When fishing shallow water, breaks and dropoffs are very common. Finding spots where the depth changes quickly will likely hold cold water pockets and will give you a good chance of finding active fish. If you are trolling from deep to shallow water, this will also help you indicate where the fish are feeding in the water column.

Related Products

Bandit FishUSA Custom Color Walleye Deep Diver
Bandit FishUSA Custom Color Walleye...
Bandit FishUSA Custom Color Walleye Deep Divers are great for walleye, zander, and other predator fish that explore deeper waters. These lures dive quickly with their round lip and slender build. These FishUSA custom color divers are the same bandit divers you trust, now available in colors chosen by our team of pro anglers!
$11.99
Bandit Walleye Deep Diver
Bandit Walleye Deep Diver
59 Colors available
(4)
Bandit Walleye Deep Divers are great for walleye, zander, and other predator fish that explore deeper waters. Walleye Deep Divers dive quickly with their round lip and slender build. They are the go-to minnow jerkbait for many anglers.
$6.99
Fish Hawk X4 Trolling System
Fish Hawk X4 Trolling System
(1)
Fish Hawk X4 Trolling System is the most advanced downrigger data system ever developed. This complete system includes the X4 Trolling Probe with InvisiTroll Technology, Magnum Digit Display, transducer, power cable, and cannonball safety cable. The Fish Hawk X4 System's proven reliability and wireless technology, make it the number #1 speed and temp system on the market today. This is the system that trollers coast to coast are talking about!
$699.99
Fish Hawk X4D with Bluetooth
Fish Hawk X4D with Bluetooth
The Fish Hawk X4D with Bluetooth uses a pressure sensor to tell you the exact trolling depth, speed, and water temperature of the probe. This Fish Hawk X4D utilizes Bluetooth wireless technology to conveniently transmit data to your mobile device via the free Fish hawk Mobile App. No longer do you have to wonder how much cable blowback you are experiencing. The Fish Hawk X4D Trolling System provides invaluable information for any angler interested in fine-tuning their trolling program, revealing...
$849.99
Reef Runner 800 Series Deep Diver
Reef Runner 800 Series Deep Diver
37 Colors available
(25)
Reef Runner 800 Series Deep Divers are popular casting and deep-diving trolling lures. All of Reef Runner's crankbaits are designed, tested, handcrafted and painted in the USA. These Deep Divers are rattling minnow imitators designed to deliver a wide erratic swimming action. Reef Runner 800 Series Deep Divers are tournament winning jerkbaits with a curved design and a rounded bill for diving. All 800 Series Deep Diver lures feature Reef Runner's premium high gloss chip-proof finish
$7.99
Reef Runner FishUSA Custom Color 800 Series Deep Diver
Reef Runner FishUSA Custom Color 80...
Reef Runner FishUSA Custom Color 800 Series Deep Divers are the same quality deep divers you trust, now available in custom colors chosen by FishUSA pro anglers. These lures are rattling minnow imitators deliver a wide, erratic swimming action. Designed with a curved body and rounded bill, these baits put the dive in deep divers!
$7.99
Comments