The Post-Spawn Walleye Hot Bite is ON!
Photo by author
It's that time of year again! Walleye have completed their spawning rituals and now is time for them to fatten up before water temps send them deeper for the summer. This 15 to 30 day period is the best time of the year to pack the freezer for the summer family fish fry.
Under a bright moon, casting jerk baits onto shallow rocks or trolling expansive flats will yield nice fat walleye from 21 inches and up. Being quiet and dark as possible is a must. Lures like Smithwick's Rattling Rouge are a great choice. Use natural colors and make sure you thoroughly work the area as the walleye are schooled and you can catch several in the same location.
During daylight hours, dragging a multiple choice of colored jig heads from 1/16 to 1/8 ounce tipped with half a crawler over the same flats and transitions from mud to sand will bring fish by the dozens. Focus on waters from 4 to 10 foot. A little breeze chop or clouds can bring hungry eaters into very, very shallow waters. Intense sun or calm conditions will push fish to deeper or dirtier water conditions; mud lines work like cover to walleyes.
Day or night, one thing remains constant: presentation speed. You must find the proper presentation speed for the conditions and stick to it like glue! Fish can sometimes be grouped very tightly together so make sure you don't leave the active school to far in your wake. Sometimes the best option is to anchor just down wind or a bit deeper from the honey hole and cast into them. You will fill the live well quickly with tasty post-spawn walleye!
Walleye Bag Limit-
The bag limit is 6 fish total of any combination of walleye, sauger and saugeye. Walleye Size Limits (note new size regulations for 2016!)- Walleye taken from all public waters (lakes, rivers and streams) north of State Road 26 must be 16 inches in length or longer, except for:
Bass Lake (Starke County) and Wolf Lake (Lake County); minimum size 14 inches.
Lake George (Steuben County); minimum size 15 inches.
Wall Lake (LaGrange County); minimum size 16 inches with a daily bag limit of two.
Walleye taken from public waters (lakes, rivers and streams) south of State Road 26 must be 14 inches or longer, except:
The Ohio River, where there is no minimum size.
There is no minimum size requirement for saugeye on all state waters, except for Huntingburg Lake (Dubois County) and Sullivan Lake (Sullivan County), where saugeye must be 14 inches in length or longer.
Except for the Ohio River, sauger are added to the aggregate bag limit for walleye and saugeye.