I Have been fishing the Bay for some time now and I have done a lot of research on walleye and their Habits over the years. What I have found is this. There seem to be 2 definitive groups of walleye here in the Bay. I have spoken about this before and other reputable Anglers have spoken to this topic so I thought I would speak about my own findings.
1st the Resident walleye, These walleye stay in the Bay all year round you can catch them from walleye opening weekend in May right through to the end of the ice fishing season at the end of February. These walleye tend to stay in their own areas of the bay and do not venture very far. they may move as far as across the bay on windy days when there are plenty of smaller fish to feed on such as the shad or Perch when they enter the bay to spawn at various times during the season. The reason I believe that these fish do not venture too far is for the simple fact that they are lazy and that there is really no need for them to expend energy and go anywhere. there are plenty of feeding fish such as perch in these areas all year-long and there are a variety of fish throughout the year constantly coming in and out of the Bay creating a rather large buffet for these resident fish.
Here is how to catch these kinds of walleye. you will need to follow the bait fish to their habitats, where there is perch there is Walleye. Perch are a bottom and close to weeds type of fish so that is where you need to put your baits. I have found when the Walleye are primarily feeding on perch you will find that they will be close to weed edges and right tight to bottom. also I find that these types of walleye tend to have their feast in 10FOW and less. If the walleye are feeding on Alewives, or shad you will see large bait balls suspended in the water column, you will need to get your baits just under the bait balls as the walleye feed in an upward motion and will hit your bait first if it comes across it before it reaches the bait ball. If you find a baitball and see a few big hooks on one side mark this on your finder and position your boat on the far side of the bait ball. try putting on a 1/8 ounce jig and twister tail and cast over the bait ball to where you marked those hooks, if you can entice a strike then don’t leave the area where there is one there are potentially more feeding on the same meal.
2nd is the Migrating Walleye, These Walleye Tend to enter the Bay through the Adolphus Reach and the Trent canal from the open waters of Lake Ontario. they start entering generally in late September to mid October and as the weather and water temperatures get colder the better the fishing gets as the more fish enter into the Bay. However unlike their cousins (the resident walleye) these fish seem to react based on what their Buffet is doing. As the cooler weather approaches the Shad and Alewives head into the Bay Of Quinte to Spawn and as we start to see mass amounts of large bait balls throughout the Bay following close behind are the massive trophy Eye’s that everybody comes from all over to find.
These fish spend all winter feeding on the bait fish and getting fat so they have the energy to create their eggs and spawn in the spring just after the ice breaks up and leaves in the spring. During the Fall popular areas these Walleye can be found are throughout Adolphus Reach, Picton Harbour, Longreach, and into Hay Bay. Typically these are a deeper water fish and spend their time in cooler temperature water, therefore generally speaking you would want to change-up your presentations to a deeper diving crank bait when fishing for these migratory fish. There are so many different types of crank baits on the market today I can’t really get into them all, in fact I couldn’t even if I wanted to as I am learning about new and older baits every day it seems, some I have never heard of or tried. It will take a bit of time and or effort to figure out what works for your style of fishing but when you find what works for you the time and effort you’ve put in will pay out with fish of a life time.
The one thing to remember it seems is, no matter what time of year it is, if you want to find the Walleye then all you have to do is find the bait fish.
Capt James Mathias.
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Well its that time of year again where trophy walleye make their journey into the Bay Of Quinte from their summer homes in the big water of lake Ontario to their winter ones in The Bay Of Quinte. Each Fall huge Walleye migrate to their staging areas throughout The Bay Of Quinte where thousands of anglers flock for their chance at trophy Walleye. These fish are commonly caught in the 2 to 5 lbs range (as shown in pic from yesterday) throughout the summer months however when the fall comes and before the ice forms there is a short period of time maybe a month to a month and a half where 8 to 10 lbs walleye are common and you can even find them in the range of 14 and 15lbs plus during this time.
The Later in the season and as the water surface temps drops to just above freezing is where you’ll find locals, Guides, and people around the glob in search of those elusive world renown trophy Eye’s. Yesterday I was out scouting with a couple of friends in the Bay and although we did see some huge hooks on my electronics we were unable to entice anything considered to be a trophy to bite. Marking fish like we did yesterday only got us excited because that is a sure sign that the fall hunt will soon be in full swing.
As the temperatures drop its time to put away those worm harnesses and start using those deep diving crank baits trolled with lengthy leads behind your boat, or is it? for those people that maybe would like to try their hand at these fall beauties but don’t want to spend a fortune doing it there are many devices and aids sold on the market today to help get smaller lipped baits and spinners down deeper with less bulk in the water, helping not to spook the fish, the result is that you can use some of the baits you used all summer in the shallows now to fish the fall walleye that like deeper water. Of course those big lipped baits work great and have done for some time but if you don’t have money to burn and don’t want an entirely new stock of lures then try looking into some of these devices it might save you some cash?
more to come on fall walleye tactics soon.
Last week I posted poor fishing reports were all that was found around the lake, however this week I’m happy to say for the past few days anyway that the fishing is looking like it’s taking a turn for the better . although the numbers are still a bit low, at least I can say that I am hearing on the radio and from local anglers that they are at least coming home with something in the box. Over the past few days although the bite has been difficult and comes in short bursts throughout the day I’m happy to report I have managed a few nice ones daily over the past 4 days I hope everyone is catching. If this helps I’ve been catching a lot of the fish in 130FOW 88ft down on a green frog spin doctor combo.
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