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Migration Madness
How to Use the Walleye's Natural Migration Patterns to Your Advantage

Hey, it's Andrew Martinsen. The simple fact is, when you know where walleye like to hang out you can catch more of them.

And when you know WHY they're going where they're going, then you've put yourself in position to turbocharge your fishing.

Without knowing the water and the habits of the Walleye in that specific water, whether it is a lake, stream, river, reservoir or other body of water or a river, you can not be as successful or get results which are as good.

Almost every state in America has lakes and other waters which contain a large population of Walleye, and this fish species is one of the most frequently fished. Walleye can be fished during all seasons and all year round, including ice fishing in the northern states during winter. Knowing the travel paths and migration patterns can be immensely helpful in locating this fish, because their movements and habits change according to the weather.

During the course of a twenty four hour period, Walleye will move from shallower water to deeper water, and follow certain paths around areas of the lake. When the water is warmer, usually during the day and the in summer months, these fish generally head for deeper waters in the lake, because these waters are cooler and allow less light in. At night the fish may come into shallow water to feed, heading back out to lower depths after done. Walleye generally stay at the same depth when swimming around the lake, and over time they develop a specific route that is traveled. These fish usually will not swim across wide open lake areas that are not part of their specific traveling path. Walleye will generally prefer to stay in waters that are choppy, not calm. If the lake is clear the fish will stay in areas that are murky with algae or suspended silt, or areas with windy conditions which create small surface waves.

Walleye are very sensitive to water temperature, and they prefer water that is below seventy five degrees. This is why they stay in deep water most of the time.

The exception to this is during the spawning season, when they move into waters which are shallow. Approximately one or two weeks before spawning begins, the Walleye will swim into shallow water after dark, because this is where the spawning grounds are. Just before the sun comes up, the fish move back out to the deeper waters, and this pattern is followed daily until the spawning is complete. The males will continue this pattern for as long as a month after the spawning is complete, staying near the spawning area, while females leave the area as soon as the spawning is done. Ideal spawning areas include shorelines which are rocky and shallow, as well as reefs. The water in these areas can be as shallow as two feet, making them ideal for egg laying.

Walleye travel and migration patterns follow predictable patterns that can greatly improve your fishing results, if you know these patterns. The fish prefer to follow cold water currents and choppy water conditions, through the course of the day and the year. In the spring and summer months the Walleye move into water that is not as deep as their winter areas, but unless they are spawning the fish generally prefer deeper water which is cooler over shallow warm water. During the day Walleye prefer underwater structures like islands and deep weed beds where the sunlight can not easily reach. At night these areas are used by the fish because of the abundance of food sources available.

Have fun fishing!,

Andrew Martinsen

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