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Andrew Martinsen's Walleye Fishing Update

Night Time is Walleye Time

Making the Most out of Night Fishing

As the sun sets over the water, many anglers start to pack it up and head back to land. Night time can be some of the most productive fishing especially when it comes to walleyes. Hitting the walleye at night requires some planning and preparation.

Night time fishing can be a dangerous endeavor. The darkness can make it difficult to manipulate underwater structures and obstacles. The best bet is to scope the water before the sun sets.


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It is a good idea to tool around the water during the daylight. Take note of structures, rock shoals, islands and points. These are prime areas to fish once the sun goes down.

Program the coordinates in a GPS unit if you have one. This will help you get back to these spots without crashing into them in the dark. Also be on the look out for walleye activity. If you can't catch a walleye in the day, night fall isn't going to be any better.

Walleye activity typically picks up at dusk and lasts until full darkness falls. After this, there is usually a one to two hour lull. This happens because the walleye need time to adjust to the changing light. Once their eyesight is ready, the action picks back up and can last until the dawn.

Structures are great places to visit at night. Since light isn't an issue, you can fish double the normal distance around the spot. This can increase the number of walleye that you can hook. Minnow baits that run a little deeper are great for these types of structures

Other night time hot spots include weeds, gravel beds and shallow sand bars. It isn't unusual to catch walleye in less than twelve feet of water at night. Floating minnow baits are perfect for working walleye from the shore. Shallow-running minnow baits are good for working over weed lines and in shallow waters. Avoid really thick weed beds though. It is much harder for a walleye to spot a meal in thick vegetation.

Night fall brings out the aggressive side in walleye. Jigging, soft swimbaits and medium crankbaits can all be effective .It is important to keep the bait fairly high in the water column and the speed slow.

Walleye hunt from below their prey. They use the lighter sky to locate the silhouette of their next meal. Using darker colors in your lures can be advantageous. Blacks, dark purples, navy blues and browns really stand out against the night sky.

That doesn't mean that all your lighter colored lures need to stay ashore. Baits with flash can work wonders especially if they create noise and vibrations. Lighter color lures are also easier to see in the dark.

One major problem with night fishing is that visibility is going to be very poor for you. Keep your equipment as simple as possible. Opting for a spinning wheel over a baitcast reel will eliminate the possibility of backlash. Also, consider connecting your lures and lines with snaps. This will make changing bait in the dark much easier.

A headlamp can also make your night time fishing expedition easier. Just be careful with the light's intensity. Lights can disrupt feeding walleye and make them move elsewhere for a quieter spot.

Not all anglers are eager to hit the water after dark. Those who are willing to stay out a little longer may be able to haul in a trophy-size walleye. With a little planning and preparation, you might be able to take home a fish worth staying up for.


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