Andrew Martinsen's Walleye Fishing Secrets

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Andrew Martinsen's Walleye Fishing Update

Cold Weather Walleyes

HWhat to Do When a Cold Front Affects Walleye Fishing

A cold front can come in many forms. It can be a physical drop in the temperature, a brewing thunderstorm or a strong wind blowing from the north. Whatever the cause of a cold front, the end result is a severe drop in the fishing action.

The days after a cold front hits can be very deceptive. At first glance, they appear to be the perfect time to hit the water and catch some mighty walleye. The sun will be shining in a beautiful blue sky, the temps have dropped a bit making the time in the boat more pleasant, and the water is smooth as a piece of glass.

While this may be appealing to you, walleye feel differently. The quiet water makes it easier for the bright sunlight to penetrate the depths, which makes the light-sensitive walleye head for deeper cover. The drop in mercury also yields cold, lethargic fish that don't feel like doing much of anything. Depending on the severity of the cold front, the walleye action could be off for several days.

Hitting the links might seem like a better option than hitting the lakes after a cold front. While these weather occurrences can dampen the walleye action, a little flexibility and creative thinking can still make time on the water enjoyable. The fish obviously haven't left the lake, but they are going to need more coaxing than your standard tackle box of tricks.

The first thing to do is to look deeper than normal. Walleye are trying to get warm and avoid the intense light piercing the water. Use a good quality fish finder to locate where the fish are bunched up together. Don't be surprised if they are suspended twenty to thirty feet down. Weed beds are great places to search because the walleye that normally inhabit these spots typically recover faster than their open water brethren after a cold front.

Once you find the fish, you will need to downsize your bait. If you are using live bait, opt for smaller versions of your favorite species. The walleye will be lethargic and larger bait may seem like too much of a challenge. A two-inch fathead or four-inch chub will be far more appealing to a hungry, but lazy walleye.

Make sure your downsize your jigs along with your bait. Dropping down to a 1/16 ounce jig will make the bait fall slower, but it is important to keep your retrieves slow too. Walleyes won't go after anything that moves fast during this time, so bait needs to stay in the water longer. These walleye also tend to be light on the bite, which can lead to more missed opportunities than usual. Attaching a stinger hook to the jig will help catch walleyes that might otherwise escape.

Changing your line will also increase your chances of hooking a walleye after a cold front. The walleye can be a bit spooky after the temperature drop and the wrong line could make them vacate the area. Try a four-pound clear monofilament or fluorocarbon line. When dealing with walleye after a cold front, the little changes can make the biggest difference.

Whether it is a trip you have been planning for months or a competition you can't back out off, cold fronts can be a real downer for your success on the water. Cold fronts wreak havoc on fishing and make it tempting to skip the water all together. Understanding the effects of cold fronts and being willing to change your presentations can turn a disappointing day of fishing into a respectable day on the water.

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25 Inch Walleye Caught at Lake of the Woods

Walleye Fishing Secrets Student Shares an Awesome Catch


Here's a 25 inch walleye caught at Lake of the Woods, Ontario. The picture is a great memento for me.

I caught it drifting. We caught it amongst some smaller ones that ended up on the dinner table.

Your advice was helpful in making my trip successful. Thank you!"

- Russell K.

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Great Fishin' to You! (Always),


Andrew Martinsen