Andrew Martinsen's Walleye Fishing Secrets

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Andrew Martinsen's Walleye Fishing Update

Great Walleye on Greers Ferry Lake

How You Can Catch a Record Breaking Fish

In 1982, Greers Ferry Lake gained notoriety when Al Nelson pulled out a world record walleye. The 22 pound 11 ounce female was a once in a lifetime catch, but many anglers go to Greers Ferry Lake hoping to catch a big gal of their own. While the odds of hooking another record breaker aren't high, that shouldn't keep you from this lake because there may be a trophy walleye waiting to be hooked.

While walleyes can be caught any time of year, there are a few parts of the season that are the most productive. If you want a big walleye, December through February is a good time to hit the lake. The females' eggs are fully formed and they are feeding heavily before the spawn. Since they are actively eating, jigs tipped with live bait will often be enough to get a bite.

When water temperatures reach 50 degrees, spawning kicks off and runs mid-February thru March. Walleye in this lake seem to favor the major tributaries for spawning. South Fork, Middle Fork, and Devil's fork see a lot of activity as the walleyes congregate in the gravel-bottomed shallows. During the day, the spawning beds will be mostly populated with males. There will be a lot of them and they will be aggressive, so this is a great opportunity if you are after numbers. Just about any presentation will work, but crankbaits and bottom fishing with bluegills or creek chub minnows work well on this lake.

The females typically will not enter the spawning beds until nighttime. Cast your bait just beyond the shallows, keeping your retrieve slow if you're after a larger fish. Otherwise you will need to wait until nightfall. You can fish from a boat, but many anglers get good results by wading in or casting from the shore. Where ever you decided to situate yourself, keep your presentation slow. Walleye have their mind on other matters and will let anything to fast go by without a strike. Stick baits and jointed minnows get good responses, but jigs with either spoons or live bait also do well.

Although spawn is the most popular season on this lake, walleye can be caught year round. They aren't found everywhere, so you may need to search harder than in other lakes. The inhabitants of this water like clear water with gravel bottoms. Keep an eye out for these spots and keep your presentation slow when you do find them. The water here is cold and affects walleye response. If you think you're working the bait slow, go even slower.

Greers Ferry Lake has seen an increase in activity since the record catch in 1982. The 1990s were particularly hard on the walleye numbers. In order to protect the population, there are both daily and length limits being enforced. The daily limit is six, with only one fish that can exceed 28 inches. Any fish that is between 20 to 28 inches must be released immediately. These restrictions also extend into the tributaries, so make sure you are aware and following them.

After the world record catch, Greers Ferry Lake experienced an insurgence of fishing. Heavy harvesting and the natural mortality rates have decreased the concentration of brag worthy walleye. That doesn't mean there aren't any big girls lurking in the depths. If you are patient and prudent, you may be the next to catch a record breaker.

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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