Summer time walleye action

Walleye caught on a mid lake hump
Is it really the dog days of summer when it comes to angling success?  It can be but much depends on the body of water that you target at this time of year. For those fishing shallow lakes with a lot of weed cover, it can be frustrating finding any biting fish during the day. At night time, however, these lakes tend to become alive with active fish using the weed edges as ambush points. Windy, overcast days can also trigger shallow fish into feeding.  Then there is current, the great equalizer! Current flow provides oxygen to summertime fish that are dropping deeper because of rising water temperatures. It also tends to concentrate baitfish, thus providing a prime feeding area for top of the line predators like walleye, bass, pike and even big musky depending on the lake, river or reservoir you are fishing. I can remember fishing current in the Pinawa area of the Winnipeg on a hot summer day with great success.

 Gary Schewe with a beautiful walleye caught
using jig and minnow
In lakes wind does create current and on a body of water like Lake of the Woods, Lake Winnipeg, Rainy Lake and even Falcon Lake, many of the walleye will relate to this wind generated current for much the same reason.  When fishing a lake that has deeper water in the main lake basin, something in the twenty metre or more range, a lot fish will relate to the thermocline in 14 metres of water. If you combine that with underwater structure like a sunken island or extended main lake point  you will usually find active fish when the wind blows. The addition of wind balls up plankton, the food of ciscoes, smelt, tullibees and other baitfish that big walleye and pike love to eat. You will mark these big balls of bait on your depthfinder and when that happens I have two favourite ways of catching these fish. One is to troll crankbaits at the required depth to get slightly above the active fish.  This is extremely effective when the fish are scattered over a larger area. When the wind is really blowing however and the fish are tight to a certain piece of structure then I prefer to drop a jig down to them.  This can be tough to do for the inexperienced angler because boat control becomes an issue.   That is one of the reason I prefer a boat with tiller steering along with splash guards. Backing into the wind and waves allows me a near vertical presentation most of the time, a critical part of the equation. By horizontally presenting a jig rigged with Berkley Gulp Minnow or even a big Berkley Hollow Belly swim bait you will catch fish. Given the size of the forage available in these spots mean you are also usually catching very big fish, the largest in the system.