W A L L E Y E   H U N T E R
Fishing Articles by Sam Anderson
Harvest Moon Walleyes
By Sam Anderson
The full moon periods of October and November are special times of the year, if you are interested in finding large fish, especially those wallhanger walleyes that we seek during the summer months. Probably more 10 lb. plus walleyes are caught during these months than any other months. Those big walleyes are starting a feeding frenzy to fatten themselves up before winter arrives.
Big walleyes will swim into the shallow waters to go on a feeding spree. If you are in the shallows when this takes place hang onto the rod, you are about to catch some of the largest walleyes of your life. As they get full they may slide down to deeper parts of the lake, but again remember they have to eat and one of the places to start looking for big walleyes is shallow. How shallow? Sometimes it maybe six inches of water, just enough to cover them.
On lakes and rivers early fall patterns find big walleyes moving shallow enough for some fisherman to actually see the walleyes. The shallow water stays cool enough for big walleyes through the summer. If the walleyes can find boulders or other shallow water cover to provide shade, they may spend the summer at depths of 10 feet or less. If this is the case, most anglers fish too deep.
In the fall big fish like big baits. In fact, that is never truer than prior to ice-up. The water is cooling down rapidly and those fish wonít expend a great deal of energy on a snack. They want something substantial.
If the water is cooling off, the fish are slowing down. They become sluggish and donít want to chase all over the lake for food. They want something easy and a lot of it. The anglers must also slow down their presentation to match the mood of the fish. Walleyes canít resist the slow wobble of a Rattliní Fat Rap, or the wide sweep of the thick Risto Rap. These large fat baits pulled slowly using long-line trolling techniques or casts into the shallows produce fish.
Donít overlook a plump nightcrawler or a jumbo leech pulled behind a Hatchet Harness Spinner. Just because the bait is big and plump doesnít mean that your hooks have to be gigantic either. A small hook allows a walleye to swallow the bait without feeling anything unusual. And a small hook will not break or pull out. Most big walleyes are hooked under snag-free conditions, so if you take your time and do not attempt to horse the fish, light line will do the job. Many times I will scale down my line from 6lb. test XL to a 4lb. test XT, just to get a better feel and allow the big walleye as little resistance as possible.
Think about what time of day you would like to be on the water. Most of us would like to be there when the weather is nice, sunny and bright. The big walleyes donít want to be around during high sunny skies. They would prefer the low-light conditions or even the darkest night conditions to make their feeding run. Walleyes can also be harvested during the full moon periods of October and November.
The harvest moon cycle is one of my best times to be on the water. Fishing pressure is now existent at this time of year. Instead of fishing during the dark of the night the full moon allows me some needed vision of structure and gives me a bearing. Most important the added light also gets the fish moving. Walleyes rely more on their vision than their other senses and this makes them susceptible to an anglers presentation.
If you are looking for me during the harvest moon time I will probably
be on the water. If you want to contact me drop me a line on the web at
www.samanderson.com. Hope to hear from you soon about your success
during the light of the harvest moon.
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Since August 1, 1998