has its icy grip on the Upper Midwest. Most of us have our boats on our
trailers and if "cabin fever" has set in all we need to do is pull it out of
the garage hook it up and we can be headin' south for some great walleye
How far south, you might ask? Well if you could draw a imaginary line through
Little Rock, Nashville and Atlanta you could pretty much define the southern
limit of the walleye range. But is seems that those lakes lying closest to
that boundary are the ones that produce the biggest fish. Winter has its icy grip on the Upper
Midwest. Most of us have our boats on our trailers and if "cabin fever" has
set in all we need to do is pull it out of the garage hook it up and we can be
headin' south for some great walleye fishing.
How far south, you might ask? Well if you could draw
a imaginary line through Little Rock, Nashville and Atlanta you could pretty
much define the southern limit of the walleye range. But is seems that those
lakes lying closest to that boundary are the ones that produce the biggest
Many fishermen heading south will probably fish deep water for walleyes and
that can be a big mistake. Most of the walleyes in these southern lakes are
shallow. Any short, hard bottom point may hold walleyes on a given day. But
reservoirs or lakes have hundreds of short, hard bottom points. You are better
off passing up the short points and stopping when you find a long point with
several kinds of fish attracting features. A good point might have a stair
step ledge on one side, scattered rock on top and a shale bed lining the other
side. The point's shallow inside turn may be soft bottomed, while the deeper
outside turn might break off into another smaller, hard bottom point. Such an
area is almost certain to hold walleyes.
The same principle applies to sunken islands; many points, stair step ledges,
and a variety of bottom conditions are generally better than a smooth,
gradually breaking sand hump. I might also mention that an already good island
is made all the better by the presence of a saddle. This saddle is a dip
between two higher spots of land. If this saddle area is connected to a
prospective point all the better, because it is a fish magnet.
Don't forget to check out some other productive areas such as roadbeds,
riprap, creek channels, stump fields, or isolated rock piles, bars and
One type of structure that is over looked by many anglers is floating
structure. Oh sure there is the buoy and maybe a swimming platform that fish
are attracted to, but more specifically there are mud lines. Mud lines can be
formed when the wind comes up on those warm days or they may be formed as
another stream or river flows into an existing one. The confluence of the two
rivers meeting will also form a mud line.
All mud lines are not created equal at least in terms of angling potential. An
angler should look for secondary structure contained in the mud line such as
vegetation, boulders, and submerged brush. This secondary will hold baitfish
and eventually the larger fish will follow the mud line until it provides food
or an advantageous ambush point.
Mud lines are a great structure to fish in because the angler can fish them
quickly. If you fish an area and you don't have a fish within 10 to 15 minutes
move on to another location.
Lure selection in the form of crankbaits should appeal to the fish senses.
They should be big lures that displace water and give off vibration, or rattle
and they should be flashy with bright metallic finishes. A great choice here
would be the Storm Thunderstick. It has all the ingredients for fishing mud
lines, color, flash and vibration.
If you are looking for trophy walleye fishing then Greers Ferry in Arkansas is
the place to be. Early in the winter concentrate your fishing at the mouth of
feeder creeks, especially in the early evening hours. Troll your #7 and #9
Shad Raps parallel to the deltas formed by these creeks.
To slow down your lure presentation use a little jig tipped with a minnow. But
don't get stuck in a slow pattern. Utilize extremes. Rip the jig back to the
boat on one retrieve, and then work the jig slow, bouncing it along the bottom
on the next retrieve. My favorite jig in this situation is a 1/4 ounce Fuzzy
Grub jig tipped with a minnow. I prefer the Fuzzy Grub because it is round and
I can easily attach a stinger hook to the minnow and up my chances of catching
a finicky walleye. When in doubt if you have contact with the bottom, increase
the size of your jig and minnow. You might get hung up more, but you might
also have a wallhanger on your hands.
There are literally dozens of healthy walleye fisheries in the large
flood-control and hydro-electrical lakes of the South. Such lakes are
Cumberland Lake in Kentucky; Stockton, Truman and Lake of the Ozarks in
Missouri; Greers Ferry, Bull Shoals and Norfork in Arkansas.
The editors of this column probably won't allow me space enough to tell you of
all my favorite lakes, or rivers. Just spend time on the water. The more you
practice and spend time in the great outdoors with your friends and families
the happier and more relaxed you will become. When planning for that dream
vacation include all the members of the family. Time spent with your kids and
spouse will be as memorable as an exploding bass hitting a top water plug, or
the soft pull of the walleye as the sun sets on another Southern lake.
Whether you are in the states of Alaska,
Delaware, Maine, Massachusetts, New York, Washington, Oregon, Idaho,
Montana, Minnesota, Wisconsin, North Dakota, South Dakota, Wyoming, Iowa,
Michigan, Illinois, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Missouri, Kentucky, Colorado,
Indiana, Virginia, California, Nevada, or New Jersey, there are fish to
If you are in one of the Canadian provinces of Ontario, Yukon, Northwest
Territories, British Columbia, Alberta, Saskatchewan, Manitoba, or Quebec,
there are fish to catch.
You might be trolling with cranks as your lure of choice. You might be
jigging with jigs. You’ll probably need rods, reels, some live bait
(crawlers, minnows, leeches), sinkers, leaders, and fishing line. More
often times than not, it takes a boat to get to those spots, as well.
Maybe you will be fishing from the bank or wading, however.
You may need fishing reports or maybe even a fishing guide.
This website will try to help you achieve the goal of catching bigger,
better, and more numerous fish.