As the weather starts to cool, and the days grow shorter, there are two passions that come to mind. One of those passions is Fall walleye fishing. There is something almost mystic about this fish. Maybe because I fish for them at night. The walleye is mostly nocturnal, so that’s when I have my best luck. I usually head out about an hour or two before sunset, sometimes I’ll even get a strike from a nice striped bass every now and then, as you can see in the photos. The fish this time of year are getting a bit more aggressive, storing fat for the winter. I call it their fall feeding frenzy, haha.
Anyway it seems the bite is best just at sunset, and a couple of hours after. Myself I like to use a nice medium action rod, with a nice reliable spinning reel with no more than 10 lb test line. I’m not promoting any line or reel, just use what your comfortable with. I will say this though, I always use a 1/16th to 1/8th once jig head, depending on the current. I’ve used many jigs, but my go to jig for walleye, and I’ll swear by it, is The Walleye Assassin Turbo Shad
I know Iowa is not really known for it’s walleye, most people travel to Canada, Minnesota, Wisconsin, and even the Great lakes. If you do your homework though, you can find them in quite a few places you wouldn’t think of. They don’t like muddy or silty bottoms, they have a hard time filtering that through their gills. Rocky or sandy bottom with a lot of structure is the best. And of course a good amount of bait-fish, minnows or shad.
One of my most memorable trips was about 5 years ago, early December I think. It was a cold blustery evening with the wind out of the north. It was spitting rain with a mix of snow. Anyone in their right mind would have stayed home in front of the TV, but not me, all I had in mind was WALLEYE!!! I don’t know the reason, but they love adverse weather. I’ve always had my best luck when cloudy, cold and light precipitation. Anyway I headed to my favorite spot about an hour before sunset. My daughter was young then and had a terrible cold. My wife was begging me to stay home, but who listens to wives, lol. I told her I’d be quick, just a couple hours, and besides, I was less than twenty minutes away from the house in case of emergency. Just a phone call away. After arrival a few casts into my outing, BOOM, a solid striped bass hit my lure. The drag was screaming as he was peeling off line. What a fight, especially in the current he was in. After a few minutes of fighting with him, I finally wore him out and netted him. My heart was racing, I just knew it was going to be a good night. As the sun started to set and darkness was near, I felt the subtle tap, and the stoppage of my jig. I knew it was a decent walleye when I set that hook. Another fight was on!!! Again retrieving and landing was nothing but excitement, no easy chore. After adding him to the stringer, it went on like that within the next hour. Three more nice walleye, with the last one measuring 26 inches. One more to go until my limit, then came the call, my wife. She was worried, my daughter was coughing and wheezing. I just wanted one more! Oh well, a dad has to do, what a dad has to do. I packed up and went home. Family always first. Anyway you know how kids are when they are sick, she wanted her daddy, which feels awesome too. I love my little girl! 🙂 Good luck my friends, and good fishing.