As Minnesota transitions into its cooler fall temperatures, walleye anglers are presented with an interesting new challenge: adjust their fishing techniques to accommodate the climate change’s effect on walleyes’ behavior.
During the warmer summer months, walleye typically roam deeper waters, as these cold-blooded fish tend to favor cooler temps. Of course, it’s not uncommon for walleye to roam shallow lakes and reservoirs under thick weeds and vegetation, as these conditions often hold baitfish—their prime food source. As we approach fall, however, walleyes sense the temperature change, as well as the shortening of days, and begin feeding more aggressively in preparation of the winter months ahead. This means they not only spend more time hunting for schools of baitfish in shallower conditions, but they also do this more in the daytime, making them more accessible for anglers.
Although these aggressive fish offer a fun challenge to locate and catch throughout the year, they tend to move slower in the colder climates, which means the key to catching your next trophy fish is adopting a slower, yet aggression presentation.
Whether you’re trolling or casting walleye, here are some must-have fishing lures to add to your tackle box this fall:
Lipped Crank Baits: Because walleyes are actively searching for baitfish this season, using crank baits to mimic walleye’s prey is an obvious, but effective choice. Lipped crank baits can be trolled behind your boat or cast out into the water, depending on the location of your target. The longer and wider the swimming lip, the deeper the lure will run. Bagley Bait Co.’s Balsa Minnow is a precision balanced balsa wood lure with internal weighting that allows it to run with a pronounced biaxial vibration. It offers a tremendous tail shake that is easily felt through the rod and into your hands. A full wire through design also increases its durability for those big hits and is available in three model sizes, which allows you to cover the water from either 5 ft deep to more than 20 ft deep, making it perfect for fall walleye fishing.
Lipless Crank Bait: Unlike its counterpart, lipless crank baits typically use a slanted nose and internal weighting to dive deep and can be retrieved easily, significantly reducing your casting time. They are ideal for colder water conditions and are typically filled with bb’s to create a distinct rattling, fish agitating, sound. Bagley Bait Company’s Rattlin’ B puts a fresh spin on the lipless crank bait lure and is intelligently designed to run with high vibration and a loud, resonating rattle. You can cast them, troll them, or jig them—making it a true multi-species bait. The Rattlin’ B can be used to swim shallower waters better than any other lipless crank, making it perfect for multi-species fishing over grass or shallow structure. And because the Rattlin’ B has a rounded-bodied design, it will produce wider wobbles that can easily attract walleye’s aggressive hunting tendencies.
Shaky Head Jig: Because Walleye will be on the move this fall, a shaky head jig is a top choice for fishing in colder climates. It’s also light weight and provides a slower presentation. Bagley’s Shaky Head Jigs are ideal for a variety of fishing applications. Its angled – flat bottom – head is designed to position the bait perfectly when jigging and a long shank heavy duty hook with an ideal sized keeper keeps you rigged and fishing longer.
Ready to land your next walleye? Browse through Bagley Bait’s extensive selection of quality fishing lures and tackle perfect for catching walleye, northern pike, and bass.