Catching More Fall Walleye with Trolling Crankbaits

Identifying Patterns

Fall walleyes are on a mission to find food.  Dropping temperatures and less daylight remind them that they need to take in some extra calories before winter.  Walleyes can be caught throughout the day if you can follow their feeding patterns.  Night fishing has long been popular for walleyes. Due to their unique adaptation to be able to see extremely well in the dark, walleyes feed more than other fish in low light conditions.  However, they also feed during daylight hours, especially in the fall. 

Speed Trolling with Crankbaits

Take advantage of their preference for feeding in deeper, darker water, and also wanting to feed more in general during the fall.  Just like hunting, think of where these two natural tendencies will cause walleyes to spend most of their time.  Steeps drops in lake bottom contours, weeds, and other forms of structure can create a transitional zone that allows walleyes to meet all of their preferences.  Anywhere that fish have quick access to multiple habitat zones can produce great fishing.  Trolling these edges at a brisk speed of 3-3.5mph allows you to cover a lot of water, and encounter a lot of fish.  Crankbaits that run 6-10’ down can pull fish that are suspended at that depth, or deeper, waiting for an opportunity to feed.  A fast action rod will help set the hook while trolling at those speeds.  If you identify a certain location that keeps producing, try stopping and fishing minnows to entice a bite that you might have missed while speed trolling crankbaits.  This type of fishing is fun and exciting. Speed trolling keeps the anticipation level high, as you are always encountering new habitat and new fish.