While the weather may not be as nice as it is during the summer months, fall offers some great opportunities to catch a bunch of big fish for anglers willing to wear an extra layer of clothing. There are some advantages to hitting the water in the fall for anglers looking to load the boat with a few Sunset Country walleyes. Beautiful scenery, thanks to all of the shoreline colours, and little boat traffic make for a peaceful setting. Add to that the chance to catch some of the biggest walleye of the entire year, and it’s easy to get geared up for a great trip.
Where To Find Them
One thing that everybody should know is that walleye love to be around current in the fall. The neck-down areas in the lakes and rivers across Sunset Country attract massive runs of baitfish (mostly shiners) that walleye are following.
Early in the fall, walleyes can be found relatively shallow, and then as the temperatures drop these fish will move slightly deeper, usually because they are following the bait. On most waters across Northwest Ontario, you want to focus your efforts in 25-35 feet of water, but that can vary of course depending on the lake.
On waters without any significant current, the next best place to look is an offshore structure like humps or long points. These types of structures will attract baitfish as well, which walleyes will opportunistically feed on.
Catching Fall Walleye
Before water temperatures really drop off below 50 degrees, the fishing can be fantastic. Most fish are going to be focused on eating baitfish at this point in the season, so should choose your lures accordingly. A simple ¼- or 3/8-ounce jig is tough to beat, but on many days when the fishing is good, artificial baits can sometimes work even better. A four or five-inch soft plastic jerk bait rigged up on a similar jig head is a larger profile than a live minnow, and can sometimes drive walleyes nuts. Stick with natural colours like white or any other shad-based pattern.
Walleyes do school up in the fall, so you should look for schools of fish on your electronics before you actually start fishing. Simply drive around on the spots that you want to fish, looking for the sweet spots where walleyes are packed up. When you find them, throw a marker buoy over the side for a reference point and you’re ready to start catching some fish.
Besides walleyes, there are several other species of fish that you can target across the Sunset Country Region through late fall. Crappie, pike, musky, and bass fishing are all as good as it gets throughout the entire season. As well, there is probably no better time to catch a trophy-sized fish of all of these species. The fishing is great because all of these fish know that there is a long winter ahead, so they're eating as much as they can to prepare for it. Anglers should take advantage of this! Visit www.visitsunsetcountry.com to plan your dream fall fishing trip!