Late Summer and Early Fall Walleye Fishing Techniques: A Comprehensive Guide

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Late summer and early fall are the perfect seasons for walleye fishing. As the temperature begins to cool down, these fish become more active and are easier to catch. Walleye fishing is a popular pastime for many anglers, and for good reason. These fish are known for their delicious taste and challenging behavior.

During this time of year, walleye can be found in a variety of locations. They tend to move to deeper waters during the day and come closer to shore in the evening. Anglers can use a variety of techniques to catch walleye, including trolling with crankbaits, jigging with live bait, or casting with artificial lures.

Whether you are a seasoned angler or a beginner, late summer and early fall walleye fishing can be a rewarding experience. With a little patience and the right equipment, you can reel in a trophy-sized walleye and enjoy a fresh and delicious meal.

Get ready, as every paragraph propels you closer towards becoming a pro at late summer and early fall walleye fishing!

Key Takeaways

  • Walleyes love deep areas of lakes in late summer and early fall.
  • Use jigs or live bait while fishing for walleyes near rocks during the fall.
  • Jig with soft plastics works well too.
  • Using a medium power spinning rod helps when catching big walleye fishes. It is light enough to make you feel small bites.
  • The best baits for this season are minnows, leeches, and nightcrawlers.
  • Lipless crankbaits and jerkbaits are good baits to catch walleye fish.
  • Blades baits work when other lures won’t help you out.

Where to Find Walleyes in Late Summer and Early Fall

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In late summer and early fall, walleyes are often located in deeper basin areas of lakes due to cooler temperatures. Humps and drop-offs can also hold several fish as these structures act as a transition zone for feeding.

Large weedbeds offer perfect hiding spots for prey, attracting hungry walleyes. Lastly, river channels and current breaks serve as highways where walleyes swim along looking for food; they usually stop at the breaks where water slows down to rest and feed.

Deeper basin areas of lakes

Walleyes love deep parts of lakes in late summer and early fall. These spots pull them in. This makes your fishing trips more fun and fruitful. Use a graph to find these hot places.

Deep waters are best for jigs or live baittrolling with spinner rigs, and bottom bouncers with crawler harnesses work well too. You can often find walleyes near rocks and other solid things in the water during the fall season.

Humps and drop-offs

Fish love humps and drop-offs. These spots can be perfect to find walleyes in late summer and early fall. Yet, not all humps will bring you fish. Some may look good but don’t always hold the walleyes.

Drop-offs are great too. They give the walleye a fast spot to slip into deep water if they need to get away quick. But again, pick these spots with care just like humps.

Large weedbeds

Large weedbeds are a key spot for walleye fishing in late summer and early fall. These areas often draw in many walleyes. The clear, deep waters around the weeds are great places to seek out these fish.

Late-summer is prime time for finding lots of active walleyes close to healthy, thick plants underwater. Fishermen use gear like jigs or crankbaits tipped with live bait such as minnows or leeches here.

But there’s no one best way! Different techniques work on different days.

River channels and current breaks

River channels are great spots for finding walleyes. In hot summer, they move to deep river channels for cooler water. Walleyes rest in current breaks caused by fallen trees, big rocks, or bridge posts.

They also use these areas to hide and wait for food to swim by. Current breaks keep them safe from fast water and help them catch prey more easily.

Best Techniques and Baits for Late Summer Early Fall Walleye

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Boost your catch rate with a host of techniques and baits tailored for late summer, early fall walleye fishing such as jigging live bait rigs in deep waters or trolling crankbaits along breaklines.

Exploit versatile lure options from lipless crankbaits to jerkbaits to entice this clever species. Dive in detail into these promising methods and many more!

Trolling crankbaits along breaklines and over structures

Trolling crankbaits is a top pick for late summer and early fall walleye fishing. Here are some key points to keep in mind:

  • Focus on deeper areas first. Big walleye often hang out in deep structures during mid-summer.
  • Use deep – diving crankbaits. These baits can reach the depths where walleye hide.
  • Cast and retrieve over grass flats and rocky shores. This can draw walleyes out of their hiding spots.
  • Try lead-core trolling. This becomes more powerful when fish move to off-shore structures in the summer.
  • Opt for crankbaits for reaction strikes. Walleye may bite these baits as they swim past them.
  • You can fish at any time. Day or night, trolling with crankbaits can get good results both times.

Jigging live bait rigs in deeper water

Jigging is a great way to catch walleyes in late summer and early fall. Here are some things to keep in mind:

  1. Look for deep water spots. Walleyes like cool, dark places during hot weather.
  2. Use live bait on your jigging rig. Minnows, leeches, or nightcrawlers work best.
  3. Try different depths until you find where the fish are hiding.
  4. Be patient and move your jig slowly. This can tease a walleye into biting.
  5. Fall is the time for big fish! You might pull up a monster walleye with this method.

Casting lipless crankbaits and jerkbaits to weed edges

Late summer is the perfect time to catch walleye. One great trick is casting lipless crankbaits and jerkbaits to weed edges. This method works well for catching fish in late summer and early fall. Here are things you need to know about this fishing method:

  1. Lipless crankbaits and jerkbaits work best on weed edges. These lures swim fast and make noise underwater.
  2. Use different lure colors depending on the water color. Clear water needs natural baitfish colors while murky water needs bright colors.
  3. Cast the lure near weed edges. The noise of the lure will bring fish out from hiding.
  4. Vary your retrieve speed when reeling in the lure. This can trick the walleye into biting.
  5. Smelt jerkbaits are a good choice for burning along weed edges, too.
  6. You should also try blades baits when other lures won’t work.

Drifting live bait rigs in current areas

Going for walleye in late summer and early fall can be fun. Here are some tips to help you when you drift live bait rigs in current areas.

  1. Choose your best spot. Look for places with a strong current.
  2. Use the right gear. It is good to use medium power spinning rods with 10-14 lb line.
  3. Pick your bait well. Minnows, leeches, and night crawlers are great choices.
  4. Try different ways to catch fish. You can use jigs or glide baits along with your live bait rig.
  5. Change your places often. If one spot does not work, move to another.
  6. Fish at the right times of the day. Early morning and late evening can be good times to catch walleye.

Live baits – minnows, leeches, nightcrawlers

Using the best bait can help you catch more walleye in late summer and early fall. Here are the top three live baits for this season.

  1. Minnows: This fish can lure walleye to your hook. Hook a minnow on a red octopus hook as your bait. You may catch more walleye than before.
  2. Leeches: These little creatures work well on jigs, rigs, and spinners. Slip sinker rigs work best with medium-sized leeches to find walleye in late summer or early fall.
  3. Nightcrawlers: They move lots in warm water and attract hungry walleye. Use nightcrawlers when the water is warm to draw them in fast and start catching!

Crankbaits that mimic baitfish

Crankbaits that look like small fish work well for late summer and early fall walleye fishing. Here are key points to note:

  1. Pick crankbaits with a wide action for this time of year.
  2. Choose crankbaits that mirror the size and color of local baitfish.
  3. Try out popular choices, such as the Berkley Flicker Shads.
  4. Use them when walleyes scatter in deeper water during mid- to late-summer.
  5. Keep your gear tip-top – using the right tools is key!

Jigs tipped with live bait

Jigs tipped with live bait form a key part of successful walleye fishing.

  • Minnows, leeches, and nightcrawlers make great live bait.
  • Attach them to the tip of the jig, this lures in the walleye.
  • These baits draw out the fish because they smell and look real.
  • Jig with soft plastics works well too.
  • Try different colored twister tails for extra appeal.
  • Troll along with these jigs in deeper waters.
  • Also cast them near weed beds or rocky sides.
  • Watch as walleyes get fooled by your clever jig tricks!

Lipless crankbaits and jerkbaits

Fishing with lipless crankbaits and jerkbaits can help you reel in walleyes.

  • These lures move in a way that gets the fish’s attention.
  • They float in the water like food for the walleyes.
  • It is good to have these baits in your box when you go fishing.
  • Some walleye fishers who like to use a slow way of fishing prefer these baits.
  • You can use them in water that is dark or even clear.
  • Jerkbaits look like minnows, which are a favorite food for walleyes.
  • Jerkbaits usually have three hooks on them. This helps catch the fish better.

Gear for Late Summer Early Fall Walleye Fishing

Choosing the right gear, including medium power spinning rods and smooth drag system reels, is crucial to your success in late-summer/early-fall walleye fishing. Discover more about the best jigs, crankbaits, and other essential equipment in our comprehensive guide!

Medium power spinning rods with 10-14 lb monofilament or fluorocarbon

You need the right gear for late summer and early fall walleye fishing. One key tool is a medium power spinning rod. But the reel and line are just as vital. Here’s what you need:

  1. A medium power spinning rod. It’s tough enough to pull in big walleyes but light enough to feel small bites.
  2. Your rod should be about 6-foot, 3-inch long. This size is best for vertical jigging with up to 3/8-ounce jigs.
  3. Use a reel with a smooth drag system. This helps to handle the fish’s strong runs without breaking your line.
  4. Choose a line that can take some weight. The best types are 10 – 14 lb monofilament or fluorocarbon lines.
  5. Don’t forget your baits! Jigs and crankbaits are great choices for this time of year.

Reels with smooth drag system

Fishing for walleye asks for special gear. One must-have item is a reel with a smooth drag system. Here’s why this type of reel works best:

  1. The smooth drag system never jerks the line during a fight. It helps bring in heavy fish without breaking the line.
  2. These reels make less noise. That means they do not scare off the fish.
  3. Control over speed becomes easy due to their drag system.
  4. They let you change how fast or slow you want to reel in your catch.
  5. They work well with both light and heavy lines.
  6. Fishing turns more fun when you have a good grip on your reel.

Variety of jigs and crankbaits for different techniques

Picking the right jigs and crankbaits can help you linger walleye. Here’s what to use:

  1. Heavier Jigs: These trap walleyes deep down in water.
  2. Lighter Jigs: They work great in shallow waters.
  3. Live Bait Jigs: Big ones are a hit with walleyes towards summer end.
  4. Plastic Bait Jig: This is good when you fish along rocky banks.
  5. Casting Crankbaits: Use them along weed bed edges and get more bites.
  6. Trolling Crankbaits: Go for these if the place has huge contours.
  7. Lipless Crankbaits: They come in handy for smaller spots, or chub fishing.

Tips and Tricks for Late Summer Early Fall Walleyes

Master the late summer and early fall walleye fishing by remembering these tips. Opt for low light periods to increase your chances of a good catch. Be patient and focus on suspending walleyes instead of inattentive ones.

Don’t stick to one spot; stay mobile so you can cover more water areas easily. Lastly, varied retrieving methods work best when baiting walleyes during this season – mix it up! Stick to these guidelines and soon, you’ll be reeling in impressive catches like a pro!

Fish during low light periods

Walleye fish like to eat in the early morning or evening. These are low light times. Cooler water can make them come near the shore when there is less light. This is good for people who want to catch fish from the land.

Late summer and early fall are great times to try this kind of fishing! Just keep changing up your methods and locations at these times until you find what works best. Knowing how walleyes behave in low light helps you catch more of them!

Target suspending walleyes

To catch a big walleye, you should keep an eye on the ones that hang off the bottom. These are called “suspending” walleyes. They can be tricky to find and fish but with careful attention, it’s possible.

Walleyes often float in mid-water far from any cover like weeds or rocks in August. Use your sounder tool to spot these sneaky fish as they appear like small blobs or arcs on the screen.

Once you see them, aim right at them! Use baits that go deep such as jigs tipped with live bait, crankbaits or heavy-duty plastics that can sink fast and hit hard enough to get their attention and make them bite.

Vary retrieves

Switching up how you reel in your line can make a big difference. Fast, slow, or with hops and jumps – each style has its use when fishing for walleyes. This is because walleye behave differently from day to day.

Sometimes they chase fast-moving baits while other times, a still lure grabs their attention. Changing how you reel in adds fun to the game too! Try it next time you go out; it could bring more fish to your net.

Stay mobile and cover water

Moving a lot helps catch more fish. Keep your boat moving to find the best spots. This way, you can cover more water and locate where the walleyes are. Trying different places is a good plan.

Don’t stay in one place if you’re not catching any walleye. Go deep, then go shallow. Try by rocks and weed beds too. Move until you find fish that want to bite!


Late summer and early fall is a great time to fish for walleyes. Use the best baits, keep your gear ready, and know where they hide. With these tips, you will get more bites on your line! Get out there and try these tricks for an exciting day of walleye fishing.


Q1: What are some tips to catch late summer and early fall walleyes?

A1: To catch late summer and early fall walleyes, there are a few tips you can follow. Firstly, focus on areas where the water temperature begins to drop, such as deeper water or areas with current. Secondly, walleyes tend to move closer to underwater structures, so target areas with rocks, weed beds, or sunken logs. Lastly, consider the time of day, as walleyes are typically more active during low-light conditions like early morning or late evening. Using live bait rigs or jigs tipped with a minnow or leech can be effective.

Q2: What are some popular bait and lures for late summer and early fall walleye fishing?

A2: There are several bait and lures that are popular for late summer and early fall walleye fishing. Jigs are a versatile option and can be used with live bait like minnows or leeches. Crankbaits, especially those that imitate shad or baitfish, are also effective. Additionally, spinners and walleye rigs with crawler harnesses can entice bites. It’s important to match the bait or lure to the specific conditions and preferences of the walleyes in the area you’re fishing.

Q3: Is it better to troll or cast for late summer and early fall walleyes?

A3: Whether to troll or cast for late summer and early fall walleyes depends on the specific circumstances. If you’re targeting larger areas of water or covering a lot of ground, trolling can be effective. Use a combination of crankbaits, spinners, or live bait rigs while trolling at varying speeds. On the other hand, if you’re fishing in shallower water or targeting specific structures like weed beds or rock piles, casting with jigs or crankbaits can be more productive. Experiment with both techniques to see what works best in your fishing spot.

Q4: How can sonar be helpful in locating late-summer and early-fall walleyes?

A4: Sonar is a valuable tool for locating late-summer and early-fall walleyes. By using a fish-finding sonar, you can identify underwater structures, schools of baitfish, and even individual walleyes. Look for drop-offs, humps, or areas where the bottom structure changes, as walleyes often inhabit these spots. Additionally, pay attention to the water temperature and depth, as walleyes tend to prefer certain ranges. Combine your sonar readings with


Hi, I’m Kurt and I’m the author of walleyemania. I’ve been fishing for Walleye since I was a kid and I love sharing my tips, tricks, and stories with other anglers. Whether you’re a beginner or a pro, you’ll find something useful and entertaining on my site. I cover everything from the best gear, baits, and techniques to the best spots, seasons, and recipes for Walleye fishing. Join me on my journey to catch more and bigger Walleye!

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