Walleye Presentations for September (Summer/Fall Transition)


As the late summer and early fall period approaches, anglers must adapt their fishing tactics to match their desired catch’s changing habits and locations. Preparing for this transition period means adjusting your presentations while maintaining your current techniques’ effectiveness. This article will cover five top presentations that will remain invaluable for the upcoming weeks as you navigate the dynamic junction between summer and fall fishing conditions.

The versatile drop shot is one essential presentation on hand during this period. This technique allows you to adjust your fishing speed and target fish at various depths, using either plastics or live bait options, like nightcrawlers and leeches. As you head into the fall season, don’t be afraid to continue using this tactic, as it remains effective now. In contrast, Glide baits, like the pigeon puppet, offer a more aggressive approach, targeting fish through reaction strikes. This technique becomes increasingly influential as the season progresses into fall, making it ideal for those transitional weeks.

Key Takeaways

  • The drop shot’s versatility makes it valuable during late summer and early fall fishing.
  • Glide baits, such as the pigeon puppet, can trigger reaction strikes from transitioning fish.
  • Jigging techniques and methods are your arsenal for success during the changing seasons.

Drop Shot Presentation

During this late summer to early fall period, adjusting your presentations as fish begin to change their movements is crucial. One versatile presentation to consider is the drop shot. What’s great about the drop shot is that it allows you to fish quickly and slowly, delivering the bait right to the fish without hitting the bottom.

First, always start with plastics, so you’re ready to cast when you see fish on Side Imaging or live sonar. However, don’t hesitate to switch to nightcrawlers or leeches once you’ve identified a school of fish in the area.

Regarding gear, go for a 6-pound test line with either a quarter or 3/8-ounce weight, depending on your fishing depth. The quarter ounce slows the bait’s descent, while the 3/8 ounce weight gets it down quickly. Opt for a longer shank hook for threading plastics and better gripping for nightcrawlers.

Remember to prepare your drop shot rig as you enter the fall season. It remains highly effective and can help you successfully reel in fish as they change their behavior during this transitional period.

Glide Bait Use

Your fishing presentations should adapt to the changing conditions as the late summer transitions into early fall. When considering your top five presentations for this time of year, include glide baits. Glide baits offer a contrasting approach to finesse tactics like drop shot and can entice reaction strikes from fish.

With glide baits like the Pigeon Puppet, you’ll notice they fall quickly and can be great for targeting fish during this transitional period. This bait, in particular, has proven to be durable when used in rocky areas, featuring a large hook at the back and a treble at the bottom. To enhance your chances of success with glide baits, follow these tips:

  1. Line choice: Use an eight to ten-pound test line, depending on your fishing environment.
  2. Swivel distance: Attach a swivel about three feet from the bait. This prevents line twists without reeling the swivel through your guides.
  3. Leader: Use a three-foot fluorocarbon leader to maintain a stealthy presentation.
  4. Line type: Opt for a braided line, such as an eight-pound braid. Ensure your entire set-up is balanced with a lighter rod to avoid ripping the hooks out of the fish’s mouth.

Overall, incorporating glide baits into your late summer and early fall fishing strategy can provide a successful contrast to other finesse presentations like drop shots and jigs. Adjusting your line choices and set-up can maximize your chances of landing big fish during this transition season.

Jigging Techniques

Jig and Plastic

At this time of year, using a jig with plastic bait is a great technique. A quarter-ounce jig paired with a four-inch smelt minnow is an excellent choice for targeting walleyes. Look for schools of fish just outside the weed line and throw the jig/plastic combination into their midst, ripping it past their faces to entice reaction strikes. This setup offers a more weedless option compared to glide baits. When you spot fish suspended higher in the water column, cast the jig and twitch it in front of their faces. Sometimes, you’ll find large walleyes hiding within weed beds, so covering water and making plenty of casts is essential for locating these elusive fish.

Jig and Crawler

Pairing a jig with a crawler is another effective technique this time of year. As with all jigs, you can rig them with various baits, but crawlers remain a productive choice throughout the late summer and early fall. Don’t discount their effectiveness when fishing for walleyes.

Rigging Techniques

As you transition into the fall season, rigging becomes more critical. Rigs consist of a bullet weight, a swivel, and a small octopus hook. You can use a variety of live baits with this setup, but minnows become increasingly effective as the season progresses. This finesse presentation allows you to send the bait straight down under the boat and drag it through areas where fish are known to reside. Experiment with different lead lengths, from the standard 10-foot lead to shorter options, to find the most successful combination for your fishing situation.

Adapting your Rigging Techniques

Walleye Presentations for September (Summer/Fall Transition) 3

As you plan your upcoming fishing trip, adapting your rigging techniques for that late summer to early fall period is crucial. During this season, fish behavior changes, so adjusting your presentations is essential. Here are some key rigging techniques to consider:

  1. Drop Shot: A versatile option that you can use quickly or slowly. Start with plastics, but if you know a school of fish is in an area, switch to night crawlers or leeches for added effectiveness. Use a lighter line for clear water lakes and choose a quarter or 3/8 ounce weight based on your depth. Opt for a longer shank hook, which works well for threading plastics and night crawlers.
  2. Glide Bait: A stark contrast to the finesse tactic of the drop shot, glide baits like the Pigeon Puppet can get a reaction strike from fish. These baits fall quickly and are perfect for transitional periods in the fishing season. Use a swivel with a three-foot fluorocarbon leader and an eight to ten-pound test line based on your fishing environment. Pair this with a lighter rod for optimal landing percentages.
  3. Jigging: Jigs are versatile and effective throughout the season, with tungsten jigs offering faster fall rates with smaller sizes. Consider using live bait, but don’t discount plastics, especially for targeting weed-dwelling walleyes. A quarter-ounce jig with a four-inch smelt minnow is ideal for inducing reaction strikes.
  4. Rigging: An essential finesse presentation as the season transitions from summer to fall. Rigging involves a bullet weight, a swivel, and a small octopus hook. Experiment with different live baits and alter your lead length to suit the situation.

Adapting your approach to the changing season will improve your chances of a successful fishing trip.


As you prepare for your late summer and early fall fishing trips, remember these top four presentations to ensure success on the water. Each technique caters to the changing fish behavior during this transitional season.

  1. The Drop Shot: A versatile and adaptable presentation that allows you to fish quickly or slowly. Start with plastics and switch to live bait, such as night crawlers or leeches, if you locate a school of fish.
  2. Glide Baits: These baits, like the Pigeon Puppet, contrast with finesse tactics, triggering reaction strikes from walleyes. This presentation becomes even more effective as fall approaches.
  3. Jig Fishing: A highly versatile and season-long effective option, ranging from live bait to various plastics. Tungsten jigs, in particular, offer smaller sizes and faster fall rates.
  4. The Rig: As fall approaches, rigging becomes an essential presentation. Perfect for minnows and finesse tactics, adjust lead lengths depending on your fishing strategy.

When selecting your gear, remember to consider line weight, rod choice, and water conditions. Employing these five techniques during the late summer and early fall transitional period can greatly enhance your chances of a successful day on the water, ultimately leading to more catches. Happy fishing!

Frequently Asked Questions

1. What are some effective presentations for walleye fishing in September?

Some effective presentations for walleye fishing in September include jigs, rigs, crankbaits, spoons, and plastic baits.

2. How should I use jigs when targeting fall walleyes?

It’s important to experiment with different sizes and colors when using jigs for fall walleyes. Try using a jig with a soft plastic minnow like a shad-style bait. Cast the jig out and slowly retrieve it, bouncing it along the bottom to imitate a wounded minnow.

3. What is a popular rig presentation for walleyes in September?

A popular rig presentation for walleyes in September is the walleye rig or bottom bouncer rig. Attach a spinner or crawler harness to your rig and drag it along the bottom. This presentation is effective for covering a large area and attracting walleyes.

4. Are crankbaits effective for late summer and early fall walleyes?

Crankbaits can be very effective for late summer and early fall walleyes. Choose crankbaits that mimic the baitfish present in the water. Try trolling or casting the crankbaits along weedlines or near drop-offs to target active walleyes.

5. How should I use spoons when targeting walleyes in September?

When using spoons for walleyes in September, try casting or vertically jigging them in areas where walleyes are likely to feed. Look for rocky structures or areas with submerged vegetation. Experiment with different spoon sizes and colors to find what the walleyes prefer.

6. Can plastic baits be effective for catching walleyes in September?

Yes, plastic baits can be effective for catching walleyes in September. Choose soft plastic baits that resemble baitfish or crayfish. Texas rig them with a bullet weight and slowly drag them along the bottom, or use them on a jighead and swim them through the water column.

7. Which walleye presentations are effective for shallow-water fishing in September?

The most optimal time for catching walleye fish is during the late summer to early fall season. Shallow water presents an exceptional opportunity for angling. For bait, jigs, rigs, and soft plastics are highly recommended in September.


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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