Fall Fishing Preview on Midwest Outdoors TV
Fall is a very special time of the year. For anglers who enjoy fall fishing, Lake of the Woods is a no brainer. Known as The Walleye Capital of the World, the walleyes in this lake absolutely put on the feedbag during the months of September and October leading to some of the best fishing of the year. Ironically, because it is hunting season and there is a lot of crossover between angling and hunting, the main lake, the NW Angle and Rainy River typically don’t receive the anglers or attention they deserve this time of the year. Those who have experienced fall fishing on LOW return each year and for good reason.
There are a number of ways to target fall walleyes on LOW, but on this particular trip, Greg Jones and myself wanted to show the benefits of fishing from a charter boat, using all charter equipment, etc. Our technique was vertical jigging and the walleyes wanted those jigs and frozen shiners. Without giving away the show, the fall bite was ON big time. We target the main lake called Big Traverse Bay. Strong numbers of walleyes and saugers were boated with, let’s just say, a few nice surprises.
In many cases, anglers, including myself, would typically drift or slow troll a jig and cover some water. On Lake of the Woods, in many cases, the walleyes seem to prefer the bait totally vertical. In some cases, bouncing the jig off of the bottom will attract the walleyes. In other cases, holding the jig steady in the water column is the ticket. Every day is different and it is good to communicate with other anglers on the boat regarding what technique is working to get the walleyes to eat.
Another nuance to jigging on LOW is the size of the jig. Many anglers will chat about using the lightest jig for the conditions, meaning depth of water, wind and current. On LOW however, it can be effective to go a bit larger with a jig. With the stained water, the walleyes don’t seem to mind the larger profile and actually in many cases, prefer it.
The jig can be baited with a variety of live bait, but frozen emerald shiners, which can be found at bait stores and resorts in the area, are a popular choice amongst anglers. The shiners are a natural prey for walleyes and with the combination of a strong smell and shiny scales are hard for walleyes to resist. A popular way to hook a frozen shiner is to thread the hook of the jig through the mouth and out the gill of the minnow, sliding the shiner as far forward on the hook as possible, and then hooking the jig through the midsection of the body. This ensures a higher percentage of hook sets for walleyes that don’t inhale the offering.
As far as colors of jigs, gold on Lake of the Woods is a staple. In addition, again because of the stained water, glow colors, bubble gum and bright colors are good choices.
If you are interested in checking out how good fall fishing on The Walleye Capital can be, check out Midwest Outdoors TV this weekend. The show airs on KSTC 45 out of the Twin Cities and other stations across the Midwest this weekend. Next weekend it will air on Fox Sports North and Fox Sports WI. Check your local listings or check out the Midwest Outdoors website to learn more.
Fall is the time of the year when the fish put on the feedbag. Whether you are targeting the main lake in a charter boat, hitting the Rainy River in search of walleyes chasing shiners up the river during the annual fall run or headed up the NW Angle for some multi-species action, fall is the time to keep the fishing gear out and make some memories.