Most walleye anglers feel as though there are really only two time frames that sizeable walleyes will bite and provide numbers to the equation. However, with my recent experience there is another time frame that begins in the middle of July and proceeds all the way through August into the turnover period of September. During this time frame water temperatures exceed mid-70's to mid-80's depending on depth of water and clarity.
With the water being so warm this triggers hatches of bugs and also helps promote algae bloom for some lakes. Therefore, fish become intensly active at particular parts of the day. I am sure most everyone is aware of the dawn, dusk period of feeding and low light, but there is another time of day that most anglers give up on. In my world the lunch bell rings around noon, this can work the same for walleyes. On most northern Minnesota lakes walleyes with generally be shallower in low light conditions. What if they never left those shallow areas? What if the forage was so plentiful that these fish started feeding actively all day long? To test this theory I fished day long periods for several weeks in a row.
Here is what I determined, clear lakes provided an abundance of walleyes ranging from 14 to 18 inches in size from the time of 4:30 a.m. to 9 a.m. As the morning progressed the fish got bigger in size, but the numbers were still there. The way I caught all these walleyes were with a different array of walleye spinners produced by different companies. All tipped with half a crawler and most of the spinners had a two hook harness, ones that weren't were tipped with an even smaller piece of crawler. These fish were so active that the bait could be minimal and the fish would still be hit it hard. Fish that were bigger in size tended to be located in the same depth range. The biggest fish that we produced came in the middle of the day. All were caught from noon and there on, these ranged over 24 inches in size, the numbers appeared weaker, but the aggressiveness never changed.
This went on for several weeks in a row, locations never changed and the pattern remained consistant even through changing weather fronts. Colors mattered depending on the light penetration on given days. Rain and wind made the fish bite even harder and still days would slow things down somewhat. Wind direction determined where the bait fish would be on certain locations but for the most part wind direction was irrelevent. The most important factor through all of the fish caught was proper depth and proper speed. The speed being traveled was 1 mph to 1.3 mph. Any slower or faster and the fish would just not simply bite, precise weights also proved to be a key factor, a Lindy No-Snagg or Northland Rock-Runner, 1/2 ounce in size were the favorites in my boat.
Walleyes may have two favorite periods where they bite extremely well, but now there is a third period, and for most walleye anglers, your favorite walleye lake will produce just as many fish, during the late summer months. Don't rule out the possibility of putting a mid-summer pattern together and then sticking with it through to fall turnover. These fish have schooled up and chase baitfish, and if the baitfish don't migrate to different spots, then the fish have no reason to move either. So try the techniques presented on your next trip and enjoy the water.