To say walleye fishing is good right now on Lake of the Wood is probably an understatement. Walleyes are in good numbers, active and being caught literally all around the lake using a wide variety of methods.
The go to method for most has been spinners or harnesses. Most use a snelled spinner with two hooks and a night crawler. From the instructional video below, you will notice it is not necessary to have a long piece of crawler hanging off of your back hook. In fact, a few inches will still entice the walleyes to eat but at the same time, a much better hooking percentage.
This week, we fished crawler harnesses everywhere from 8′ of water on top of a rock pile in which there were a lot of nice fish down to 26′, also with nice fish.
Anglers are catching fish around the big waters of Big Traverse Bay, up at the NW Angle and over the border into Ontario. From east to west, north to south, there seems to be walleyes in a wide variety of spots.
Some anglers are still jigging. A brightly colored jig with a frozen shiner is the ticket. Typically around structure is where jigging is preferred these days.
Another method showing success is trolling crankbaits. Strong reports from both Big Traverse and Little Traverse Bays (Big Traverse being the big open water on the south end and Little Traverse being the basin east and north of Little Oak Island up at the NW Angle) are producing very nicely. I just spoke to a guide who had more than 50 walleyes in 2.5 hours pulling cranks.
Many talk about walleyes being caught around rocks burping up crayfish. These are often bright orange and red, also indicating some colors that could be more effective in these areas.
As a rule, gold, pink, orange, and glow colors are effective in the stained waters of Lake of the Woods.
Some anglers also are aware noise can be effective in the stained waters. Vibration and flash of a blade on a crawler harness is deadly.
With jigs, some will use a rattle on the jig or even a small spinner attached.
Crankbaits offer a good bit of noise simply due to the vibration. There is also the option of using ball bearings inside of a crankbait to create even more noise. It is a good idea to start out using a variety of sizes, shapes, wobbles, noise and speeds when pulling cranks. Over some time, the walleyes will typically tell you what they want. Be observant.
If you like catching walleyes (and bass, pike, muskies and sturgeon), the lake is on fire. With a wide variety of lodging options around the lake, anglers can enjoy Lake of the Woods even on a tight budget.
Some bring their own boat. Other anglers choose to jump on a charter boat or up at the Angle, in with a guide. Both options make life easy . Everything is provided. The guides put you on the fish, navigate the boat and even clean your fish. After all, for some, this is vacation time and they want to relax.
Whatever way you roll, whether you enjoy the challenge of figuring out the fish in your own boat or prefer jumping in with a charter or guide, high success rates for fishing and great memories are happening now. Perhaps it’s time for a quick getaway. Summer is moving right along, make some memories!