Where does one start with post spawn walleyes. No live bait necessary-post spawn is one of the best times of the year to target walleyes. The fish have just dropped their eggs up in a river or spawning area and are HUNGRY. You can find an abundance of fish up and down the rivers and at their mouths. Target eddies, warm water pockets, and feeding flats for these trigger-happy fish.
Post spawn walleyes can be caught in a variety of ways as these fish are aggressive as ever.
One very common technique is chucking a jig and plastic. One of the biggest staples in post spawn walleye fishing is the ringworm. Whether it be a flick of the wrist drifting it down the current on an angled cast, or simply pulling it along the bottom the ringworm is sure to get you that classic THUMP every angler loves.
Another great option is the paddle tail, Pulsr’s, Keitechs, and Ripple Shads are amongst 3 of the best paddle tails to put more walleyes in your boat or on shore. A slow steady retrieve ticking bottom every few seconds or a rip jig motion will give you much success with the paddle tails.
Last but certainly not least- the fluke. The fluke is the most realistic option of them all, and when fished properly can out fish a jig and minnow every day of the week. There are tons of good flukes out there but a few of the best are Gulp, Kalin’s, and my personal favorite the Hutch Tackle Sauger Slayer. When the fish are aggressive, snap jigging is deadly, when they’re negative the slightest lift off the bottom will trigger bites. If I had to pick one plastic to use for the rest of my life it would be the fluke. When it comes to choosing colors for plastics I have always gone by the rule, when it’s sunny use bright colors like chartreuse, orange, and pink. When it’s cloudy use dark colors like purples browns and blues. Although that’s not always the answer- it’s a great starting point.
Another technique that has become very popular is throwing lipless crankbaits. One in particular being the Rapala Rippin’ Rap. Long casts and a rip jigging motion is the way to go with the Rippin’ Rap, sometimes the walleyes want small rips where the bait has a lot of bottom time and they will pin it to the bottom. Other times you’ll notice they want 2-3 seconds of hangtime and the bait is usually down their throat giving some of the hardest bites you’ll ever feel. Occasionally a constant retrieve ticking bottom will trigger aggressive bites as well. Some other lipless crankbaits that work well are the Yozuri Rattle n Vibe, Duo Realis lipless cranks, and the Rapala Clackin’ Rap. Like the lipless crankbait, blade baits are utilized the same way but can be much more effective with given situations.
Night fishing stick baits in the shallows is one of the best tactics for catching BIG walleyes. Although you will catch fish with a slow straight retrieve, if you introduce many twitches and pauses into your retrieve you will notice much better results.
Overall the most popular stick bait used for this is the Rapala Husky Jerk. But the Smithwick suspending rogue, and perfect 10 rogue are arguably better in many situations and are much more “responsive” for inexperienced anglers. I’ve found the bigger bait the better when it comes to post spawn. When given ultra-shallow situations (4 ft or less) I turn to the Storm Thunderstick or the Bomber Long A. The extra loud rattles of the Long A make it a dirty water killer. With the cranks I like flashy baits in the sun, and darker profiled baits on the cloudy days.
Article by Connor Bowen