Dialing In Stained-Water Walleyes | Ice Fishing Magazine

Video Dialing In Stained-Water Walleyes | Ice Fishing Magazine

There are lots of areas of North America which have stained-water lakes. Stained water is created when tannins, the natural matter from vegetation that trigger water to have a lightweight tea shade, are current within the watershed. One such physique of water that’s well-known by ice anglers as a walleye manufacturing facility is Lake of the Woods.

Habits Associated to Visibility

It’s fascinating to note the variations between fishing a stained-water lake in comparison with a lake with clear water. An understanding of these variations will make it easier to dial in these prized stained-water walleyes. Most walleye fanatics perceive that walleyes, like most fish, are opportunists. As my biologist buddies from the Minnesota Division of Pure Assets Fisheries part have imposed upon me, fish will naturally expend as little power as doable to stay and feed. Within the walleye world, this usually signifies that walleyes make the most of their pure skill to see higher than their prey throughout low gentle or low visibility.

In lots of clear lakes, low-light circumstances and fishing at evening are usually one of the best occasions to catch walleyes, since that is once they favor to feed. In stained water, the daytime when there’s some gentle penetrating into the darkish depths is extra opportune.

Dialing In Stained-Water Walleyes
The creator with a pleasant Lake of the Woods stained-water walleye. Walleyes in stained water feed actively throughout daytime, in comparison with clear-water lakes the place they like low-light circumstances. Photograph courtesy of Joe Henry. © Media 360 LLC

Will walleyes feed at evening in stained water? The reply on Lake of the Woods is sure, however not practically as a lot as in the course of the day. After speaking to actually a whole bunch of ice anglers who ice fish out of sleeper homes and maintain a line within the water at evening, there are some walleyes caught at evening, however not very many and never very persistently. It’s also attention-grabbing to notice that many of those nighttime feeders are suspended, most probably concentrating on suspended baitfish.

A Completely different Sort of Finesse

Finesse is far more vital in clear water than in stained water. I’m positively glad that I grew up fishing walleye tournaments on some clear water as a result of I believe that it helped me to develop into a extra well-rounded angler. For instance, when fishing clear water, I pay shut consideration to utilizing a a lot lighter line that’s much less seen to the walleyes. Fluorocarbon is oftentimes my alternative, because it virtually disappears within the water. When utilizing braided line with the no-stretch advantages, I’ll tie on a fluorocarbon chief for the final 4 to six toes.

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Stained Water is Extra Forgiving

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In stained water I’ve no downside, particularly on my jigging line, with utilizing braided line proper all the way down to the lure. I nonetheless favor utilizing a fluorocarbon chief for my deadstick when ice fishing, however can get away with about 8-pound take a look at vs. 4-pound take a look at line in clear water.


Anglers who’ve fished stained water for any size of time perceive that there are positively some go-to colours that walleyes reply to positively. Gold is an absolute staple shade in stained water. As one old-timer up at Lake of the Woods put it, “I’ll use any shade so long as it’s gold.”

As well as, glow colours and vibrant colours, both on their very own or mixed with gold, are efficient. Just a few of my favorites along with gold are glow purple, pink and orange, or mixtures of them.


Vibration in water travels 5 occasions quicker than within the air. That is key when occupied with lure presentation.

Dialing In Stained-Water Walleyes
A stable grasp on what stained-water walleyes reply to is vital for getting them onto the ice. High quality electronics and the power to shortly be taught their moods every day could make an enormous distinction in your success charges. Photograph courtesy of Joe Henry. © Media 360 LLC

One key to walleyes current as an efficient predator is their lateral line. The lateral line permits walleyes to sense vibrations within the water, in addition to water movement. A walleye has hair cells in tiny neuromasts inside their lateral line. These sensory cells really face totally different instructions to detect prey. A walleye will usually sense or detect prey effectively earlier than it sees it.

Once I take into consideration how vital the walleye’s lateral line is, I am going again to a time that I used to be ice fishing on Lake of the Woods. A few marks got here in on my Vexilar. When there’s a couple of walleye, it nearly looks as if a contest for the bait they usually can get fairly aggressive.

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The primary fish inhaled my jigging spoon. Since I knew that there have been a number of fish, I pulled that walleye up as shortly as I might and re-hooked what was left of the minnow head, and despatched the lure again down the outlet. In 30 toes of stained water, as quickly as my lure was under the ice, two fish raced up and one hammered the lure solely 10 toes under the ice. I’ve a sense that the walleyes know what’s happening of their atmosphere greater than we give them credit score for.

No one actually is aware of if walleyes in stained water depend on their lateral line greater than walleyes in clear water. However one factor that I can let you know, is that including or taking away some vibration from my lures has made a distinction.


Vibration can come from a rattle inside a lure, the vibration {that a} lure makes, the displacement of water or the scale of the lure. Some days they need radical noise. Different days they like no further noise. It’s vital to be strategic in nature when fishing with a accomplice. Use totally different lures and shows till you perceive what the walleyes need on that given day.

Generally getting very erratic along with your shows might be the important thing. This will work on each lively fish and inactive fish to set off a response strike. A lure like a Rapala Rippin’ Rap with rattle and flash generally is a dinner bell that pulls walleyes in from lengthy distances. This lure creates a robust vibration when ripped up and a fluttering motion when allowed to fall again down. It additionally has BBs inside it that add to the noise. Generally walleyes and saugers will are available in and slam the lure. Different occasions when fish are in a impartial temper, it pulls them in they usually quietly slide over and take the useless stick.

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Dialing In Stained-Water Walleyes
Colours, vibration, measurement and rattles can all be nuances that get extra walleyes to cooperate. Photograph courtesy of Joe Henry. © Media 360 LLC

Vibration can be created out of your presentation. Jigging very erratically with excessive lifts and drops, shaking the heck out of your lure, pounding the underside, and even erratically tapping your rod along with your fingers to ship vibrations down the road can get extra strikes.

Electronics Are Key

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Observing how walleyes react to your providing and presentation on electronics will make it easier to perceive their temper. In the event that they’re not reacting to bigger or extra aggressive shows, get smaller and decelerate. Mellowing out your jigging line or downsizing your deadstick providing can have favorable outcomes.

Understanding when and gently tickle the lateral line of a walleye on these extra impartial temper days is important for catching fish when the chew is sluggish. That may imply utilizing a really small jigging spoon and a crappie minnow head or wax worm.

On the deadstick, it’d imply going to a #4 or #6 hook underneath a cut up shot with a small minnow. In a single occasion, a good friend of mine outfished me on his deadstick through the use of useless minnows, once I was utilizing stay minnows.

Stained water might be an absolute blessing with regards to catching walleyes. The comfort of the daytime chew, not needing ultra-thin fishing line, and the power to make use of bigger and heavier lures are all benefits. A radical understanding of a walleye’s preferences primarily based on the colour of the water that they stay in, gives you an edge in dialing in stained-water ‘eyes.

For extra data on lodging, snowmobiling and ice fishing on Lake of the Woods, contact Lake of the Woods Tourism at 800-382-FISH (3474) or at www.LakeoftheWoodsMN.com.

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