Suspended walleye are being caught between 5 and 20 feet over 33 feet of water. Some of the trophy walleye have been reported to come all the way off the bottom only to “smack” the jig just under the ice. Because we are seeing walleye puking more Mayfly nymph, the colors have not been as important as a slow, fluid presentation with a hair jig. This method has replaced the fast action of the rattle jigs. Deadsticking with a plain hook tipped with a minnow is still producing. Especially if used to target the suspended trophy walleye. Remember, Lake of The Woods is extremely consistent and mostly predictable. Even with these subtle changes don’t be afraid to use the tried-and-true glow colors tipped with a frozen minnow. The very best tip ever…. listen to your guide. Conditions change and your guide will be on top of it.
As we progress into midwinter ice season, we have been seeing some fairly peculiar patterns. Some are expected and defiantly seasonal and others have us frantically keeping notes. Let’s take a quick look at what we are currently experiencing.
First of all, it’s no secret that midwinter will naturally provide big ice-covered water with decreased oxygen levels, especially on the bottom. However, studies have shown that oxygen levels will actually increase near or around 5M (15 feet). The same study also showed that in the same depths and at the same time the oxygen levels increase, so does the temperature. This would explain why walleye become suspended during this time of year. They are chasing the bait fish that are naturally attracted to the newly oxygen enriched water column. Right now, we are heading into what we consider “midwinter” and yes, they are suspended. So, reel up and enjoy the bounty using these other tips and “secrets.”
Secondly, we are witnessing a large number of Mayfly nymph being spit up from the walleye we are landing. There are 4 different types of larva depending on what kind of water they are in. Here at Lake of The Woods, we mainly see Mayfly nymph that are commonly known as “swimmers”. Swimmers will swim with a fluttering motion like that of an injured minnow. Also, the back of the nymph possesses a “hair” like exoskeleton and legs. This adds to the visual of their fluttering swim. This is why a hair jig has replaced the rattle jig for a more consistent bite while targeting big walleye.