One massively important key to walleye fishing is understand fish migration, and mapping is a critical tool to help us figure out where to look.
In early spring, fish are going to start out near shoreline locations. It’s really common around Opener to pitch jigs up to shallow rocks. As we progress from spring into summer, those fish will follow hard-bottom transition areas out onto main lake structures. Large shoreline connect points will often become natural pathway for walleye migration as water temperatures begin climbing from spring to summer.
Now as we get into mid-summer, those shallow water walleyes begin to inhabit offshore reef areas. Large pieces of structure will attract baitfish, and in turn, the walleyes will follow close behind.
One of the most difficult things about dissecting a complex main lake reef system is analyzing the overwhelming maze of contour lines. To simplify this process, I focus in on the inside turns, as they provide an excellent spot for inactive walleyes to “hangout” until the next feeding flurry up on top of the structure. Fishing locations like this allow you to target walleyes in various stages of aggression, whether they’re neutral or they’re ready to eat, and this tells you a lot about where to find fish on the rest of the structure.
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