Finding Basin Walleye

Locating Ice Walleyes on Structure vs. Across Basins

by | Nov 25, 2015 | 0 comments

In lakes with distinct structure, walleyes hug the edges of points and humps. On lakes lacking structure, however, fish roam basins with subtler fish-attracting areas.

Out on the south basin of Lake Winnipeg, Manitoba, one of the largest lakes in the world, my buddy Alex Kessler and I were hunting for walleyes. According to Alex, the lake has potential for world record walleyes. The key for us was to keep moving until we found a school of fish and then hunker down on them.

Fishing Structures

Many lakes and reservoirs have prominent structural features where walleyes concentrate in distinctive locations such as at the tips of shoreline points or edges of underwater homes. Often GPS hydrographic maps allow you to drive directly to key spots that appear on your screen, making fish location a relatively easy part of the fishing process.

Fishing Across Basins

Other waters like the one we were fishing have slowly sloping shorelines and expansive basins with little to no obvious structure. Areas that change a mere foot or two in depth across a hundred-yard stretch or where transitions occur between harder and softer bottom offer just about as much change as fish are likely to encounter. Locating fish in these lakes requires a mobile search effort beginning in high percentage areas that are likely to draw or funnel fish movement. River mouths, the mouths of large bays, narrows, and even ice heaves that break up otherwise uniform terrain are good places to start your search. Migrating or moving fish tend to linger in these, milling throughout them in loose fruits rather than in tight schools.


Lake Winnipeg is a great place to go walleye fishing. Whether you are fishing structures or across basins, the key is to keep moving until you locate the fish. Once you find them, you can hunker down and start catching. With the right knowledge and effort, you can have a successful day of fishing.

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