Walleye and Wind, Part Two

walleye2Last week we took a closer look at how winds can play a role in changes in walleye behavior, with specific focus on how the waters are affected by shifts in wind. Today we’ll continue with Part Two, in which we’ll look at some of the equipment you’ll want on hand in order to make the most out of changes in walleye behavior due to the wind.

Aside from hopefully outfitting yourself with a sturdy, reliable boat—such as one from Lund, which are made to float perpendicular to the wind—you’ll need the right gear on board. Two well-made anchors and a good amount of rope will also be needed. This will help keep you in place when you’ve found a good spot, in spite of the current or wind. Some anglers like to use a shallow water anchor, like Minn Kota’s Talon, in conjunction with conventional anchors. Shallow water anchors send a pole down to the bottom and anchors your boat in place at the press of a button. I’d also suggest keeping a few drift socks on board, too.

Anchoring is a preferred method for many, as it allows you to avoid spooking fish. It also lets you maintain control of your boat in high winds and heavy waves, or when you’re targeting the shallows.

While anchored, cast crankbaits in a fan pattern to probe the area or targeted structure quickly and efficiently. Try to go with models that will dive to the bottom. In murkier waters, I’ve found that rattling cranks in a firetiger pattern work well. Depending on how the wind is pushing water over the structure, you might also want to try trolling. Along with helping control your boat, trolling lets you cover more water and present your bait to larger numbers of fish in the area.

Another walleye fan favorite is bottom bouncers, which are great on shallow breaklines. Make sure your weight is heavy enough to control your bait and stay in contact with the bottom. Also, try to keep the angle between the line and the surface below 45-degrees.

Wind can play a big role in the way walleye in your area behave during the colder months, but with a little preparation, the right gear, and some know-how, you should have no trouble taking advantage of this behavior shift the next time you head out.