Fun & Games

Trivia Games


Contact Us




Night Hawk Stories... Entry 11

Fishing Rivers for Summertime Walleye

click to enlargeEDITOR'S NOTE: Keith Kavajecz of Kaukauna, Wisconsin, a pro walleye fisherman, specializes in tournament fishing and walleye-fishing promotions. Kavajecz, who has fished in walleye tournaments since 1986, won the 1994 and 1998 North American Walleye Anglers Angler-of-the-Year award. He and his son, Tommy, won the 1998 North American Walleye Anglers Team of the Year. Kavajecz and his business partner, Gary Parsons, won the Masters Walleye Circuit Team of the Year and World Championship in 1988. Keith and Gary co-host "Bass Pro Shop's Outdoor World," which airs on TNN.

QUESTION: How do you find summertime walleye?
ANSWER: Summertime walleye are all different, based on where you fish. Basically three types of bodies of water hold summertime walleye with the first being rivers. In the spring, the fish move up to a dam and spawn within the first couple of miles of the dam. But during the summer, they drop back down into the pools and set up on things like wing dams, man-made rockpiles. They use wing dams for structure. If they can't find wing dams, then often they'll drop back down to where the river widens out more like a lake. They'll get down out of the currents and start positioning themselves in fairly standard areas for summertime walleye: just off breaks, roving on shallower flats and things like that.

click to enlargeOn wing dams, we most often three-way fish for walleye using a three-way swivel. On one side of the swivel, we'll run down with a dropline to a sinker, a big heavy bell sinker that usually weighs 2 to 3 ounces. We use that sinker to hit the bottom and maintain bottom contact. On the other end of the three-way swivel, we'll tie about a 2-foot leader. On the end, we'll put a light jig, a bare hook or a hook with a Berkley Power Grub. Because typically we fish stained river water, we'll use a bright chartreuse or a white Power Grub, and ahead of that we'll put some kind of a bright red bead. Basically, it's just a hook with a Power Grub on it. We'll tip that with a minnow, half of a crawler or a leech. Dale in Dubuque designed this D-rig.

Then, we'll go upstream of the wing dam and slowly slip back with the current until we feel the rock of the wing dam with that bottom weight. And then we try to pull forward about 2 feet, which puts that bait, whatever it is, right at the base where the rock of the wing dam meets the silt of the river bottom. You work yourself back and forth, once in a while dropping back feeling the rock and then pulling forward. You try to keep the rig just ahead of the face of the wing dam where the walleye will typically be. People make the biggest mistake on wing dams by thinking that the current hits that wing dam and then goes over it, so the fish will sit behind it in the calm water. But the actively feeding fish actually will sit on the face. So fish the face, where the current pounds into it.

click to enlargeQUESTION: At what depth do you fish?
ANSWER: You can fish any depth. The best wing dams typically have worn-out little troughs in front of them. So, if the regular bottom is 10- or 12-feet deep, the area right before it may drop down to 14 feet. However, the wing dam itself may come up to 4 or 6 feet under the surface. You'll probably find quite a rock pile down there. The wing dam consists of a long, thin rock pile coming from the shore, and you basically fish the face of that. If you have a little trough dug in front of it from years of the current going by it, that typically makes the most productive wing dam for walleye. Many people fish rivers this way in the summer.

Tomorrow: Fishing Lakes for Summertime Walleye


Entry 11-Fishing Rivers for Summertime Walleye
Entry 12-Fishing Lakes for Summertime Walleye
Entry 13-Fishing Reservoirs for Summertime Walleye
Entry 14-Tips for Summertime Walleye Fishing
Entry 15-More Tips for Catching Summertime Walleye

Night Hawk Stories