September is an odd month. Walleye fishing can be very hit and miss as the fish start to transition form their summer feeding patterns to their fall/winter pattern. I have had more days where I come up empty handed in September than any other month. This never bothers me because I am actually thinking more about small game hunting than I am thinking about fishing. I still got out, except this year with my boat being down, but it is not as frequent. I’m kind of in a holding pattern until the water temps get down to that 50 degree range. Getting there can take awhile or it can happen in a week, it all depends on the weather.
When I do go I experiment more with lure selection this time than any other. By now the lower river is full of yoy smallmouth bass and the emerald shiners are stilla round and they are bigger as well. Some Gizzard Shad may have started to show up but the bigger run is still months away. Knowing all this I will run everything from #13 to #5 Rapala’s and spoons. It all depends on what is most abundant. I pay particular attention to the warm water discharge to see what is jumping and just how many crane’s, herons and eagles are in the area. If I see lots of minnows I’m sticking to the smaller size lures in natural colors, especially if the water is still clear, which it usually is. If some shad are in though out go the #11 and #13 Rapala’s. I usually hold off on the bigger lures until October when it is colder but you never know. I don’t waste a lot of time dragging the same bait around. If it’s not producing in the first half and hour it is getting replaced. I mean I really play around now. Different sizes, styles, colors, action, speed….anything to try and trigger a strike. Now it could just be that their aren’t any fish in the area. The smaller ones that were around all summer may have moved back out to the lake and the bigger fish haven’t moved in yet. I don’t know for sure. I don’t have any tracking beacons on the fish. I do wish I could get access to all the movement data on the walleye swimming around with the radio transmitters in them. THAT WOULD BE AWESOME!!!!! Since I don’t I just have to keep trying and hope that it gets better in October. Either that or I just go out and shoot squirrels which most years is more productive.