Going “Buggy” for Shallow Summer Walleyes

Forage availability is a major trigger that anglers can use to predict a good summer walleye bite. Many a day I’ve cruised across the water on a calm and warm summer day, only to suddenly find myself plowing through clouds of an emerging insect hatch, and swallowing more protein than I’d care to. However, as unpleasant as the initial encounter might be, running into such an event can make for great fishing. Insect hatches cause a boom in the forage base. The water becomes filled with hordes of luscious bugs, which stimulate the baitfish into a feeding frenzy, and ultimately the predators join in.

When this occurs ono my home waters of Lake Winnebago, it’s a good bet that trolling crankbaits high in the water column out over the main-lake basin will catch walleyes. For instance, pulling size 5cm and 6cm Berkley Flicker Shads about 30 to 50 feet behind boards should place the lures in the upper five to six feet of the water column. Spreading the lures out from the boat using Off Shore Tackle OR12 Side Planers reduces spooking from the boat and helps bring more walleyes to the net.