Finding walleyes on the Great Lakes in the fall is a matter of knowing migration patterns. On Lake Erie for example, walleyes move from the eastern and central basins toward the western waters. Open water trolling tactics are still effective this time of year, but you’ll do better to concentrate your efforts more in-shore, than out over the main basin. Look for the majority of fish to relate closer to breaks, where the basin transitions to shallower water. The same principal holds true on Lake Michigan, be it the northern reaches near Bay De Noc, or the waters around Door County Wisconsin. Walleyes will move from the main lake toward the bays and shoreline breaks where they’ll spawn come spring.
Day time fishing can be productive, but in these gin-clear waters, trolling after dark is often prime-time for big fish. Subtle action stick-bait style lures that have the slow, rolling action will trigger cool water walleyes like nothing else. Since this style of small-lipped minnow bait typically only dives a few feet below the surface, it’s often necessary to use some sort of weighting system to get them down to the fish. Off Shore Tackle’s OR20 Pro Weight System, lead core line and in-line weights like Bass Pro’s XPS Keel Fish Weights are just a few options. A little experimentation will get you dialed in on the set-up that will trigger more biters. This is still big water territory, and covering water is the name of the game. That means the use of planer boards like Off Shore’s OR-12 Side Planers will absolutely increase your odds of catching fish.