Wednesday, May 18, 2011
Walleye Fishing Strategies in Kansas Waters
Shallow points, flats, and underwater roadways lure anglers to big fish
PRATT — The state record walleye is more than 13 pounds, but who knows? Someone may break it this spring as weather warms and walleye move into shallow water to feed. Because of their size and reputation as great table fare, walleye are among the most popular sportfish in Kansas. And as May and early June weather warms both water and air, walleye fishing heats up because the fish move over shallow points, flats, and underwater roadbeds to feed. While fishing from a boat is the preferred method, walleye can be caught at this time by wading. Look for fish in water 3 to 15 feet deep.
These post-spawn walleye are often aggressive and can be caught trolling with crank baits or drifting a jig and nightcrawler combination. Jig size varies depending on the amount of wind and water depth, but usually an eighth- or quarter-ounce jighead works well. Popular lure colors include chartreuse, red, orange, pink, and white.
According to the Kansas Fishing Forecast, the best walleye fishing reservoirs this year are Wilson, Cheney, El Dorado, Glen Elder, and Milford. And anglers shouldn't overlook smaller community lakes. The best smaller lakes are rated as Banner Creek Lake in Holton, Alma City Lake, Critzer Lake in Mound City, Scott State Fishing Lake, and South Owl Lake in Yates Center.
Much credit for successful walleye fishing in Kansas can be attributed to the Kansas Department of Wildlife and Parks' (KDWP) aggressive walleye stocking program. This year, KDWP fisheries biologists harvested approximately 80 million walleye eggs and produced almost 55 million fry. In addition, length limits allow walleye to grow to reproductive age, and in some reservoirs, prime habitat produces excellent walleye populations year after year.
Conditions for walleye fishing can change daily, so visit the KDWP Fishing Reports and the Public Fishing Reports, ksfishing.blogspot.com, for the latest information.