Walleye Fishing Techniques for Dinorwic Lake:
Walleye are easy to find in the spring on Dinorwic Lake. They migrate to areas where there is current or sand. They generally start their migration to these areas just before the ice starts to break up on the lake. From ice-out until mid June is when the Walleye fishing is easiest, as the Walleyes will stay shallow. Walleyes this time of year can be caught in one or two feet of water. Usually it's the smaller males that stay shallow all day while the big females move deeper into the 10 to 15-foot range during the day but come shallow again in the evening.
If you are fishing in shallow current, the best baits are either a minnow on a hook or casting with small floating Rapalas and Junior Thundersticks. You can use jigs but generally where there is current, there are lots of snags and you don't want to keep losing your jigs. During the day, the Walleyes are more interested in defending their spawning beds than they are feeding so use bright colors. Fire Tiger, Red and Chartreuse are the best colors to use during the day in the spring. Later on in the evening the Walleyes move from defending mode to feeding mode. At this time the bright colors will still work but you will find you have a better chance catching the big females with blue or natural colors like silver or brown.
If you are nowhere near any current, you have to find the sand bars or sandy points leading off of rocky points and shoals. During the day the Walleyes may or may not be up on the sand bars. When you are on a lake like Dinorwic Lake, which is stuffed with Muskie and Pike, the Walleyes tend to be hesitant to protect their spawning beds during the day. They would be easy pickings for Muskie and Pike. With this in mind, fish a little deeper off into dark water where the sand stops. You can use deep diving Crank Baits, Fatraps or smaller Husky Jerks but the best bait is a jig with a white, yellow or transparent green Twistertail. Walleyes are still aggressive this time of year so you don't have to be too concerned with the way you jig. Generally long slow jigs work best. Short sharp jigs will attract Pike and if you are not using a steel leader, you will keep losing your jigs. You can tip your jig with a a live minnow, salted minnow, worm or Walleye Gullet. Giving the jig a little flavor always boosts Walleye strikes.
At night the walleyes will come right up on the sand bar. At this time you have to be quiet and cast with small floating Rapalas or Thundersticks. If you are going to use jigs, you can basically drag your jig across the sand with short jigs. The Walleyes will take the jig right off bottom.
Not all Walleyes will be in the current or on sand bars. Some Walleyes come out of the deeper water and will patrol the shoreline looking for food. This is especially true with the big trophy females that have finished dropping their eggs. In this case you want to have a quiet motor and troll along the shore. When trolling along the shore, try to troll in places where there is a drop-off or at the ends of wild rice beds. You will not be able to see wild rice at this time of year so you would need to have experience fishing Dinorwic Lake during the summer and know where the wild rice beds are.
In the summer you will find Walleyes just about anywhere but to be really successful, you should concentrate on areas that Walleyes like the most during the summer. Rocky points, shoals and around islands are best for catching fairly shallow Walleyes as wave action on the rocks produces more oxygen. Deeper weed beds will also produce a lot of Walleyes. You will find Walleyes in shallow weed beds but they are generally a little harder to catch because of all the Pike. This is not always true. If the pressure is rising the Walleyes start feeding like crazy and they don't seem to care about predators at this time. Using a 1/4 to 3/8 once jig head with a white Twistertail is usually best. Some days they will hit black or green better but generally white is the best color.
The Walleyes will also stay down deep off of river mouths or stay suspended out in open water. When you are fishing the rocky points or weed beds, you generally catch the smaller walleyes. If you are looking for big trophy Walleyes, they can be as deep as 30 feet along the shore or suspended out in open water feeding on baitfish such as Lake Herring and Cisco. There are two ways to catch them at this time. You can try trolling with down-deep Husky Jerks, J-13 Joited Deeper Diving Rapalas or other deep lures. You should be able to see schools of bait fish on your depth finder so try to get down there free-lining. This is an effective way of catching them if you can get your lure at the right depth. If you have a trolling motor that can move very slow or you are in a small boat that can back-troll, using a 3-way swivel rig is very effective and gives you better depth control.
The 3-way swivel rig is easy. You need light line such as 6 or 8-pound test, a 3-way swivel and a 1-once weight. This rig is the same as the Lake Trout rig but you only use half the weight and instead of using a spoon; you troll with a worm harness and a big fat juicy worm. You can also troll a small floating lure but when using a lure, you have to drop the rig down to the bottom very slowly so the lure does not get tangled.
While using the 3-way swivel rig, troll out in deep water down where you see schools of bait fish or follow the contours of the shore but in the 25 to 35-foot deep range. When using a worm harness, you can inject air into the worm with a needle to help make your worm float but you want the sinker to be almost touching bottom. You also have to move just fast enough for the spinners on the worm harness to spin. If you go too fast, it will be hard to find the bottom and Walleyes in the deep during the day generally hit slow baits.
Hot Summer Days:
When it's really sunny and hot, the middle of the afternoon can be slow for Walleyes. They will still feed but they will be right on bottom while trying to escape the bright sunlight. In these type of conditions, tip your jig with a salted minnow, worm or Walleye Gullet and literally drag your jig on the bottom. You can jig it up off bottom once in a while to clean guck off but generally, the Walleyes will feed right off the bottom.
Starting in August and leading into fall, the weather can be unpredictable. When the pressure is dropping, the Walleyes stop feeding. When the pressure is rising, the Walleyes feed like crazy. You will still find Walleyes around the rocky points and in deeper water off shallow weed beds. The Walleyes will also head back to current. In areas where weeds are starting to die, the Walleye will not be found. In the fall, fishing down a little deeper off the same rocky points will produce good fish. Trolling the shoreline in late evening and night will produce the best fishing. This time of year you want to use natural colors if using lures. Silver, brown or gold work best. For some reason the Walleyes go after blue in the fall. To truly be successful in the fall on Dinorwic Lake, you have to think about what the Muskie and Pike are doing. Muskie and Pike start feeding like crazy in the fall to fatten up for the winter. You have to find spots where the Muskie and Pike are not going to be. Rocky points that do not lead into bays are good. Deeper water off of shallow weed beds that do not face the open lake is good. There will be Walleyes migrating through narrows and areas heading towards current but the Muskie and Pike will be there waiting for them so generally in these areas the Walleyes do not feed until after dark.