Walleyes: Understanding Edge Fish

A: The upper edge of the shallowest zone (shallow pivot point) where walleyes roam during and after twilight periods. Walleyes here may be near bottom, but often suspend up off the bottom, up to about halfway down.

B: The primary drop-off edge. Walleyes often travel up and down this edge on their way shallower or deeper, but they spend even more time traveling parallel to the edge as they hunt baitfish. Walleyes traveling and hunting along this edge often aren't tight to bottom but push 5 to 10 feet or a bit more away from the edge. That often puts them 5 to 10 feet or so above the actual bottom.

C: The deeper pivot point (base of drop-off) that fades into the lake basin. This is a primary holding area for walleyes in the hour before dark, but also as darkness sets in. Off course, walleyes may also be found well away from the primary pivot area, although they become hard to contact. Walleyes in deep water often hold right on the bottom or within a foot or two above it.

D: The area at the edge of open water just off the shallow pivot point, where Stange often catches large walleyes at first-ice and throughout the first portion of winter. This is an overlooked area for walleyes. These fish range from 3 to 5 to 10 or 15 feet above bottom and from 5 to 30 feet or more away from the drop-off edge.

Open-Water Zone: When walleyes travel with baitfish out in open water, they become hard to target. The primary high-percentage contact area remains along the edge of primary hard-bottom structural elements that project into the main lake.

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