Wes Carlton, of Georgia Lake Fishing guide service, caught the state record 14-pound, 2-ounce walleye from Lake Rabun in 2016.
Tips on catching Walleye
Not many anglers know about the excellent walleye fishing that exists on north Georgia reservoirs. At the southernmost point of the walleye’s range, these fisheries offer a unique opportunity for anglers who want to experience walleye without travelling too far north.
In 2002, Georgia DNR’s Wildlife Resources Division launched a walleye stocking program that produces nearly 600,000 fingerlings each year. Once they reach one inch in length, they’re stocked into eleven north Georgia lakes and reservoirs for future fishing.
Spring is a great time to get after walleye. Georgia WRD has put together these tips to help you get after them.
1) Go in the evenings. Walleye stay deep during the day to hide from the sunshine. Target them during the “golden hour” 30 minutes before and after sunset, when they move shallow to feed and spawn.
2) When things get hot, move your fishing spot. When spawning ends in April, these fish prefer cooler temperatures and head out to the main lake. Long points, humps and weed beds on the lower end of the lake are the best places to search in summertime. In early summer, target depths ranging from 15 to 25 feet.
3) A simple nightcrawler will do the trick. Sometimes all you need to do to catch walleye is drift a nightcrawler along the bottom slowly and steadily. Make sure to drift it near downed trees and other shady structure. Walleyes might be hiding from the sun in these places.
4) Don’t rule out other lure options. While a nightcrawler will hook a fish, don’t be afraid to try other options. In the shallow spawning waters, try a 3/8-ounce jig tipped with a nightcrawler, minnow or plastic grub. At night, a shallow running minnow is a sold choice. If it’s past spawning season, a weighted bottom bouncer with an in-line spinner tipped with a blueback herring should get you a bite. A deep-diving crankbait in a shad, perch or firetiger pattern will do wonders, too.
5) Check out the Walleye Fishing Seasonal Calendar. This helpful chart tells anglers where walleye fishing is best throughout the year. Lake Tugalo and Lake Yonah offer great walleye fishing year-round while some of the other lakes fluctuate on how well the fish bite. Be sure to check out the fishing tips included in the Georgia DNR Walleye Fishing Guide.
For more information, go to https://georgiawildlife.com/fishing/walleye.