It was early August, the blazing summer time solar was excessive, and walleye have been hiding from the summer time warmth. We trolled rocky shorelines, dropped leeches into deep holes, and bounced jigs off rocky factors with out success.

So, we shifted to extra accommodating smallmouth bass. We rounded some extent, drifting right into a weedy little again bay. Sparse cabbage weeds floated just below the floor, and I pitched a tube into 4 toes of water. It didn’t take lengthy to get a success, however as an alternative of the bass I anticipated, a golden walleye broke the floor and slipped into the online. It was adopted by a number of extra, together with extra bass.

Weedbeds, made up of a number of totally different species of aquatic vegetation, could be a extremely productive place to focus on mid-summer walleye. Although it might appear odd to move to shallow, heat, weedy water when the solar is excessive and sizzling, the fishing will be sizzling.

What’s the draw?

Weedbeds are engaging to walleye for a lot of causes, together with being a superb supply of canopy, offering a spot to cover or hunt down bait fish. There are additionally typically giant concentrations of bugs and aquatic invertebrates that present a meals supply for baitfish and smaller fish, drawing in and providing one thing for each stage of the meals chain. The weeds permit fish to lie in wait, hiding to ambush their subsequent meal, as an alternative of chasing it in open water. One other large draw is oxygen, one thing that’s much more vital through the sizzling summer time months.

Oxygen ranges and water temperatures are inversely associated; cooler water holds extra oxygen than hotter water, in order water temperatures rise in the summertime, oxygen ranges lower. Areas with wholesome aquatic vegetation are prone to have greater oxygen ranges, and this could be a vital attractant for fish, particularly through the sizzling summer time months when aquatic vegetation reaches its most development. The place aquatic vegetation is positioned shallow sufficient to see the solar, aquatic vegetation increase the dissolved oxygen within the water by photosynthesis. (If there are quite a lot of useless vegetation although, they are going to use oxygen within the water by decomposition, and vegetation may also deplete oxygen at evening after they absorb oxygen.) The aquatic vegetation additionally gives shade and might decrease water temperatures.

Household secrets and techniques shared

I spoke with Kyle and Nick Vescio, a talented father-son duo and achieved anglers who spend quite a lot of time on the water. Kyle and his spouse Tracey function Kashabowie River Resort on Shebandowan Lake west of Thunder Bay, one among my favorite walleye and smallmouth locations.

Located within the coronary heart of spectacular walleye and smallmouth territory on Higher Shebandowan Lake, it’s a exceptional waterbody and a significantly productive fishery. For a lot of the season you may catch limits of walleye proper from their docks, or no less than nearby of the launch. Throughout mid-summer warmth waves, nonetheless, walleye can turn into a little bit extra elusive. I usually fished deep water, centered on final mild, and usually fished a deep, flowing narrows on the lake, catching a number of fish right here and there.

Kyle shared some weedbed walleye secrets and techniques with me a number of years in the past that modified my considering when it got here to focusing on heat-wave walleye. They key was weedbeds. I spend way more time now in search of noon walleye within the weeds in simply six toes of water. I’ve tried this elsewhere and have discovered it holds true in lots of different walleye lakes. If I’m exploring for walleye, and discover a good wanting weedbed, you’d higher imagine I’ll cease there.

The Vescios discover that in sizzling climate durations, areas like weedbeds and areas with present (rivers, creeks, and narrows) appear to essentially appeal to and maintain walleye.

“Weedbeds, particularly beds with tall cabbage weeds, appear to essentially maintain walleye when it’s sizzling out,” Kyle stated. “I feel as a result of these areas are oxygen-rich, in addition to offering cowl for smaller bait fish, they’re very engaging to walleye.”

When the climate heats up, fish transfer away from prime early season areas, making it the right time to begin in search of walleye amongst the weeds.

“As soon as the climate will get actually sizzling, the weeds ought to be near reaching full development,” Kyle added. “This gives wonderful cowl for walleye and presents the fish a shady place to relax and look ahead to a meal.”


There are a selection of issues to search for when trying to find weedbeds with walleye. I favor unfold out, sparse cabbage weeds. Walleye appear to like them and so they’re very fishable.

Kyle likes wind and rocks paired with weeds. “I wish to search for weedbeds which might be near rocky buildings, in addition to areas uncovered to the wind. There may be nothing higher than a weed mattress with a pleasant walleye chop rolling over it.”

Finding these weedbeds is the largest (and most blatant) first step. Generally you might be fishing in 4 or 5 toes of water, the place the weeds are plainly seen. Different areas could also be deeper, however you may nonetheless see the tall, spread-out cabbage-type weeds reaching for the floor. In deeper or stained water, use your electronics to find this vegetation, and as soon as discovered, drop a pin in your GPS.

I additionally spoke with OOD columnist Tim Allard for his take and a few perspective from one other area. He says any lake or river that helps wholesome vegetation all the time has the potential to carry walleye.

“Key to me is forage. After I’m scoping out weeds, I wish to see minnows, perch, and different forage fish scooting round,” Allard stated. “I’ve much more confidence in weeds for walleye once I know there’s ample meals within the space. Easy accessibility to a deep-water drop-off is one other good discover when shortlisting weedbeds.”

As soon as you discover areas that maintain fish, they are usually productive 12 months after 12 months. With a set of weedbeds marked in your sonar, you may virtually run a circuit from one to the following. It’s possible you’ll not hit the jackpot every time, however odds are one among these weedbeds can have fish.


Floating pondweed, or different species of potamogeton, are widespread in shallow, slow-moving water, and are what anglers usually check with as “cabbage.” They supply cowl for larval fish and fry, baitfish, and predators, present shade with broad leaves and might develop deeper than different aquatic vegetation.

Feathery and curly forms of vegetation, equivalent to chara and nitella, additionally present wonderful cowl. They harbour invertebrates, an vital meals supply for a lot of fish. Perch usually lay their eggs right here. Whereas chara and nitella are rooted vegetation, they’re additionally a sort of colonial or macroalgae.

Myriophyllum and ceratophyllum present related habitat and construction and are discovered in lots of native water our bodies. (A word of warning, myriophyllum spicatum, Eurasian water mil-foil, is an invasive species that has triggered intensive harm to many lakes. Take the recommendation of the Ontario Invading Species Consciousness Program: Clear, Drain, Dry your boat, trailer, and gear after every use. Take away all vegetation, animals, and dust earlier than shifting to a brand new waterbody.)


The Vescios have a number of methods when it involves focusing on walleye in greenery.

“A favorite presentation is trolling jerkbaits alongside weededges, or throwing jerkbaits proper on high of cabbage. We’ve even caught walleye whereas focusing on smallmouth bass throwing poppers,” Kyle stated.

Dwell bait is a strong possibility. I’ve had nice success fishing beds of tall, sparse cabbage weeds, by drifting by them with a jig and a minnow or leech, and slowly working it across the cabbage.

“When you wish to fish dwell bait, a worm harness trolled alongside a weed edge can show lethal,” Kyle stated.

Kyle and Nick additionally like fishing with slip bobbers, dropping their dwell bait providing proper within the cabbage. I’ve caught walleye in weeds in 4 toes of water pitching a tube jig for smallmouth bass and have even caught them working giant spinnerbaits over high of cabbage weeds. When walleye lurk there, they’re stalking prey and don’t hesitant to chunk.

Allard makes use of a number of totally different baits when focusing on walleye within the veg.

“I deal with weed-walleye with a heavy reliance on ripping a 1⁄4 – or 3⁄8 -ounce buctkail jig on 20-pound braid. It triggers a response, covers water and is nicely suited to heavier weed development. This stated, I’ll additionally use extra reasonable swimming retrieves with three and four-inch Berkley PowerBait Minnows and Z-Man StreakZ on jigs, in addition to pitch drop-shot rigs with finesse plastics, to work alongside exterior weededges and lanes and pockets inside deep weeds, and round cabbage clumps.

“If fish are extra energetic, say at daybreak, I’ll use a sooner hop-swim presentation with the jig or swim a swimbait round these areas.

“Trolling or casting exterior weed edges with shallow-running crankbaits or minnowbaits at nightfall and into dusk is one other strong technique.

“Trolling covers water, however it’s simpler alongside constant exterior edges or when pulling baits by the open water above weedtops on flats, which is killer in some lakes in the summertime at evening. I favor the management casting affords to dissect irregular weedlines, be it with a shallow crank or jig. Dunking a slip-float (see web page 36 of the July 2022 subject) with a leech or minnow into pockets inside weeds has saved me on multiple event.”

Initially revealed within the July 2022 subject of Ontario OUT of DOORS

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