Some people seem to be afraid of the green stuff floating in the water each year, but like the mayfly hatch, walleye do not shut down, they just keep eating. The question you have to answer is where are they feeding. During the bug hatch, they can be found up and down the water column, and once you dial that in, it is game on!
During an algae bloom, you have to follow the food source and this time of the year walleye are chowing down on minnows, shiners to be exact. Where are the shiners, they are up near the surface feeding on the algae. Now you know where to target the fish in the column, but you have a new dilemma. What to do about it?
When fish are up very high in the column near the surface, you have boat issues, meaning the walleye can be spooked by your boat going by. Simple solution to that is using inline planer boards, like the Walleye Board from Church Tackle. Like all the boards from Church, they move your presentations away from the boat, thus with their small profile in the water, will not spook the fish!
Next up is all about which baits to use. They are feeding on shiners, which have silver sides that catch in the sunlight, so mimic the natural forage! Pick out some cranks, shallow running ones that will stay near the top five foot of the surface, and will catch the sun as well. Rapala Husky Jerks (HJ’s) offer several silver metallic finishes like Clown and the black back/silver bottom that actually has a blue tint to the back stripe. And, if you are lucky, you might have a couple of Tennessee Shads with their green backs in your tackle box! The small #7 Rattling, Suspending Shad Raps also have a lot of nice finishes that work for this, as well as their glass bodied brethren.
Fishing crawlers, no problem. Get some light weights, or split shot sinkers even and let out 20 to 40 feet of line out from your rod. Break out of the copper mentality and bust out some silver blades, or holographics like Northland Tackle’s Baitfish Image blades, the Rainbow is a great choice.
Don’t over look something in white, with blues and greens involved in the paint scheme. One of my favorite shiner bite blades is from Big Eye Custom Lures, and it’s actually called Emerald Shiner. Also, from Big Eye is the Blue Perch blade, which is killer during a bite when the fish are up high and feeding. It reminds me of the old Huckleberry pattern on the crankbaits. Hmmm, think I just thought of a new pattern to get painted some of Big Eye’s Custom Deep Husky Jerks! Probably should have kept that one to myself!
Next time someone tells you that walleye have quit biting, you can either tell them what you know, or show them the pictures after you get back from your trip!