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I've been fishing all my life, and one fish that I've barely caught is walleye. I believe I've only caught one, and it was random, wasn't targeting them. I know some lakes that have them, but I'm not really sure how to go for them. Can anyone tell me the best method/lure I can use right now to try for them? We tried Indian Lake in Cass County, but had to leave earlier than planned that day, and will likely be going back this week a time or two. I also want to try Magician Lake and maybe a Gravel Lake toward Marcellus. Any help is greatly appreciated!
 

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Find the weed beds with a drop off next to them. Then I like to drift fish with a crawler or leech at the edge of that weed bed. I don't use a harness Ijust put a plain hook on the line and a split shot up the line to take it down. I usually start with the split shot about 3 foot from the hook but I may adjust that as I fish. This works on HL so I think it would work anywhere. I use to fish this way on the Kzoo river also with good results
 

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I fished gravel this morning trolling a variety of crankbaits, never took a hit. A friend has gotten a few from there but not many.
I bought a property on the east side of the state just to get closer Saginaw bay. What I would really like to know is where all the river walleye from St Joe, Kalamazoo, Muskegon rivers go in the summer. People catch em trolling all over lake Huron and all kinds of other species at the same time. I don't know anyone who gets them in lake Michigan except in the bays

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
I fished gravel this morning trolling a variety of crankbaits, never took a hit. A friend has gotten a few from there but not many.
I bought a property on the east side of the state just to get closer Saginaw bay. What I would really like to know is where all the river walleye from St Joe, Kalamazoo, Muskegon rivers go in the summer. People catch em trolling all over lake Huron and all kinds of other species at the same time. I don't know anyone who gets them in lake Michigan except in the bays

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I've heard the St. Joe has a great walleye fishery. I've also heard of a few here and there being caught in the Kzoo. It's all new to me, but I've been really hoping to find some!
 

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While targeting Sheepshead yesterday I caught a nice 24" in Lake Macatawa. Like you said- in the spring they were getting them as they went out into Lake Michigan in the evenings in the channel there, but Macatawa isn't a great fishery for them- but they are there.
 

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Badfish,

I'm in the same quandary. Been fishing the SW lakes for 40 some years, chased the Kings and Steel head in the big lake and in the local rivers and streams, Pike get boring after a bit,and it's time to switch up.
The perch fishing is crap, and all the tourists make it impossible to enjoy a day chasing them if they weren't in such a decline. Better are to be had from several inland lakes anyhow.

Gills get boring after the fly rod get put away in mid summer....Again, time to switch up.
There is no reason to NOT chase Walleye.

Well...other than I don't have a dadgum clue about where they all go when I'm chasing them.

Gravel lake, and the St.joe keep coming up when yakking with other guys, but you better have deep pockets on the St. Joe as you will lose a bottom bouncer every 5 min.. Have had no luck on Gravel, other than punk hammer Handles that steal crawler rigs, and Large mouth bass.

I tried little PawPaw recently...that was stupid.
At 0900 every hungover FIB in Chitcago showed up with a jet ski.
I did get half a dozen Pike to the boat, before motoring through the frothed up mess, back to the ramp. I'll try again after labor day, and on a week day.

The only time I have ever gotten Walleye, was off the S.H. Pier in spring, when they are feeding in the warmer water. Come late May and they vaporize in the river and the lake.

They have to go somewhere....
 

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This is a very good and interesting topic.

I have been focused on getting back into the fishing game more since my kids are now older and enjoy going too. The SW Michigan walleye topic is a great one.

Walleye is definitely a species we would like to target. So, I have been studying the DNR fish stocking reports for the past 5 years. I live right on the St. Joe/Kalamazoo county border so I fish waters in that area.

Lets look at the St. Joe River, but upstream from the walleye hot spots of Shamrock and other locations closer to Lake Michigan. Between the Sturgis Dam and and the Withers Road stocking points, the DNR has stocked approximately 225,000 walleye since 2014. I admit that I have been out of the game for a few years, but I don't hear of anyone catching near the fish those numbers would indicate. And I know people who live on the river in that stretch that fish. They are baffled where they go.

I understand that is a fairly long stretch of river. But still, that is a considerable amount of walleye plants.

Are people simply not targeting walleyes between Constantine and Mendon? Is the mortality rate higher in that stretch of river? Are people simply not talking about it? I don't have the answer, but it seems the walleye fishing should be better than what I hear it is. The St. Joe in that stretch is a great fishery. From current to backwater lakes around dams, there are many many species and fish to catch.

Growing up in St. Joe County, I have fished it since I was a kid and have caught walleyes from time to time. That stretch of river is as tough a stretch to fish as any. From stumps to rocks to hard shallow gravel bottoms, it is not for the weary. But, the risk should be worth the reward?
 

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We do get some good reports from the upper Saint Joe. I have also had 3 or 4 people tell me about the walleye fishing while stocking the upper sites over the past few years. I think it just takes time to learn the river and where to and not to fish. We stock some of the connecting lakes also. Walleye fisherman are very close to the vest about catches and locations. We have gotten some good info on some of our lakes on the MDNR walleye info thread. I wouldn't write off the lakes that others commented publicly on the walleye info thread as we have had some pretty decent reports from some of them.
 

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That is good information. Could you define specifically what stretch the MIDNR classifies as the upper St. Joe?
 

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They do get one once in a while while trolling for salmon. We got one years ago out from Holland and I heard on the radio of others catching them. Lower Kal River has always been good for use on walleye and lake Mac in the spring early summer was fair
 

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The stretch I was referring to was Colon to Constantine including the connecting lakes like Long, Palmer, and Sturgeon.
Another question, the walleye released at Sturgis dam, are those released above or below?
 
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