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Lake: Chatfield Reservoir
Fish: Walleye

Walleye tips for when Shad are busting?

Post By: spicyhombre      Posted: 10/10/2020 9:18:56 AM     Points: 6123    
Wondering what lures you are fishing at night this time of year when you locate tons of shad that are busting the surface EVERYWHERE. Last night the entire boat launch cove was loaded with shad all night. I caught some eyes and a nice smallie but know if I was on the deal it could been much more productive.

 Reply by: nparker      Posted: Oct. 10, 9:29:07 AM     Points: 1922    
White streamers fished near the boil should work.
 Reply by: Toon      Posted: Oct. 10, 9:43:57 AM     Points: 118    
The shad have made the bite tough there for the last month or two. Minnow style baits fished at the bottom edge or just below the school of shad at night has produced some eyes swimming below the school's feeding on them. Mostly reaction strikes though, with all the shad they're not super hungry with the shad buffet going on.
 Reply by: spicyhombre      Posted: Oct. 11, 10:55:51 AM     Points: 6123    
Went with my son last night and same thing. Shad everywhere. Great top water bite for smallies before sunset and then got into eyes with jerk baits and paddle tails. Tough to get them to pick my lure among the millions of shad but fun.
 Reply by: SGM      Posted: Oct. 11, 3:30:27 PM     Points: 14528    
Try below the schooling shad with jigging spoons and jigging Rapala's.
 Reply by: FishHuntNow      Posted: Oct. 12, 2:14:15 PM     Points: 500    
Blade baits have worked for me working them mid column, but that shad bite is so hard. Good luck.
 Reply by: Neyet Stalker      Posted: Nov. 12, 8:13:57 PM     Points: 9137    
spicyhombre I like to use 1/4 lipless slow and steady up high in the water column. I've caught many nice eyes in Fall over the yrs they are effective right up until ice! Retrieve them about a foot below the surface they stand out amongst the baitfish.
 Reply by: spicyhombre      Posted: Nov. 12, 9:47:27 PM     Points: 6123    
I will try that, James.

I was also thinking of trying white tube jig with very lite weight just enough for very slow sink rate. I have fished this way very successfully for bass when I needed to stay above thick weeds that are 1-2 below the surface. I have never heard of anyone Fish tubes for eyes but I have said before that if I could only fish 1 lure type for the rest of my life it would probably be a tube.
 Reply by: anglerwannabe      Posted: Nov. 12, 9:52:49 PM     Points: 60163    
Bill - you call me and then I'll jump on your boat and show you. Lol
 Reply by: FishHuntNow      Posted: Nov. 13, 1:07:44 PM     Points: 500    
Smithswick rattling rogue suspended jerkbait in really any pattern I also do a basic twister tail with a 1/4 oz jighead in either chartreuse or white.
 Reply by: Neyet Stalker      Posted: Nov. 14, 9:35:09 AM     Points: 9137    
Tube jigs are an option but not the best when it comes to eyes. Having experimented with many plastics over the years swim baits have proved the best! These lures will display two actions on a retrieve. The bait has a side-to-side swimming motion and the tail wobbles and thumps. Walleye love the profile and action. Rig them on a light head and you can swim them just below the surface.

When you see shad busting the surface predators are below. Pitch a floating minnow bait amongst the commotion, after it hits the water rip the bait so it moves aggressively for 1-3 ft. I've caught many nice fish doing this. In fact I catch more fish with swim baits and floating jerks than suspending hands down! Walleye are aggressive in cold shallow water and will respond to aggressive presentations both Spring and Fall.