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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Okay, so here's my deal. I've been doing fairly decent at night from shore catching some 'eyes. However, most of the wally's my buddy and I have caught are 2lbs or less. Maybe 1 or 2 out of about 15 between us are slightly more than that. Don't get me wrong, they're great for eating, and to be able to catch any walleye from shore is good for me, however, I'd like to try and target/attract some, well, bigger fish!

So, my question to you more experienced walleye guys is this: Would it be worthwhile to use bigger baits (cranks) to try and attract the bigger fish? Surely, some bigger fellas venture close to shore at night with the smaller guys, but we keep on getting the small ones, as well as a bunch of small bass and rockies. Would the larger baits deter the smaller ones from hitting, thus eliminating most of our fish, or would the small guys still hit, as well as attract any pigs lurking nearby? Like I said, I don't want to lose out on the fish we are catching, just perhaps attract some bigger ones while we're at it. I've read that bigger fish prefer to eat one large meal as opposed to a number of smaller ones, so I figure it's worth the shot?

Currently, we troll (walk breakwalls, sometimes cast) cranks from 3-5". Would larger be as productive, as well as help get some bigger guys?

Look forward to your responses! Thanks!
 

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I find bigger to be better at night. Whether pulling wire, or trolling in the lake it seems like I catch more fish when using a larger lure. I like to use Rapala 11 & 13 when handlinging at night, and seem to do better with 7s and 9s during the day. My preferred bait to nightfish the lake with is a size 18 floating Rapala with a couple split shot a foot or so above the lure. I don't think you need to worry about not catching the smaller fish by going bigger, if anything I think you'll catch more of them.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
QUOTE(Luckystrike @ Aug 27 2009, 10:56 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>I find bigger to be better at night. Whether pulling wire, or trolling in the lake it seems like I catch more fish when using a larger lure. I like to use Rapala 11 & 13 when handlinging at night, and seem to do better with 7s and 9s during the day. My preferred bait to nightfish the lake with is a size 18 floating Rapala with a couple split shot a foot or so above the lure. I don't think you need to worry about not catching the smaller fish by going bigger, if anything I think you'll catch more of them.

Thank you!
 

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This year the walleye have been on the smaller side. Bigger bait's may help, but I always try to match the size of the bait fish in the area I'm fishing. I always check the size of the bait fish at they been eating in there belly when cleaning them too. The bigger fish are going to start coming back in this time of year too. So the size of the fish should start getting bigger soon.
 

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Yes bigger baits for bigger eyes. I had one in my livewell cough up a 5-6 inch Shad, Bluegill, something....was pretty well digested enough to not get a positive id. And that number was without the tail.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
When I fillet mine, I don't notice anything in the belly? Do I have to dig for this? lol
The first eye I caught this year back in June spit a rib cage out that was about 4" long, but haven't noticed anything while cleaning fish...
 

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Throw some Bomber Long As. If you still don't up the size of your fish, that tells me that it is just the size class of fish that you are dealing with not a selectivity problem. A 15" eye will still hit that bait which is still in your favor.
 

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As a general rule, bigger baits will sometimes catch bigger fish but don't assume this to always be true. I would say that your dilemma is more due to where you are fishing than anything else. Just because you throw a bigger bait does not mean you will catch a big fish. Take Erie for example... you could go to the western basin and throw big baits all day long but the reality is that the bigger fish are more concentrated in the central basin due to forage and water temps. Fall is going to be a better time to have a shot a big fish since they are looking to feed more, the water temps have cooled down etc... I fished the Huron, OH Walleye Central Tourney last year in the fall and we ran all big baits and spoons trying to target bigger fish only to have the winning team come in with 5 fish weighing just under 50lbs, and they caught everything on the small Scorpion Stinger spoons. Like WalleyeJunkie mentioned, it is more important to match what the fish are eating and fish where the fish are. If it was as simple as fishing bigger baits for bigger fish everyone would have a 12lbr hanging on the wall.

Speaking of big baits though, has anyone seen the new Reef Runners that they came out with last fall? They are rediculous! Take a normal Reef Runner and picture it as the size of one of your larger musky baits.
Guys have actually been catching walleye on these in the fall and spring but from what I hear especially the fall.
 

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QUOTE(barnz @ Aug 27 2009, 01:24 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>When I fillet mine, I don't notice anything in the belly? Do I have to dig for this? lol
The first eye I caught this year back in June spit a rib cage out that was about 4" long, but haven't noticed anything while cleaning fish...

Yes you have to dig a little to see what they been eating. But it pays off seeing what they been eating. To match up size of bait or even color if you can tell what kind of bait fish they been feeding on. Sometimes smaller baits will help you catch bigger fish due to the size of bait they been feeding on too. But rule of thumb bigger bait = bigger fish.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Appreciate all the advice! Keep 'em coming!

BTW, no, haven't tried live bain in a while. I don't want to spend time rebaiting after every rock bass/drum that I would be sure to catch.
 

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What I know is....big walleye don't necessarily want a bigger bait all the time. Like Junky said, best thing to do is match the hatch. During the Fall, that would be the only time I can think of when consistantly using a larger minnow imitation bait will help. But again, it is the Fall, so any fish will be targeting a bigger bait.

Big walleye are old, smart walleye.....using lighter line is a good idea, as the fish will be more cautious eating something...but overall, my thoughts are that it's better to focus your energy on these bigger fish during the 'big fish' season's...Spring and Fall, w/ Fall being your best chance. Trying to isolate a big fish out of our water system during the summer would be pretty hard and would make for hit or miss fishing.

But come October...........go big or go home
 
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