Fishing, Life, Love & The Great Outdoors
Midwest Outdoors November 2010

Cool Temperatures Heat November Fishing
By Joel “Doc” Kunz

November has always been one of my favorite times of the year for walleye fishing on the Wolf River. In fact, make that ANY river and even a few large bodies of water. That is because November is the time of year when walleye put on the feed bag and if you can find them, they are usually pretty easy to catch. It is also a time of year when most anglers have winterized their boats and many outdoorsmen have turned their efforts to hunting. That means less fishing pressure and more opportunity for me, and those like me, who like to take advantage of the fall walleye bite.

In rivers, walleye location is usually pretty simple. Find deep water and you will find walleyes. Although for periods of time they might spread out over shallow water and near drop offs adjacent to deep water, for the most part, the deeper the better. You see, walleye this time of year are looking for places to rest and let food come to them. Deep water eddies and current breaks provide this “structure” and also provide enough room for large groups of fish to “stack up” and wait for food. On rivers such as the Wisconsin, Mississippi and Fox River at DePere, much of that deep water is near the dam, which also provides a barrier to the instinctive up stream movement of fall walleye. Since they can’t go any farther, that makes the first few miles below the dam prime area. On rivers like the Wolf or Rock, I like to start near the mouth of the lake and work all the deep holes and near tributaries up stream until I find the best school of fish.

A jig and minnow is usually all you need to start the action. Drifting and jigging is my favorite tactic but there are times when anchoring on a prime spot can be what produces the most fish. I like to keep my presentation as light as possible but for some a heavier jig is what is needed to maintain proper “feel” and contact with the bottom. A slow deliberate approach is usually best but I’ve had some times when an fast, erratic action and rattles is what turned on the fish. Water is usually much clearer in the fall, so jig color can play a role in the fish bite also. I like bright multi-colored jigs but never overlook basic single color jigs as long as they have small eyes painted on them. Blue, black and mustard yellow are three of my favorites.

If you are looking for a trophy walleye, the Fox River at DePere offers great small boat opportunity. Here you can launch a small fishing boat and travel a short distance to get near the dam to cast for big fish. The rocky tailraces and current breaks can hold some amazing walleye and even a few Muskies. Although I usually throw larger “stick-baits” like Husky Jerks and Rouges, there have been times when I’ve done the best on small shallow diving Shad-raps. I have even caught fish jigging near the boat and on slip-bobbers baited with a big juicy night crawler. Another fall fish of a lifetime opportunity exists in the bay of Green Bay, a place I learned to fish thanks to my friend Dale Stroschein. Although November is also a great time to catch a trophy smallmouth bass, I still prefer to ply the Door County waters in search of a trophy class walleye. Trolling the reefs and shoreline breaks is what produces fish and can be done both day and night with success. I have always preferred the night bite and suggest hiring a guide to show you the ropes. Dale Stroschein’s Sand Bay Beach Resort is a great base location due to the comfortable accommodations and access to the vast amount of knowledge Dale has when it comes to fishing in the area.

Hey, looking for something to do and some fall walleye fishing fun? On November 6, 2010 the Wolf River Walleye Club and Hahn-A-Lula are having their first annual “FALL BALL” Walleye Tournament. A $50 entry fee gets you and your partner a 1 in 3 chance to cash a check plus we will be having a fun filled awards banquet where chili and munchies will be served free of charge. The lower Wolf River is historically chocked full of walleye this time of year, which should giver everyone a chance to win. Entries will be taken right up to the rules meeting which starts at the Hahn-A-Lula on Friday November 5th at 7pm. You can find information, rules and an entry form at, hope to see you there.

Joel “Doc” Kunz is free lance Outdoor Writer & Photographer and Field Editor for Midwest Outdoors Magazine. He is a 2005 MWO “Readers Choice” award winner and a member of the Association of Great Lakes Outdoor Writers. Check out his new web based video magazine at


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