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Walleye and Smallmouth together?


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I have been out fishing for smallmouth this year and trying to target them exclusively.  Trying to fish good Smallmouth lakes  and location but I end up catching walleye as well.  So do you consider walleye a good indicator that smallmouth are around or do you move on?  It seems like when a spot produces walleye I don’t catch any smallmouth.  
 

Thanks 

Brett

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I have caught walleye around smallies in river systems. Walleyes in the river here seem to be around most oct-March you can catch them outside of that time period but, generally not. The only thing about river fishing is most fish use the same holes.
 

I would think outside of a river that walleye being a schooling fish would be an indicator to move on. Bass and walleye would compete for the same food. Just my 2 cents. Which could be worth less than 2 cents on this topic. 

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I know a lot of guys that say the walleye chase the smallies away.  I’ll catch ‘‘em together in the spring in certain areas of st Clair and in the summer around heavy cabbage with lots of perch.

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I catch them from the same areas in Lake Erie with some limited overlap at the same time. Usually it’s one or the other. There are resident walleye that stay put in general areas that aren’t part of the migrating schools that make a loop around the lake from west to east then back west once a year. Those residents are the ones overlapping the same spaces as the smallies. 

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10 hours ago, BassinBrett said:

So do you consider walleye a good indicator that smallmouth are around

Yes, good chance of them both being present, especially spring and fall.

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1 hour ago, Dwight Hottle said:

I catch them from the same areas in Lake Erie with some limited overlap st the same time. Usually it’s one or the other. 

Not Lake Erie, but this is my experience on Northern Minnesota lakes with both species present. Some overlap, but you are usually catching one versus the other in any specific area. Primary lure is a jerk bait, but some others too. Keep moving and get both throughout the day...

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I catch walleyes on Mille Lacs when I'm after smallmouth, especially if I'm using a jerk bait.  Spring and fall when the water is cooler.  If I'm fishing shallower and the sun is out, its a lot more smallmouth.  If I move deeper, or its cloudy, there are more walleye mixed in.  When you hook a fish, you can immediately tell which species it is.  The walleyes are like wet socks coming in.

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In the Susquehanna River in my area, I catch Walleye and Smallmouth in the same area with great regularity....often on successive casts.  It is more common in spring and fall but happens all summer too. I think river fish are different than lake/reservoir fish. 

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Just the other day last week, I caught a smallmouth, walleye, and pike on three consecutive casts with a jerkbait in the exact same spot (in that order too). Normally I don’t take photos of slimy little pike, but my friend told me to since it was the “trifecta.”

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I got a 28" walleye while trolling shallow for smallmouth a few springs ago on Mille Lacs. I've also had a walleye blow up a choppo on the Mississippi, right next to the bank. It actually had a decent fight, was really surprised it wasn't a smallmouth when I got it to the kayak.

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Both predators seek and eat baitfish. Don’t have a great deal of experience with walleyes but they will work weedlines more then Smallmouth that tend to hunt more open reef areas in Lake if the Woods. On off shore reefs I caught both walleyes and Smallmouth on the same structure targeting muskies.

Tom

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I remember about 20 years ago on Mille Lacs, no one ever targeted smallmouth.  It was about 90% walleye fishing, and 10% muskie anglers.  Around 2005-2010 or so, a transformation changed the lake.  The water became very clear, the walleye numbers dropped, and smallmouth numbers began to rise.  Water clarity increased greatly, which allowed sunlight to penetrate deeper, and allowed more weed growth.  Northern pike populations also increased.  By 2015, walleye numbers bottomed out and the smallmouth population had exploded.  People started coming to the lake from other states to target smallmouth, which was unheard of.  BASS held back to back AOY events there too.  Walleye anglers hated it and they were very upset about this transformation.

 

Fast forward to today.  Walleye numbers have rebounded slightly but biologists say their population will never return to what they were 20 years ago, mostly because the lake ecology is not suited for it.  You now have those very same walleye anglers who were upset about very restrictive regulations and claiming that the smallmouth were ruining the lake specifically targeting bass!  Granted, most of them sit there with live bait because they're still stuck with their old school walleye tactics, but at least some of them have come around to the fact that their beloved walleyes can still survive in the same body of water as a smallmouth bass.

 

I grew up fishing the lake fairly regularly for walleyes and muskies.  Nowdays I have zero interest in that.  100% smallmouth out there for this guy, although I still do run into a decent amount of walleyes while I'm bass fishing.

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On 10/9/2023 at 8:36 PM, Kirtley Howe said:

In the Susquehanna River in my area, I catch Walleye and Smallmouth in the same area with great regularity....often on successive casts.  It is more common in spring and fall but happens all summer too. I think river fish are different than lake/reservoir fish. 

 

Same on the Upper Potomac especially when using jerkbaits.

 

Allen

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On 10/8/2023 at 10:14 PM, BassinBrett said:

 So do you consider walleye a good indicator that smallmouth are around

 

I've found them mingled at bottlenecks where the wind is creating current, off points, and below waterfalls.

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The only time I run into that situation is when I go up to a lodge in NE Ontario.  The lake is known for it's walleye, but my buddy and I prefer to fish for smallmouth.  We do catch walleye and smallmouth from the same areas, particularly on the mid-lake shoals and humps.  Smallmouth during the day and walleye in the evening.  There's a small window in the evening where we'll catch both, but as it gets darker the smallmouth bite dies off.

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