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tmier

Can Walleye Stocking Hurt Bass Populations?

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I fish at my in-laws cottage almost weekly and noticed the quality and quantity of bass shrinking off. The lake is a private 100 acre natural lake with a stained color and clarity around 12". It is shaped like a beer bottle with depths near 50 straight down the middle. I just learned this weekend the lake association has been stocking walleye every spring for the last five years. I have never seen a walleye pulled from the lake and only heard of 2 being caught this past spring. We catch and release all our fish but haven't seen any 3+ pounders in awhile. I'm assuming the bass have been sharing food sources with walleye and the populations are fluctuating. Regardless, I've only fished the shorelines for bass and panfish but I would love to hook up some eyes. I'm could be trolling up the middle but the deepest cranks I own only drop to 20 feet. I will be up again this weekend and need a strategy quick. What should I be trying?

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anything rapala is great for walleye

grubs

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My main thing is how can I get cranks down to 35-40 feet where the walleye might be. If this lake is stocked their should be some good ones down there.

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Use a 3-way swivel. Tie a 2' leader on one end and tie on a 2 ounce weight. Then tie a 12" leader on the other, which is where the crankbait goes. Drop the rig down and troll with your trolling motor. Hang on!

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Thanks Glenn! I will give it a shot Friday.

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Get a 1/4 or 1/8 ounce jig with a nightcrawler and drift it down the lake jigging close to the bottom. If there is walleye in there you will find them doing that. As for walleye hurting the bass population I've never seen the bass population go down because of walleye being stocked. Some of the best bass lakes I fish have good populations of walleye also.

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The lake I regularly fish has LMB, SMB, Northern Pike, and Walleye at the top of the food chain. Pike and bass reproduce succsefully in this lake, there is plenty of food, and you see a healthy fishery for them. Walleye do not. The state used to stock them to sustain a fishery for them , but stopped 5 years or so ago, as a result, Walleyes are almost non exixtant in this lake now, and the ones you do catch are big, 7-10 lbers. Very rarely do you catch an "average" or even small sized fish. I say if they can't sustain them self, then so be it. No need to artificaly prop up one species at the expense of others. It now takes 15-18 lbs just to be in contention for a check on this lake, and often 18-20+ for a win. When the walleye stocking program was in it's hayday, bass were not as big, nor as plentyfull. Same with the pike, used to be a hammer handle factory, now I regularly catch 35+ inch fish, as well a diverse range of smaller fish, not all hammer handles. So yes walleye stocking IMHO hurts bass fishing.

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The key is forage. If there are enough Perch/Shiners than the Walleye won't have too much of an effect on the Bass. Heck Walleye are notoriously canibalistic so they can eat themselves out of existence. I wouldn't worry about the bass is there is enough forage base for all the Walleye and Bass.

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Get a 1/4 or 1/8 ounce jig with a nightcrawler and drift it down the lake jigging close to the bottom. If there is walleye in there you will find them doing that. As for walleye hurting the bass population I've never seen the bass population go down because of walleye being stocked. Some of the best bass lakes I fish have good populations of walleye also.

x2. You could also head hook a shiner or fat head minnow on that jighead.

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