No chop? No worries. The summer walleye bite can still be super hot when the water is silky smooth
Mention the words “walleye chop” to a group of anglers and they’ll immediately grin and start chattering about how good the fishing gets when the wind churns up the lake. Then say “calm waters,” and most of those same anglers will stop talking. To them, calm waters can only mean one thing: slow walleye fishing. But it doesn’t have to be that way. While there’s no doubt walleye will bite when conditions are choppy, it’s also true they’ll bite when the conditions are calm.
I actually enjoy fishing for walleye when the water is like glass, or it has just a slight ripple. According to my fishing journal, in fact, I’ve had some of my best walleye fishing when the conditions were calm. I’ve also had some of my biggest walleye of the season come topside on such days.
I think there are several reasons for this. First, I can better control my boat and easily hover over top of fish or structure without the wind pushing me off the spot. That also lets me to focus more on fishing than on operating the boat. And when the wind isn’t playing havoc with my tackle, I’m more in tune with my presentations. That in turn allows me to feel more strikes, resulting in better hooksets and more fish in the boat.
The most important key to success on calm days, though, is to understand that you need to fish a little differently than you would when the conditions are rough—and that starts with targeting the right locations.