Photo: Dayton Klashinsky

To catch big fall walleye, smallies, muskies and pike, you need to be in the right place at the right time. Here’s how


In late fall, walleye and other sport fish bunch up in a few choice hot spots

Toronto Raptors fans will never forget Kawhi Leonard’s historic game seven buzzer-beater against the Philadelphia 76ers during the 2019 NBA Eastern Conference semi-finals. The ball bounced four times on the rim before going in, just as the buzzer blared to end the game. That win advanced the Raptors to the Eastern Conference finals, and ultimately the team’s first-ever NBA Championship. Inspirational, right?

With time running out on the open-water fishing season, you can accomplish a buzzer-beater all of your own this fall. But to pull it off in Raptor-like fashion, you need to stack the odds heavily in your favour. With the cold winds of winter breathing down your neck, you have to be in the right spot at the right time—just like Kawhi was in the corner when he scored his spectacular two-pointer.


During summer, you can typically find walleye, smallmouth bass, muskies and northern pike scattered about, associating with numerous structure and cover options. So, even if you’re not on one of the best spots, you can still squeak out a victory. Don’t count on that in late autumn, however, when the fish will be bunched up big time and concentrated in a very few choice locations. Only 10 per cent of the water holds 90 per cent of the fish at the best of times, but in the fall, it often drops to half that amount.

So, with success hinging on finding these secluded clusters of fish, where should you concentrate your search? Here are my all-time favourite late-season locations for beating the buzzer.