Walleyes disperse after their spring spawning runs but still remain somewhat concentrated in fairly predictable locations. That’s good news for walleye anglers who know where to look. Once found, hungry post-spawn walleyes are unlikely to turn down a meal, further sweetening the deal for late-spring and early-summer anglers.
Chuck Mason of Ida, Michigan chases walleyes all year long. An ice and open-water tournament angler for nearly 20 years, Mason can be found on his home waters of the Detroit River, Lake St. Clair, and Western Lake Erie when not traveling on the Michigan Walleye Tour.
“You can catch walleyes in the Detroit River year ‘round,” Mason says. “Even though spawning is wrapped up, certainly May and even into early June you can still get on concentrations of fish in the river, but I like to follow the fish back down to Lake Erie during this period. There are a few areas where dredging spoils create a lot of humps and variability in depth that really seem to concentrate our post-spawn walleyes. One is an area known as ‘the humps’ off the river near Monroe, Michigan, and another known as ‘the dumping grounds’ out of Luna Pier.”
Mason typically employs four primary presentations for post-spawn walleyes, namely, casting hair jigs, pitching lipless crankbaits and Jigging Raps, vertical jigging, and trolling. “Depending on timing and water temperatures, you may want to be in one place over the other. “We start out snap-jigging hair jigs and ripping lipless baits on the Detroit river, then shift more to using blade baits further down out of the mouth on Lake Erie,” says Mason.