Went out yesterday early evening with some jerkbaits. Picked a spot that I knew I could get to quickly after work. This being the start of my first full fishing year, based my spot on what I know about the res & what I've read about walleye spawning behavior.
Last fall when the water was very low, I could see how/why this was a productive fishing spot last summer when I picked up fishing again (since my early teens).
Anyway, based on what I saw in this area when the water was low last Fall, I suspected
this might be an area where walleye might spawn, but I wasn't sure (still am not). Thus I hoped to have a shot at some males who might be roaming the area.
I get there about 5:30pm, it's partly cloudy and continually getting cloudier. I get to the shore and am surprised how clear the water is. Looking out, the water is glass calm (very pretty .. excited about the fishing season ahead!) but the low-angle sun and clouds should help my cause I'm thinking.
About 20 minutes in, my jerkbait is in the water, I'm kinda looking around at the water etc when a fish randomly moves up (with some energy) right in front of me - FACING ME - and just sits. About 6-8 ft out, maybe 3-6 ft deep.
My jerkbait is still out in the water, out in the general direction it looked like this fish came from. I'm dumbfounded. It's facing me so I can't immediately make out it's species though I know it can't be anything but a walleye right now. That's confirmed later when she turns and I can see her profile is definitely that of an eye.
I bring my jerkbait back in slowly, position the rod so the jerkbait passes her on the side and then about a foot in front of her. Nothing. No response. I pull my phone out because I'm curious and I want to capture what's happening as much as possible while still fishing. I try to get her attention with the jerkbait again, from different angles. Literally nothing, as if neither I nor the rattle chamber and movement of the jerkbait were even present. My boots on the slick rocks on top of wet sediment were making enough noise that any
fish in that proximity should easily
be spooked. Nothing. What's happening here?
The below pic is from 6:04pm, she had turned to be parallel to shore by this time (a very slight movement, literally just positioning parallel to the shore instead of perpendicular), and you can see just how close she is.
Below the pic is :44 seconds of video @ 5:58pm that I immediately took right after she randomly pulled up.
Below that is :22 seconds of video @ 6:06pm - my jerkbait can be seen in the water in front of her and, again, you can see just how completely uninterested she is anything happening around here.
My thinking is, based on what I've read, that this is a female walleye ready to drop her eggs. Yes? She's waiting for males to come along? I've read that when walleye are actually spawning (not pre or post spawn) it's very energy-intensive and they aren't interested in anything except the spawn.
No other walleye came along (around her or within my field of vision anyway). She was in that same spot for at least 30 minutes, oblivious to my movements along the shoreline. I eventually worked my way down the shoreline and back (as far as the shore would let me), fan casting jerkbaits, twitch-twitch 3-10 second pauses. Did this for the next 1.5 hrs. I couldn't buy a bite. I couldn't pull myself from that spot and try somewhere else because I'm thinking if this is a spawning location then there's gotta be some male eyes around. Also I know there is deep water adjacent and that this might be as good a spot as any that I could readily find.
Does this look to anyone like a normal walleye spawning location? I've read that sediment is not good for the eggs but there's clearly plenty of it around. I know there are large boulders further down in the water column, and lots of small rocks. But this particular spot to spawn? What's happening here?
And if this is a female ready to spawn, was I correct in choosing to stay in that location thinking males should be nearby?
6:04pm, now parallel to shore, proximity to shore can be seen
5:58pm, :44 seconds of video, walleye literally just pulled up in front of me - she can't really be seen at first from the glare on the water, she can be seen after I put my polarized sunglasses in front of the lens at about :24 seconds
6:06pm, :22 second vid, jerkbait in water, motionless/oblivious walleye - Spawning?