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I like to catch big walleye. Okay, that's not quite accurate. I like to catch big walleye on big swimbaits. :) Yeah, I know it's not the most effective way to do it and yes, I've been schooled more than once (or twice, or whatever 6 or 7 times over is) by people fishing conventional gear while I insist on throwing swimbaits for big 'eyes. I can't help it though, and I don't want to.

Anyway, the year started off with a spectacular night - two 28" fish, both on a Deps 175 SS. One big walleye in a night is great, two big walleye in a night is unheard of (unless you're CadenceKing or AOFisher or Neal/CO or a few others that stalk the darkness with lethal effect).

This one went 8.9 lbs on the scale


This one, slightly chunkier, went 9.2 lbs on the scale.

What made this one outing even more amazing was that my friend also landed a 28" 'eye, and, true to form, his fish weighed a hefty 10.2 lbs!

After that, big swimbaits for big walleye returned to their normal pattern (near misses, skunks, lots of skunks), and stayed that way until this fall. Luckily, I had bass eating big swimbaits on the surface to keep me sane. Actually, that's when I crossed paths with my first fall walleye, which hit the Deps 175SS after I'd been smacking bass after bass on the 7" Slammer.


This one went 27" (no weight - left the scale at home, dammit), and was a welcome surprise on a night when the largemouth were keen to lay into the Slammer with a vengeance.

Then things got silly. A couple of weeks later I decided to head out again, mainly targeting bass - after all, I love topwater strikes and will throw a waking swimbait 'til the cows come home, and for three days afterwards if I think there's even a remote chance that some bass will come dancing in to tango with a bait. On this night, the bass took the back seat.


Fish #1 hit my an early cast, and went 28" and 10.2 lbs on the scale.


Fish #2 hit a cast a little while later, and went 26.5" and 7.7 lbs. A bit skinny, but frisky as a dingo in a sheep station.


Fish #3, a little later on that evening, went 26" and weighed somewhere between 6.9 and 7.3 - the scale was bouncing, the fish was bouncing, heck, I was bouncing! Not all of the blood on this fish was fish blood - I got a little careless during an attempted unhooking.

As I said before, 1 big walleye in a night is a great night, two is awesome, but 3? Three? Holy cow! Three big walleye in one night is downright insane. To make it even more improbable was the fact that each and every one of those walleye hit a 7" Slammer that was waking on the surface. That has never happened, and I've thrown Slammers on lakes with walleye for years!

After success like that, I had to go back. I did. The bite had slowed down a bit, and the only fish that would whack the Slammer were bass. Oh shucks!


So, after playing with them for a while, I tied on a slow sink BBZ-1 and promptly hooked and landed another 28" walleye, and this one was fat - she went 10.6 lbs on the scale!

I've headed out a few times since then and it appears that my window for walleyes on big baits may be over, especially with the weather outside right now. Still, if I get another opportunity to head out, I definitely will, because there's something devastatingly addictive about flinging a 6 or 7 or 9" bait into the darkness and halfway or three-quarters of the way through the retrieve feeling that distinctive THUMP as a big walleye loads on.

Okay, as a teacher I like to share some info, but I'm not going to share a lot. I will share this: Colorado has more lakes than most people realize that can produce big walleyes - the popular lakes do produce fish, but they get lots of pressure. Almost all of the big 'eyes I caught this year came from other lakes. Do some research and you might just find your unicorn pasture.
 

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:thumb:

Awesome post Dr.

Thanks for sharing I always enjoy your posts, you're an inspiration for us regular fisher folks!
 

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Lots of awesome, there! :hail:
 

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Great post, lots of info without giving anything away - way to go!

And super sweet walleye's for sure, especially on top water - WOW!!
 

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Outstanding job, Doc! I'd say the swimbaits are plenty effective for you. I would be very, very afraid to throw those Deps in them rocks... :eek:
 

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Really nice work Chris!!! Did you actually lose any of those swimbaits? It was a great spring this year. I spent most of the fall hunting, but from what I have seen on Facebook a lot of nice fish were caught this fall also! There are some young guys on here like Ducky and Bobby who are becoming damn good Vampires also8)
 

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Glad you got around to posting the pics! That one shot of the 'eye t-boning the slide swimmer is awesome. As Ducky said, this past fall was epic for lots of people targeting big walleyes. I hope you didn't just convince me to drop $100 for that bait......:eek: Awesome job and thanks for sharing!
 

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Man, I have put some time in with night time walleye's and swimbaits, but it has not come thru for me yet in CO. The lakes out on the prairie are the only place they come thru for me. Nice work Doc!

What line are you fishing as a shore swimbaiter with your Deps SS?
 

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Doctor, I got a fever and the only prescription is more swimbaits!

Dig your excitement and you can feel it in your writing.

Nice post!
 

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Awesome Doc!!!! :thumb::thumb::thumb:
 

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Very cool, doc!!! I admire your dedication. I would love to pick your brain about the Depps 175... I have no confidence in it.. but would like to change that.
 
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