Green Bay (Door County) ? Walleyes
Growing up DoorCounty meant two thingsin my family. Mom was going shopping andDad went fishing. My Dad would gofishing off the Lake Michigan side of thepeninsula targeting salmon and trout. When my Wife said she wanted to visit Door County,I didn?t have visions of watching the goats graze on the grass roof of AlJohnson?s, but rather big walleyes coming boat side.
Logistics didn?t allow me to tow my boat, so I hired PaulDelaney from Late Eyes Sport Fishing to get me out on the water. Paul has spent summers in Door Countyfor most of his life and has been a full time resident for the last 17 years. As the name of his service implies hespecializes in fishing both late into the calendar year and at times late intothe night.
Our approach was to do trolling passes of ¾ a mile parallelto mid-lake reefs that looked like camel backs. The optimal trolling speed was right around 2 MPH. The lines running closest to the reef weretargeting fish that were hanging on the break line of the reefs. The lines we ran on the deep side of the boatwere targeting suspend fish and fish orienting to closer to the bottom. Paul said the primary forage base walleyes inthe lower bay are alewives, perch, and gobies.
We had wind that was approaching 20 MPH, so we had some nicewave action. Paul has been running aspinner blade and crank bait program recently for his clients. He likes to run a crank bait program when itgets rough.
Paul chose to run shad profile baits closest to the reefsand banana bait profiles on the rest of the lines. In terms of colors, Paul likes to ?match thehatch?. The best bait was a banana baitthat mimics goby coloration.
Paul put a little different twist on the depths he likes torun his baits. They were staggered indepth from the shallowest running baits closest to the reef and the deepestbeing the furthest from the reef. Forobvious reasons the baits following the contour of the reef needed to beshallower. The lines on the boards runningover 60? of water were still in the staggered pattern with the bait closest tothe boat running more shallow than the lines further from the boat. This goes against the text book scheme ofhaving your deepest lines closer to the boat. Paul was more concerned about intercepting fish that were sliding offthe reef and suspended than the spook of the boat. That is the nice thing about fishing inconditions with good wave action. Youdownplay the spook factor and employ other tactics.
Next time you are in Door Countytreat yourself to the great fishing the area has to offer.
Jason Sullivan In-DepthOutdoors.com Field Staff