We used to go up there in late January- cold as all get out.The very best spot was tight in along the fish lift but since 9/11 you can not get to it.
We used to fish 3-4 inch shiners but others did well on small Rebel type minnow plugs- barely turning the reel handle for a super slow retrieve.Walleyes prefer cooler water and will bite all winter.Not many go after them but from what I hear-there are a fair amount below the dam now.
Its only too cold when the guides on the rod freeze solid to the point where you can't cast! I'm off starting next Thursday until after the new year so I plan on hitting the dam early in the morning several times before I go back to work. Gotta get my money's worth out of my license before it expires! Blue and silver broken back Rebels and plastics work well, but live minnows are probably a little better if you can get them.
Thanks for the info. Thought about going today but all the creeks look like chocolate milk so can only imagine what the Susky would be like.
Did stop into Herb's last week and talked to Mike. He showed me his not so top secret lure and gave some tips. Went on up to the dam only to find 0 gates open! Needless to say that was a wasted trip.
Good fishing, Lance.
If you call the number that I have listed below you will get a recorded message telling you when and what gates they have open at the dam. It is updated daily. A phone call could save you that wasted trip. Good luck with the Walleyes. Report back and let us know how you make out!
Well its official. I went up to the dam this afternoon to try for a few walleye. Fished "til almost dark with no hits but quit when the guides kept freezing up. So yes, it officially is too cold for walleyes--at least until next week when it gets above freezing again!!
Lest you think I am totally nuts, I wasn't alone and I wasn't the last one to leave. I saw one fish caught and one other guy said he had caught two small ones. There is a lot of water coming over/through the dam and a lot of current so we fished from up on the rocks and the platform on the steps. Oh well, it beat sitting in the house yesteday and watching it rain.
Thanks Jerry for the report. Since I started to post it's rained around 6" so have not given it a try since the water color has been so brown. Do you think the dirty water had anything to do with the lack of bites?
No, I don't think that clarity was the issue. Surprisingly, the water clarity was very good. I could see my lure down at least 6-8 inches which is very good considering the volume of water. I think the volume of water was more a factor than anything. It was up over the first set of rocks at the bottom of the rip-rap (up to the second step on the stairs) so access was down over the rocks.. The fish I saw caught and the guy who said he caught the two were both tucked up in the very top end of the eddy created by the rip-rap below the old fish trap. I was down lower fishing off of the steps platform and there was a lot more current there. There were literally hundreds of gulls working yesterday and a large portion of them were working the discharge of the generator nearest the shore. I started to leave and wound up down at the boat ramp at the lower end of the park. There was one guy fishing there and his comment was, "the water has been high all day" which reinforces my thinking that the high volume was the problem.
Lots of eagles and eagle peepers there yesterday also.
Thanks for the report. Havent been up there in almost a month (arrgh). But if the birds are still there the fish are as well as youd think. Its all timing with the flow, its got to be near perfect to catch em good. Hope to get over there in the next week or so for the heck of it.
My buddy who fishes the upper Potomac told me that the walleyes bit well at night when the water was very cold. Not sure about that. I think he might be just trying to get me out there at night in the middle of the winter.
It never gets too cold. They water never freezes and can't get below 32. Look at all the ice fishermen up north, walleye are the prized fish and feed very well under the ice.
Sudden temperature changes may affect them for a little while but they should bounce back once things stabalize. They may move out of the center of the river to more protected eddies but they should always be available.