Don’t Miss out on Wall-hanger Walleyes

Buddy Wade with his 8 pound, 9 ounce Lake Lanier walleye.
Buddy Wade with his 8 pound, 9 ounce Lake Lanier walleye.

The time for trophy walleye is nearly here.  For anglers like Lake Lanier’s Buddy Wade, the time has already come.

Wade was deep jigging a spoon on a midlake hump 37 foot deep in Lanier Sunday, Jan. 20, when he hooked an 8 pound, 9 ounce walleye from the depths. Not surprisingly, Wade didn’t hesitate to submit a Georgia Angler Award application to the Wildlife Resources Division.

While Wade’s whopper walleye is not a state record, it may qualify as a Lake Lanier record according to Georgia Outdoor News, which tracks lake records. The state-record walleye is 11 pounds, 6 ounces and was caught by Neal Watson on Richard B. Russell Lake in 1995.

This monster catch is a reminder that great opportunities for such trophy walleye are right around the corner.

“Large, egg-laden females will begin their journeys uplake, in preparation for early March spawning in tributary rivers,” said Anthony Rabern, a senior fisheries biologist with the Wildlife Resources Division. “Late winter may provide Georgia anglers with their best chances at catching a lake-record or even a state-record walleye!”

Rabern offers some tips for success:

  • In February, adult walleye will migrate from the main lake into pre-spawn staging areas in the upper reaches of reservoirs — before the lakes take on a more river-like appearance.
  • Walleye will most likely be holding close to the bottom.
  • For bait, a nightcrawler bounced very slowly on the bottom is all you need. For artificial bait enthusiasts, trolling a deep-diving crank bait in fire tiger, yellow perch, crayfish or other similar color patterns can be effective.

Georgia anglers can expect some great fishing in the coming months, so plan a February “hunt” for trophy walleyes soon! Visit  for more information on north Georgia walleye, including a fishing guide prepared by senior fisheries biologist Anthony Rabern. Also, visit to learn more about the Angler Award Program and how to apply for an Angler Award.


5 thoughts on “Don’t Miss out on Wall-hanger Walleyes

  1. greg kerr

    Which lakes have catchable populations of walleyes, and are there any lakes which have public shoreline where it might be possible to catch one from the bank. I ate some walleye up north and it was superb eating, but I don’t have a boat.


    1. Tom Little

      I really appreciate your input and I look forward to giving it a try, if making a living doesn’t interfer with having a good time fishing. I’ve got some of my buddies ready to giving it a try & will let you know what if any results that we will have.
      Thanks, Tom


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