June Walleye in Kansas

{Editor’s Note: Brian Ondrejka will be joining us as a regular contributor on Kansas Outdoorsman – He is originally from Milwaukee, Wisconsin and moved to Kansas in 2000. Growing up fishing in Wisconsin, Brian has experienced Great Lakes Salmon fishing, some of the best Walleye fishing, Crappie, Smallmouth Bass, the elusive Musky, and many more.

Brian focuses most of his efforts on Walleye fishing in Kansas. He also enjoys Wiper, Crappie, and Smallmouth Bass. Trolling is his favorite technique to catching big Walleye. He also enjoys spending time with his girlfriend, camping, skateboarding, working on his boat, looking at boats on Craigslist, and barbecuing. We look forward to his contribution – as I am sure you will see shortly – as a solid angler, especially when it comes to Kansas Walleye. We’ll feature several posts from his summer here as we “catch up” on what has been a slow blogging season for us here!}

The hot June Walleye bite lived up to it’s reputation at Clinton this year, with me boating close to 30+ Walleye over 15 inches. Clinton is unique in that its legal Walleye is 15 inches, compared to Hillsdale, which is 18, and many others that are the same. As May turned into June, the Walleye got bigger and more plentiful and I started to see more 19-21 inch fish.

My dad is a consistent Hillsdale fisherman and had been super jealous of the Walleye I’ve been getting into, so I took him out to my home waters for a late Father’s Day outing. He’s always been a jig guy, especially when it came to Walleye, and had not tried trolling crankbaits until he saw my success. He had just bought a new kicker for his Lund, so I decided to leave mine at home and commandeer his for the day.

 
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We started the day in 16 feet of water, trolling over the break and up into 6-8 feet. Clinton’s mud flats extend about 100 yards out from the peninsula, and about 200 yards vertically along the island. I trolled my dad’s Lund with his new 6 horse kicker in an S-curve fluctuating between 6-10 feet, dragging the cranks along the bottom trying to stir up a Walleye.Shortly after getting set, my rod went off and to my surprise, yielded a nice 6 pound Wiper. Prior to this outing, it was a good 2 weeks since I’d put a Wiper in the boat (mostly because it was all Walleye, not complaining!). That was certainly a nice way to kick off the day, but I still had to get my old man into a nice ‘eye. On our second pass, my rod ended up going off again, and I knew it was a Walleye right away. As my dad readied the net, the fish came to the surface and we both gasped in excitement; my biggest Walleye of the season, 23 inches, and just under 5 pounds. Earlier this season, I caught a 19 inch, 5 pound Sauger trolling by the dam. That fish surpassed the KS state record Sauger weight, but was short 2 inches. So this 23” Walleye really got my blood flowing.

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It wasn’t long after we got set up again that the rods started going off again. My dad got his first nice eater of the day, a 20 incher. I put a little 15 in the box, and my dad caught a 19 incher to end the day when the winds picked up to 40 mph. With 4 fish in the livewell between 15 and 23 inches, I was pretty proud of the “guided” trip I got to take my dad on. After 25 years, now I’m finally the one teaching him a thing or two.

~ Brian

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