A tip in the current issue of In-Fisherman Magazine is worth noting if you're fishing early season (now) walleye. Studies by the Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources indicate that most of the larger females move out of the shallows and into deep, cool water right after spawning on Canadian lakes. Why? These big females are better able to conserve energy in deep, cooler water as opposed to warmer, shallower water where they burn more calories. The deep water also is home to ciscos, a high-energy baitfish that these walleye seek out as a preferred food source.
The article suggests looking for these fish on classic deep structures, 16 to 24 feet down. Try trolling deep-diving crankbaits or bottom-bouncers with spinners. Incidentally, Gord caught a 28 inch walleye in 35 feet earlier this week. That's a big female, the kind this article is describing.
So, if you want a shot at a hawg walleye, fish deep. For eater walleye stick to the shallow areas.
I find the evidence-based research to be an eye-opener. I've always fished early season walleye on Eagle in shallow water, very rarely deeper than 15 feet. These depths produced some nice walleye for me, but never a truly large fish. Now I know why.