Where to Find Perch and Walleyes on Featureless Lakes

J. Miller asks:

I live in Eastern North Dakota, and have a full time job that doesn’t involve fishing. Although I wish it did!! So I am limited to where I can go for lakes. (Usually a 2 hr radius. is about as far as I will drive) The lakes I go to have mainly perch, walleye, and Pike, and not alot of structure. Flat bottoms, very few rock piles that seem like they get surrounded by the crowds. Where do we go on a lake that doesn’t have all the rock piles, or structure that we are so use to seeing you talk about. The lakes aren’t small, there’s just very little structure.

Thank you Joel. And right lines!

Photo Credit - Ben Larson - In Depth Media Productions  Featured -  Marcum LX-7

Photo Credit - Ben Larson - In Depth Media Productions

Featured - Marcum LX-7

I think the key to finding locations away from the crowds is to know that even small, rather featureless lakes have some structure. For the ones that are completely void of good breaks, substrate changes, and/or offshore structure, small variations in depth, shoreline features, and bottom content can be a big deal.

For walleyes, you’re right, people certainly target the hard turns, points, and offshore defined structure.  Secondary spots that most anglers overlook shine in the scenario you speak of.  More gradual breaks, long edges with a feeding bench, or even secondary points away from main ones.  For perch, those guys roam off-structure, and on a good slough, you should spread out and push away from structure to the mud.  That’s where invertebrates will be teeming and the perch won’t be far behind.  For both species, spend some time exploring near whatever structure is available, but just off of it.  That goes for community holes and hidden gems as well.  We’ve gotten good as anglers at finding the obvious spots, and completely miss the rest.  I’m just as guilty, and am continually amazed when I find fish stacked in locations I consider poor.  They obviously don’t think so!

Hope some of this helped, and have a great new years.  Thanks for the questions.

Joel