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Walleye fishing is a popular pastime for anglers of all skill levels. If you’re just learning how to fish, this how to fish for walleye guide will help you find, target and catch walleye.
We discuss tips and advice from professional fishermen from their personal experiences. Walleye are a fun fish to catch and one of the freshwater fishing experiences I really enjoy.
With some preparation, the right tackle and technique, you’ll be on your way to an enjoyable day catching walleye out on the water.
Similar to trout fishing, walleye fishing can be a sneaky fish to catch. Discover how to fish for walleye in this brilliant guide.
- How To Fish For Walleye
- Where and When To Go Walleye Fishing
- Walleye Fishing Gear
- Common equipment you’ll need to catch walleye:
- Walleye Fishing Bait
- Common bait used to catch walleye:
- Learn How to Jig for Walleye
- Can You Fly Fish For Walleye?
- Fishing Walleye from Boat or Banks
- Walleye Profile
- How To Fish For Walleye: Final Thoughts
How To Fish For Walleye
When it comes figuring out how to fish for walleye, there are a few key techniques and tips to keep in mind. First, look for areas of the water where these fish tend to congregate, such as rocky shorelines or drop-offs in depth.
Walleye are primarily active during low-light hours, so early morning and evening are often the best times to go fishing.
Jigs with live bait, such as minnows or nightcrawlers, can be effective at luring walleye towards your bait. Another technique is trolling with deep-diving crankbait or plugs that resemble small fish; this can cover more water and increase your chances of catching one of these elusive fish.
With some patience and practice, landing a walleye can be a thrilling and rewarding experience!
Where and When To Go Walleye Fishing
When learning how to fish for walleye, you’ll need to to understand where and when to fish.
Walleyes prefer shallow waters with a 6-20 ft (1.8-6 m) depth; they are often found in areas of broken ground, such as gravel and weed beds, as well as points, reefs, rocky shorelines and humps.
Walleye also tend to feed more actively at dawn, dusk and during the night when there is low light, so targeting them during these times can be productive.
Always remember to get permission before using someone’s private property. Find fishing opportunities in National Parks.
Walleye Fishing Gear
When fishing for walleye, you’ll need the right equipment.
A medium-light spinning rod and reel setup with a 6-7ft (1.8-2 m) rod, 20 lb (9 kg) test line and 4 lb (2 kg) fluorocarbon leader is ideal.
Be sure to use jigs, swimbaits and crankbaits in 1/8 – 1/4 oz (3 – 8 g) weights and select colors that match the surrounding environment.
Live bait such as worms, night crawlers, shrimp or small minnows are also recommended.
Lastly, you’ll figure this out one way or another as you discover how to fish for walleye, it’s important to bring a knife and pliers as you will often need them when unhooking walleye from weeds or around rocks and other structure.
Common equipment you’ll need to catch walleye:
- Fishing Rod – A medium to medium-light power rod of 6-7 feet length is suitable for walleye fishing.
- Fishing Reel – A spinning reel or a baitcasting reel with a smooth drag system is essential to reel in a walleye.
- Fishing Line – Monofilament or braided line with a 6-10 lb test strength is the most common choice for walleye fishing.
- Jigs – A variety of jigs in different weights and colors are effective in catching walleye when not trolling.
- Trolling Lures – Crankbaits, stickbaits, and spoons are some of the popular trolling lures used to catch walleye.
Recommended: 5 Different Types of Fishing Rods and Best Uses
Walleye Fishing Bait
As we just touched on, one of the most important things to consider when discovering how to fish for walleye is bait selection.
Choosing a bait that closely matches the size and color of the natural food sources in a certain area can make all the difference when it comes to landing a trophy sized fish.
Jigs, swimbaits and crankbaits are some common lures used when learning how to fish for walleye but live bait such as worms, night crawlers, shrimp, or small minnows can also work well too.
Be sure to pay attention to what’s being naturally eaten by the fish in the area you’re fishing before selecting a bait.
Common bait used to catch walleye:
- Minnows – live or dead minnows are a popular choice for catching walleye, especially in colder water temperatures.
- Nightcrawlers – walleye are attracted to the scent of nightcrawlers, making them a great bait option.
- Leeches – leeches are another live bait option that walleye are known to love.
- Jigs – jigs are a versatile bait that can be tipped with live bait or soft plastic lures to attract walleye.
- Crankbaits – crankbaits are hard-bodied lures that can mimic the movements of prey fish, making them a popular choice for catching walleye in open water.
Learn How to Jig for Walleye
Jigging is one of the most effective methods for walleye fishing, as it allows you to work the lure deep in the water or up closer to the surface.
You can use any type of jig from small spoons to standard leadhead varieties with a variety of soft plastics.
The key is to make sure your presentation looks just like real food would, giving off vibrations that mimic natural prey swimming in a realistic pattern in order to fool even the smartest predator fish!
Can You Fly Fish For Walleye?
Fly fishing can be a great way to target walleye and a new experience when it comes to learning how to fish for walleye.
Although it may not be as popular as regular spinning or baitcasting methods, it’s something to try as you discover how to fish for walleye.
You’ll also want to choose the right flies that imitate the food source of walleye and present them in a manner that will entice bites.
Even though fly fishing for walleye can pose more of a challenge than regular fishing, it can be fun when done correctly!
Also check out: Quick Battle: Fly Fishing vs Regular Fishing
Fishing Walleye from Boat or Banks
These fish tend to agglomerate near structure, such as rocks, logs, reeds, vegetation and weeds. Walleye also prefer cooler water, as they’re a cold water species.
As such, they’ll often gather in deeper parts close to a riverbank and along edges of drop-offs.
- Scientific Name: Sander vitreus
- Walleye is a freshwater fish native to Canada and the northern United States.
- Average size: 14 to 26 inches (35.6 to 66 cm) in length and 1 to 5 pounds (0.45 to 2.3 kg) in weight, although larger individuals can be found.
- Maximum size: over 30 inches (76 cm) in length and weighing up to 25 pounds (11.3 kg).
- Appearance: walleye have a slender, elongated body that is usually olive green or brown on the upper body with a white belly. They have sharp canine teeth, large eyes that reflect light, and a distinctive spiny dorsal fin.
- Habitat: freshwater lakes, reservoirs, and rivers, where they prefer deep, cool water with rocky or gravelly bottoms. They often inhabit areas with structure, such as drop-offs, weed beds, or submerged logs.
- Range: found throughout Canada and the northern United States, with some populations also introduced to other parts of North America and the world.
- Feeding habits: carnivorous, preys on fish, insects, and other aquatic organisms. They are known for their excellent low-light and nighttime vision, which allows them to feed more effectively than many other fish species.
- Breeding and reproduction: typically spawn in the spring, with males selecting a nesting site and females laying eggs in the nest. The eggs are fertilized by males, and the young fish hatch in about 10 days. The young grow quickly and may reach sexual maturity within a few years.
- Importance to humans: popular sportfish due to their large size and excellent flavor. They are also an important commercial fishery species, especially in Canada and the northern United States.
- Conservation status: walleye populations are generally healthy, but some populations are threatened by habitat loss, overfishing, and pollution. Conservation efforts are focused on maintaining and restoring habitat, managing fisheries sustainably, and controlling non-native species that may compete with or prey on walleye.
Also check out: How To Fish For Bass: 7 Tips To Catch Bass Today
How To Fish For Walleye: Final Thoughts
Learning how to fish for walleye is an enjoyable and rewarding sport that can be enjoyed by anglers of all skill levels. Whether you’re a seasoned fisherman or just leaning how to fish for walleye, you’ll have a blast at the water’s edge.
With the correct knowledge of the species, its habits, and the environment, it can be a successful adventure.
The right gear and techniques should be employed depending on the conditions in order to increase your chances of success.
Patience, determination, and practice are all essential elements to improve fishing skills for walleye.
Overall, discovering how to fish for walleye can provide a wonderful opportunity to escape from everyday routines and possibly take home a great catch.
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