Welcome to our comprehensive walleye fishing guide. Here we will discuss in great detail tactics and tips for walleye fishing. This section will be updated frequently- so check back often to learn all the latest and greatest walleye secrets and how to catch walleye. This fish is one of the most sought after species of all freshwater fish. They taste absolutely delicious and are a thrill to catch. Walleye are one of the more challenging fish species to hunt down, making them a prized species. In order to effectively track down walleye you really need to understand where they during the day are and what times they are biting at. Below are some quick links breaking down what we consider the most comprehensive walleye fishing guide on the internet.
Table of Contents
Walleye Background Information & Facts
The scientific name for walleye is sander viterus. If you’re from Canada you may have heard people refer to this fish as pickerel. Regardless of what you call the fish, they are very distinguishable. Walleye have big shiny eyes making them easy to identify. They have a beautiful golden color and with distinct sharp spines. Walleye have fairly large teeth, and will feed on smaller fish, bugs, and insects. They have a big appetite and can grow to be quite large. Walleye can grow as big as 25 lbs, and both the big and small ones can put up a great fight. They will typically spawn in the early spring over rocky streams usually at around 50 degrees Fahrenheit or less. Usually once summer weather moves in these fish will migrate to larger bodies of water, but you can always catch a few in these streams. Walleye typically go on eating frenzies early in the morning or as soon as the run goes down. This is usually the best time to catch them, however; if you know the right spots you can fish for them all day long. So without further delay below is probably the reason you stumbled upon this page. The tips provided below will be changed and updated frequently to ensure your fishing success so check back often and feel free to submit your own tips as well.
Walleye Fishing Tips and How To Fish Walleye
Just before the sun comes up and right after the sun goes down is the absolute best time to catch walleye. These fish will move into the shallows to attack prey at this time making them easy targets. Trolling with crank baits such as Rapalas, or using minnows/worms/leeches tends to work great. Some people will use plastics however I have always found live bait to work better. A secret walleye lure I often use at night is the Rapala Husky Jerk – Clown Fish. This is one of my favorite and most successful lures for targeting trophy walleye.
Best way to catch walleye
So a lot of our readers are walleye anglers, and really want to know the answer to the age old question: what is the best way to catch walleye? Now I have numerous different methods that I use when going for this species, but this post will detail my 2 most successful methods. Walleye really aren’t that difficult to target, contrary to popular believe. The key is knowing their patterns and where they hang out. Walleye will migrate and have different hangouts throughout the year so keep that in mind. However they bite all year round- as long as you know what you are doing. There are 2 techniques that I use over and over again with huge success when going for walleye. I can spend hours ranting about how to catch walleye and which lures are best, but below are the two best techniques to land trophy walleye depending on the time of day.
During the day
Walleye tend to move into deep water. Dredged areas and drop offs are usually hot spots for this fish. They tend to get pretty lazy during the day and will usually sit in these holes right along the bottom. My personal favorite method is to troll using a bottom bouncer and a worm harness + worm. If you are familiar with some good holes you can anchor and jig these areas.
Use a worm harness if you’re going to use a live worm. Walleye are smart fish and will often bit the tail area of the worm. They like it when the worm is attached to the hook at the very tip and left fully extended. A worm harness will prevent the worm from ripping, and will also land you the fish if it decides to bite just the end.
Troll slow! Walleye are lazy fish and will typically not chase down its prey if it’s moving too fast. If your fishing off shore reel in very very slow. If you are trolling a lake troll at the slowest pace your motor will allow.
When you find one there are usually more in that area! If you manage to land a walleye be sure to hit up the same area again and again. Walleye are schooling fish so where there is one there are usually many.
The most important thing is to get your lure to where the walleye are situated. Sounds easy but in reality this can be a difficult task. You want to get your lure to sit a few inches off the bottom of the lake or river you are fishing.
Sometimes simple is better. Some of my best walleye fishing has been done using sinkers, hooks, and worms. Just find the fish and get the worm in front of them.
Use the right line/rod. Walleye fight hard and have sharp teeth. I usually recommend a 10lb braided line and a rod with a sensitive tip. The sensitive tip is key so that you can feel when your lure hits bottom and when you have a nibble.
During the Early Mornings or Night
This is the best time to land trophy walleye. They are on the hunt in the dark making them easy to target. Walleye will come into the shallows to attack bait-fish during these times. This is why I absolutely love using crank baits. My two favorite that seem to work great for me are a pearl colored Bomber or a Husky Jerk Clown. You can troll or cast and retrieve right along shore lines of about 10 feet or less.
When using either technique move very slowly. I find walleye strike best when you troll or retrieve your line at an extremely slow pace. These are my best techniques I use for landing trophy walleye.
Walleye Lures and Bait
This section will outline the rigs and setups you need to land you a trophy walleye.
Hook + Worm + Bottom bouncer– This is by far the most effective combination when fishing during the day in deep waters. The rig is cheap and it will ensure that your lure is right on bottom where the big units reside.
Jigs– These are probably the most common walleye set up. A jog is cheap and allows you to get your lure to the bottom effectively. Mimic minnows and white twister tails tend to be a popular choice to add to the jig. I personally prefer using live bait such as worms minnow or leeches.
Spinners– spinners work great for walleye as well. Just be sure to use ample sinkers or a bottom bouncer to ensure that you are getting low enough.
Crank Baits– These are my go to lures when fishing early in the am or late at night in the shallows. Crank baits help you cover a lot of ground and are great during times when walleye are on their feeding frenzies in the shallows. The Rapala husky jerk is a personal favorite of mine.