Walleye fishing requires patience and technique, which is why catching this fish isn’t for the angler on the go. Here are some tips on how to catch this elusive fish:
Vary your fishing technique depending on the season.
Spring is a great season to fish for walleye. Most of the bigger interior streams have great concentrations of this fish, particularly because the pre-spawning activity makes their movements predictable.
Walleye begin the reproductive season in the spring, so expect them to move to their spawning grounds. You’ll find the best walleye locations in waters close to spawning sites and structures which the fish have to overcome to reach the sites.
When fish are spawning, fishing can be extremely slow. Your best chance would be the smaller male walleye who ventures near the spawning sites. The post-spawning period is also slow, primarily because walleye are dispersed. This is also their resting period so they are less likely to eat.
The late-spring, early-summer period is an excellent time to fish for walleye because this is the time when they are beginning to eat again. Use a different fishing technique for shallow and deep waters.
Winter is a slow time, although you can still find some degree of success here. Fish will feed only occasionally during the dark or semi-dark hours.
Consider weather and light condition.
Walleye are the type of fish that avoid light, so you’re more likely to catch them on overcast days when there is little light. Dusk and nighttime are also excellent occasions.
Use the right fishing tools.
Walleye are best fished using low-drag lines, so choose light pound test lines that are thin. A light line is easier for the walleye to suck. You might also want to consider using a bottom-bouncer rig. The lead weight allows enough slack, so you can snag a walleye with little resistance.
Walleye are known for changing tactics when it comes to taking a bite. Some days you’ll need to use a plain shank hook while on other days you’ll need to some chartreuse beads to be noticed.
Although light lines often work well on many occasions, there are also times when you might have to use a heavier line. Again, just be flexible.
Ask for guidance.
Get a good map of the river or lake you intend to fish and study it. You should be able to spot the good areas depending on the time of the year. Drop by a nearby bait shop or talk to other anglers about where the schools of walleye are found and which presentations are best. You’ll have better success if you come prepared.