Yes, you do have to plan well if you’re going after the walleye. Even experienced anglers find the walleye very challenging. They don’t take this fish lightly and neither should you. With the right tricks, you can even come home with your very own walleye trophy. Here are some techniques you can use when fishing for walleye:
Understand the walleye’s feeding habits.
Walleye don’t always slash at a bait in the same manner as pike. Sometimes, you should expect a short strike. This happens when the walleye approaches the bait/prey, opens up its gills thus ‘inhaling’ the prey. As long as the process is uninterrupted, you get a bite.
Refine the combination of your lure and line.
Presentation is a lot of things when fishing for the walleye. The trick is to allow little resistance in your line and lure. A light line will allow the lure to flow into the fish’s mouth uninterrupted.
Use a thin, monofilament line to avoid drag; a 2-lb. test line to a 4-lb. test line will do best. Sometimes, a 6-lb. test line will also work. You might also want to use a rod made with material such as graphite, which is sensitive enough to detect a light strike.
Attract the fish.
Both live and artificial bait will work on the walleye, provided you know how to use them. For live bait, use those that the walleye often feed on, such as minnows, earthworms, leeches and little crayfish.
When using a boat, drift slowly along with the river current. Using lead heads in light, fluorescent shades tipped with an additional winnow or leech will be attractive to the walleye.
Use speed trolling in larger bodies of water.
In lakes and reservoirs, speed trolling is a commonly used method. Maintain a speed of about 3mph (max. 5 mph) in water 10 ft. deep. Drop the lure and allow it to drag along the bottom. Leave some slack to avoid line breakage in case a walleye strikes.
Shoreline wading can also be a good fishing technique to use with walleye, particularly in the summer. Locate the fish first and then throw in a natural bait-tipped lead head.
Use a yoyo technique.
The yoyo technique is also known as the lift-and-drop. This is also an excellent technique to use for retrieving. Don’t drag the lure like you would a dead animal. Raise it about a foot or so, pause and then drop it to sink naturally to the bottom of the lake or river. Vary your intervals to make the lure look more appealing. Retrieve slowly.