Tips to Successfully Fish for Walleye

A man holds a Walleye he caught fishing at Anderson's LodgeThere are multiple reasons why Walleye are such a popular species to fish for in certain areas. Perhaps the most important reason is they taste good and can be cooked in such a variety of ways. They also have a striking and unique appearance and provide a challenge for many anglers as an elusive, good-sized fish.

So, it makes sense that an angler of any experience level would target walleye. But if you’re new to it, there are some things you should know before you head out there. Here are some tips to successfully fish for Walleye:

Know What You’re Looking For

If you’re going to catch a Walleye, you’re going to need to know what one looks like. They can be any where from 12 to 27 inches when fully grown but are more likely to be around 20 inches and slightly under 10 pounds.

Their physical characteristics include: a dark green back, a gold or white coloured belly, yellow flecks, a sharp dorsal fin with roughly a dozen spines, a white blotch on the tail, a large silvery eye, and a large mouth with noticeable teeth.

Know Where to Find Them

While Walleye are now stocked all over North America and many places in the world, they’re most likely to be found in Canada, the Great Lakes region, the Upper Mississippi River basin, and the Missouri River basin. This species tends to enjoy cool, deep waters in rivers and lakes. They’ll spend much of their day closer to the bottom of the water, so you can usually find them there. But they’ll make more appearances in shallow water during the spawning seasons of May and June.

Use the Right Lure/Bait

Catching one or more Walleye will likely require using various tactics. At the very least, you should be ready to improvise if what you’re doing isn’t working. Since the vast majority of a Walleye’s diet is smaller fish, minnow-imitating lures are a great choice to attract them, especially as they go deeper in the water.

If you’re going to use live bait, minnows are still a good choice, as are nightcrawlers and leeches. This should work basically all year long. Artificial hard baits are great for use in the spring and fall while soft plastics can be used all year long.

Try Different Methods

Many anglers will try to catch Walleye by jigging for them using lead head jigs tipped with a minnow. Brightly colored jigs tend to do the job most effectively, but neutral colors tend to work better in low-light conditions. Depending on what works on a given day, you can cast and retrieve slowly or add some twitches and jerks. When doing so, you should let the jig hit the bottom of the lake or river.

Meanwhile, fishing with a lure provides you with the opportunity to cover a lot of water in a short amount of time. This is a good tactic to use when Walleye are actively feeding and is generally done using crankbaits, jerkbaits, and blade baits.

Another tactic you might want to try with any of these baits or lures is trolling. You can do this by pulling one or more baits or lures behind the boat, which can help you cover a lot of ground and also easily find some fish. You’ll want to make sure you add enough weight to the line so that it stays deep in the water.

If you’re looking do some Walleye fishing this year, Anderson’s Lodge in Ontario, Canada is a perfect place to do it. We can offer you world-class accommodations with the best staff-to-guest ratio in the area, in addition to a wonderful fishing vacation. Make a reservation today!