If you are looking for advice on how to hook walleye this season then look no further. This is a compilation of tips gathered from the best walleye anglers out there who fish them for a living. Read this article from your Lake Michigan fishing charter guides for more information.
After extensive conversations, these are their most coveted tips, tricks, and methods for fishing walleye. Try out a few on your next charter and be prepared to start reeling them in!
Tip 1. Be Prepared
Make sure to bring your loaded tackle box. It can be a challenge figuring out what walleye are craving on any given day. You may need to use anything from trailers including crankbaits, worms, leeches, spoons, lead-line, minnows, and weights. Don’t leave anything you may regret not having out on the water.
Tip 2. Be a Leech
Leeches are great for fishing walleye, even more so when attached to good bobber. When rigging, make sure to get the hook into the suction cup of the leech, this will let them present some action. A good idea is to acclimate the leeches in a container of the water you’re fishing, this will get them used to the water and move more on the hook.
Tip 3. Go Local
A good tool of the trade seasoned walleye anglers is to use minnows that belong to the body of water they are trying to fish. It’s not uncommon for the shops to only offer farmed minnow that are shipped in. As a result, you’ll want to get the low-down on where to get the local stuff or prep and catch your own.
Tip 4. Go For Two
Using a triple swivel will enable you to increase the amount of bait you drop two-fold. Tie a crankbait to your leader at the end of a swivel. At the head of the swivel tie another leader that’s double the length of the first one with its own light bait and spoon. When dropping, let the crankbait go first before the double-length. This way, you’ll avoid snagging your lines all over each other and increase your chances of hooking a walleye.
Tip 5. Start Flying
Fly fishing walleye can have positive results during the right season. During the beginning of spring or the end of the winter, walleye begin their journey to breeding grounds and love eating all kinds of bugs at the water’s surface. Drop a fly in the right place early in the morning or at night and prepare to get hit!
Tip 6. Get Low
Jigging vertically is one of the better ways to fish walleye in streams. However, a rainy or windy day can muck up the water and make it hard for them to find the hook. When the water is cloudy, sink your bait and bounce it off the bottom of the water. Don’t hesitate to use a heavy sinker on more bustling waterways.
Tip 7. Go Small
One most difficult times to hook walleye can be when there are mayfly swarms. If you want to put luck on your side, get yourself a mayfly rig. Cast it out and find a good area where they’re hitting. Walleye love to catch a mayfly that is just hatching and reaching the water’s surface. As such, get yourself some tiny bait since mayfly hatchlings are usually only a few centimeters at most.
Tip 8. Try it All
Most walleye anglers focus on getting to the bottom, however the livelier ones tend to be swimming all about. Try out some different depths if you’re not having much luck. Hungrier walleye can be on the search for schools of minnow and you’ll increase your chances if you’re in the right place at the right time.
Tip 9. Copper Change-Up
If you want to use some lead-line but don’t want to have a mile of line on your stern, try out some copper line. Copper is increasing in popularity because of its ability to get double the depth of lead-core line. The only drawback to consider is that the copper does not stretch, so snaps may be more common. Avoid this with some filament leaders.
Tip 10. Plug It
Change up what you’re serving the walleye by tying a chatterbait. Let it sink and then play with it while reeling it back up. Don’t get too eager though, since they can muck up your line quickly. Make sure to get some sinkers on it to help it fall faster.
Tip 11. Go Shallow
Many walleye fishermen tend to focus on the deeper waterways, however, there are walleye in the shallows to be caught. Get some spoons out wherever you see cover. You’ll have a better chance if you get worms out there during high tide.
Tip 12. Plane It
Utilize some planers that can take your jig away from you, especially in clear water. Get yourself some long line for those gear-shy walleye and position the longer lines near the front of your boat with the shorter ones trailing the aft-most part of your vessel. This will allow you to avoid jumbling up your lines.
Tip 13. Go Plastic
If you keep getting hit by fish you’re not trying to catch, you’re probably better off skipping the trip to the bait store. Most experienced walleye fisherman find that their live baits are typically swarmed by small perch. As a result, you’ll save more time and catch more walleye by setting up plastic baits that won’t need to be repeatedly re-rigged.
Tip 14. Be Flexible
A good tip for jigging walleye is to use minnow in cooler waters and bugs/plastics in warmer waters. However, It’s best to be prepared for whatever happens to be the walleye appetite that day.
Tip 15. Go Deep
When severe weather has passed and a clear day has started it can seem like a perfect time to fish. However, this is when walleye like to hide out near the bottom of the water. This is when you definitely want to go low and find out where the flattest area is to find some walleye.
Tip 16. Lurk It
Walleye can be shy guys, so when reeling back in your bait keep it calm and steady. Stick to trail baits instead of hitting the water hard. Stocking up on some floaters can also work well since they don’t move too much and let the walleyes strike when they’re most comfortable.
Tip 17. Get the Cutlery
Dropping spoons is a good way to fish walleye. However, getting them sink far enough can be difficult without the proper equipment can be tough. To get your spoons down, use an assortment of weights, sinkers, planers, and lead line. Walleyes do have an aversion to heavy rigging so increase your line spacing without stretching your line too much.
Tip 18. No-Slide Bait
When rigging up some bait, attempt to jam a piece of plastic to the hook shank. This will help keep the bait in the right position and avoid mucking up your line. Also, when you do get a walleye strike, it’ll be sure to take the bait along with the hook.
Tip 19. Remember Bass
While bass are more commonly thought of when fishing weedy areas in shallower, clearer bodies of water, walleye are just as likely to be hiding out there. Skip rattler baits across the water and search for any gaps in the weeds. Worst case scenario: you hook a bass. Sounds like fun, eh?
Tip 20. Light ‘em Up
When the water column has decent visibility, go fishing after sunset. Walleyes are hypersensitive to light, so be sure to get some minnows out on the water with some sort of light directed at the water. Offer them a nice midnight snack and prepare to be rewarded. Contact our fishing guides at Kinns Sport Fishing in Algoma for more information.