How To Fish For Walleye
The walleye, commonly called Yellow Pike, is a native fish to the regions of Canada and the Northern US. The term “walleye” was derived to describe the fish’s eyes that point outwards, giving them the advantage to see things clearly in the dark.
Their colors are mostly in the olive and gold pattern, and white on the belly part. They can grow at a maximum of 30 inches and can weigh up to 20 lbs, yet the biggest walleye ever recorded is 42 inches and 29 lbs.
A Must-Read: Top Fishing Accessories
The Characteristics Of An Walleye
Walleye is a nocturnal fish that can still see clearly in a low-light condition. They are often found in the deeper part of the waters, especially during the summer. Their excellent visual acuity in the darkness gave them advantages over their prey.
The walleyes are also relative to sauger due to the same coloration that they have, but the difference is the white color on its belly which sauger doesn’t have.
In terms of reproduction, female walleyes can mature after a year while the male ones can be sexually mature after three to four years. During the spawning period, they tend to lay eggs over the winter up to the early spring over rocks in at a 6 to 10°C.
Their population can increase massively in one spawning as the female walleye can release over 500,000 eggs and can be hatched in a month. Once the young ones have been hatched, then they can feed on plankton and fly larvae.
Barely after 2 months, they can change their diet routine and feed on crayfish and leeches.
Walleyes In Different Culture
Walleyes are most renowned in the US, particularly in the States of Minnesota, Vermont, and South Dakota. In Minnesota, it is declared to have consumed a larger amount of walleye that’s why their state was proclaimed as the “Walleye Capital of the World”.
In Lake Mille Lacs, there’s a large statue of a walleye, indicating that their state is rich in it. Since walleyes have been massively increasing in Canada, it is also claimed to be the official fish in Manitoba and Saskatchewan.
Walleyes are being fished either for recreational and commercial purposes and can be quite popular in pubs. They are served too in such events as Minnesota State Fair to highlight the richness of the fish flavor.
Because of the agreement between the US and Canada, it is illegal to fish for walleye once they have reached the quota. This agreement purposed to protect the population of walleyes and made it sure that they are not overexploited.
In the state of Michigan, anyone cannot keep a walleye below 38 cm.
Since walleyes are nocturnal, freshwater fish, fishermen tend to follow the condition of where they are most active. Also, anglers have their term of “walleye chop” where they are fishing through rough winds of about 10 to 25 km/h, a better indication that the walleyes are feeding.
Beginner’s Guide In Catching Walleye
What makes walleyes very enticing is the challenge to catch them. Some anglers mislook the importance of knowing and understanding the characteristics of the walleye.
They are not like any other fish that can take the bait during the calming season. It’s not enough that you have every necessary gear for fishing. It will be useless if you don’t start searching in Google about what kind of fish they are.
In learning, start first with the seasonal pattern and the time they are feeding and most active and where they are possibly located. Remember that they are moving into the deep waters in lakes and rivers.
Walleye Rods And Reeds
Walleyes have sensitive bites because once they’ve known their food is fake, they easily spit out the lure in a matter of seconds. If you wanted to have a successful walleye catching, then you have to be knowledgeable enough to use the right gear.
The rod that you needed is also as sensitive as the walleyes, yet powerful enough to get you a solid hook set.
KastKing WideEye Walleye Fishing Rods
If you are enthusiastic enough for walleye fishing, then KastKing might be the perfect fishing gear for you. Featuring a 5’6 long rolling rod, KastKing is designed to give you only the best quality with its extreme power and sensitivity.
The set also includes Fuji Tangle K-Frame for spinning rod fishing guide, L-Frame as a bait caster, IPS to use alongside the spinning rods and TCS for casting. Lightweight, sensitive Toray IM9 is one of its exclusive features too for powerful landing.
Recently, KastKing was awarded in ICAST as one of the best rods and reels. 2018 National Walleye Tour Champion named Dylan Nussbaum also used this product when catching walleyes.
Tica Bass And Walleye Casting Fishing Rod
Tica has specialized in this design for walleye fishing, with its sensitive and agile rod action and high modulus graphite material. An FYI from an angler, there’s no disadvantage in using this rod, only that the medium rod has a very soft tip, but overall, the pros still outweigh the cons.
Lamiglas – The Closer Walleye Fishing Rod
This rod is customized to perform in an extreme condition with its CFX Carbon Fiber Weave. It is medium weight and engineered with High Fiber Density 24 Ton IM7 Carbon Graphite.
The Closer Walleye series only proves that they are selling very well in the market. Its rod is perfectly fitted for walleye fishing, as it goes along in deeper water with strong underwater pressure. It also has a high-quality Fuji reel seat and larger guides for in icy conditions.
Line Selection For Walleye
For successful walleye fishing, a standard weight of 8 to 12 lbs has been the most effective way to catch them. Many anglers have to consider the line selection for braid and super lines that is smaller in diameter than monofilament to load them more line on the reel and can cast a throw in deeper areas and further distances.
It would be helpful if braided lines have no stretch to give you a more solid hook set. The heavier the line is, the more tendency that your reel can never recover once cast into the water.
Best Bait Method To Lure Walleyes
Walleyes tend to detect fake baits so they spit out the lure within seconds, so you have to be wise enough to pull them up before they can escape. Using jig baits can be efficient if the head sizes are only about 1 ounce only. Jigs are designed for beginner walleye anglers who were not yet sure what to buy.
Yamamoto Single Tail Grub Bait
For almost $12.00 in price, Yamamoto Single Tail can catch an incredible, small to medium-sized bass. It also comes with a range of 3 to 5 inches to target a different kind of species. It makes a natural imitation of a minnow, having a paddle-like tails way and creating a vibration underwater so walleyes can easily track on them.
Another method is the use of crankbaits, a hard-bodied lure, or commonly called bladed jigs, used for large-mouthed fish. This is known not only as of the best-known fishing lure but also the easiest one to use.
Berkley Hard Bait Freshwater Fishing Bait
Anglers enjoyed using a Berkley Hard Bait Freshwater Fishing Bait and considered the best bait for walleyes because of its vibrant colors that attract walleyes. It has a rattle inside and vibration.
Because of the walleyes’ hypersensitivity on lures, it is also best to go with the natural lures such as minnows, leeches, and nightcrawlers. For most walleye fishermen, minnows are the best choice of live bait, with a size of about 2 to 8 inches long.
They are pretty attractive to walleyes, especially when using larger minnows. Luckily enough, minnows are productive for the whole year, especially when the water is colder.
As for the leeches, you can find the ribbon and tiger leeches mostly in lakes, in colder conditions. There’s also a lot of bait shops that were selling a variety of leeches of about 8 inches long. Lastly, nightcrawlers are best during the warmer season.
Walleye Fishing Tactics
Regardless of your skill level, you can still control walleyes because they are easy to approach. There are some ways on how to easily entice them. An insightful video of Tim Galati Outdoors can be of great help too, available online.
Jigging is a versatile method in almost all water conditions, temperature and season. It is done with either live bait or soft plastic spoons. To set it up, you just have to tie the jigging spoon to the mainline, and you can also attach a swivel before setting up the spoon.
This is done right below your boat where you let the spoon drop until it reaches the bottom part of the water. Once you knew that the jig is already in the bottom, close the rail until your line is good to go and tight.
Steadily pause for a moment until you felt the walleye biting the bait, there you can firmly raise the rod tip.
Cast And Retrieve
This technique is best done at dawn using crankbaits or any shad imitation. For cast and retrieve fishing, tie in the lure on the mainline and cast it away. In this method, your lure has to be the main sight of attraction for the walleye to get nearby.
So, you have to choose the most favorable size, color and how naturally imitating the lures are in the water. The more it naturally wags its tail out in the water and the flashier its color, the more chances of winning a walleye.
Since walleyes are active during darker hours, you can cast and retrieve near the shoreline and the best places to find them are on the rock piles and sunken logs. When the timing and location are right, cast the lure near the structure and a minute after, start to retrieve them.
Trolling is by far the most complicated technique yet proven effective, especially when done in large lakes and rivers. Hand the lures out at the back of the boat while slowly motoring in the area.
How To Catch Walleye In Every Season
Like any other fish, walleyes show a lot of different behavior throughout the year, depending on the water temperature and the season. Every season is a fishing opportunity, but it is your job to study the way they behave.
During the spring season, the water temperature slowly begins to arise so it’s the best spawning season for female walleyes. That’s where the male walleyes get pretty aggressive because they are protecting both the female walleyes and the fries.
For effective walleye catching, you have to use the cast and retrieve method, especially when the larger female walleyes will leave their nests for feeding.
When the spring transitioned into summer, the water temperature is at its warmest so the walleyes will head into the deepest part of the waters. With this, you can use the trolling techniques and crankbaits.
At summer night, walleyes can move to the shallow part of the water to feed on baitfish. You can also use heavy bottom bounces or diver boards for the trolling.
Fall is hardly the most challenging season because you can hardly get a walleye, according to some walleye anglers. All it takes is a little experimentation with different techniques to what suits best.
During the fall season, their feeding activity tends to slow down and whatever the technique you are about to use, you also have to follow their pace and slow down. You have to use a jig with lesser weight or a smaller crankbait.
Lastly, winter fishing could only mean ice fishing for walleyes and do the same fishing pattern that you have during the fall season.
Be relentless in understanding the walleye’s movements and choice of the season before you go for walleye fishing. They may be tricky and difficult to catch, but the trophy fish that awaits you is always worth the wait.
Always consider the gears and techniques that you’re about to use and also find time in watching Youtube videos for more demonstration and insightful documentation.