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Walleye Fishing - Fishing Tips and Techniques

Equipment: There is no such thing as the all purpose rod and reel. When you are buying a rod and reel is all about choices. Whether you have $25.00 or $250.00 to spend get one that’s best suited for the job you wish it to do. With walleye feeling the fish is important. Jigging demands more "feel" than most other techniques for catching walleye. A jigging rod should be 6 foot long maximum, super sensitive with a forgiving tip section and with a strong backbone. A shorter rod allows you to have better control of the jig's action when fishing vertically over the side of the boat. The strong backbone lets you get good hook sets and the forgiving tip section acts as a shock absorber when fighting fish.

Rigging rods too demand more "feel" than most rods. The primary difference in a rigging rod vs. a jigging rod, is that the rigging rod will generally be longer (6'6") with a softer over all action. This is important because although you want to feel the fish as he takes the bait, you don't want the fish to detect you at the other end of the line. Since most live bait rigging is done in deeper water and with more line out than in jigging or still fishing presentations, the extra rod length to pick up line slack and drive hooks home.

Jigging Reels - A good quality, smooth operating spinning reel is imperative for any kind of fishing; but when jigging for walleyes the addition of instant anti-reverse and one-way clutch bearings, for solid hook-ups, are nice features to have.

Casting Reels - When walleye are actively cruising for baitfish, sometimes casting crankbaits is the best option. If a lot of this type of fishing is going to be done, a dedicated casting reel equipped with a decent anti-backlash feature is in order.

The moral of the story is that no one presentation works the same from day to day. To capitalize on the changing moods of walleye have both a decent spinning and casting setup at your disposal.


Standard Walleye Presentations:

Since fishing situations can change from hour to hour and from day to day it’s good to have a few different approaches ready to employ. These approaches should include both an active presentation and a passive presentation. The active presentation helps you effectively cover a lot of water quickly and catch active fish. The passive presentation is a slower and more deliberate presentation effective at tempting and catching inactive fish. The most common error with walleye is to fish too fast. Whatever lure you are using, slow down your retrieve - you’ll see the results. If the fish still aren’t hitting, slow down some more. If you are using a jig, or trolling with a minnow like lure, get it down on the bottom! Walleye feed at about the 18-24 inch level. They hit soft, so do not rush the hook set. Wait till you feel a good tug or run.

* The Spinner Rig – This presentation is all active. A spinner rig is a series of beads and blades that creates flash and calls fish in. Usually tipped with dew worms or frozen minnows – this rig is attached to a bottom walker and trolled along bottom. With this presentation the bottom walker rides along bottom while the spinner tags along behind it spinning away few inches above bottom. After the rig is out and trolling, cover water until you start catching fish.

* The Jig and Minnow – This is the standard for most every walleye fisherman.. Tip a minnow to the end of the jig and either drop it overboard or cast it out. On those classic days where walleye are biting at every turn, I’ll drop the jig overboard. Where they need to be coaxed a little, I like to cast the rig out and slowly drag it along bottom. Don’t worry about the walleye having any troubles picking the jig out of the sand. That’s what they do all their lives to catch food, they’re good at it and they’ll have no troubles tipping down and inhaling the jig and minnow.

* The Drifting or Still Fishing Set Up – This is similar to the jig and minnow presentation but is designed to suspend the bait off bottom. This can be done with a slip bobber set to suspend the bait just above the bottom ( 16" - 24" ). My prefernece is to use a small sinker or split shots a foot or so above the hook, let the line drop to bottom and then retrieve the 18" or so of line to position the bait properly. A simple technique to master the depth is to grasp the line a foot and a half from your reel and wind in that length. Note whether it takes a turn or a turn and a half etc. to achieve this and the procedure will be second nature every time you make your presentation. Never use a wire leader, rig your live direct to the hook.

* Trolling and Drifting: Since the last couple feet before bottom is by far the most productive walleye area it is important to maintain our bait within this area. When we wish to troll and cover more water we suggest the 3 way swivel with a spinning rig system.
Use a light line ( 6- 8 pound test ) to reduce friction and find the bottom easier. You also need a 1-oz or 2-oz weight, a 3-way swivel and a lure that does not sink. Tie a 3-foot lead line from the 3-way swivel to a 1 - oz sinker. Then tie in a 5 foot lead line to your lure. Get a straight slow troll going and slowly let out the line until your sinker hits the bottom. A floating or a countdown rapella works well. I have had good success over the years with the 3 1/2" or 4 3/8 original gold colour.


More Tips - Coming Soon





















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