Walleye Ideas

May 2, 2016 by  

Walleye season is either here or very near all across the Midwest. Now that walleyes are or will be fair game throughout walleye country, here are some things to keep in mind.

Some anglers are reporting the spawn happened a bit earlier than usual this year. The timing of the spawn varies from region to region, but it should be completed soon. After the spawn and throughout the summer, walleyes are often thought of as fish that like to be near deeper structure. While it’s true that these glassy-eyed fish often can be found near rockpiles and points and sunken islands and deep reefs, there are also times when they’ll be in the shallows. Walleyes, like any other fish, go where the food is. If their food is shallow, the walleyes will be shallow. If their food is deep, they’ll be deep.

Early Season Walleye

The author with a typical early season walleye taken on a jig/plastic combo.  Smaller male walleyes might make up most of your catch early in the season.

Sonar is a critical tool for catching walleyes, especially when they’re deep. It works well to cruise deep areas with a close eye on the sonar. If you see what you think are walleyes on the sonar, fish the area. If there is no life, keep looking. This assumes you have the sonar properly tuned. If the sensitivity is set too low, you probably won’t see much. The Raymarine sonar units that are becoming very popular are easy to tune and they draw a great picture of the underwater world. Some of them provide a dual-look at the walleye’s world which provides even more revealing images and makes our search for fish easier.

If the food is shallow, that’s where the walleyes will be. We’ve caught walleyes a good number of times on wind blown points in just two or three feet of water. If the wind blows from the same direction for a couple of days, find a shallow rocky point and cast jigs or crankbaits. You’ll probably get bit.

Weedlines also hold lots of walleyes. Look for points or pockets in the cabbage weeds. Just as an irregular feature on the bottom of the lake will concentrate walleyes, an irregularity in a weedline will concentrate fish.

A jig and minnow will catch weedline fish, but we’re going to be ripping the jig off weeds frequently, and that will also usually rip the minnow off. A better addition to your jig is a minnow shaped Impulse plastic tail. I also took some really nice walleyes last year on the new UV Mimic Minnows.

Some jigs are made to be used with plastic. Slurp! Jigs are a good example of a jig designed for plastics. They have a bait holder and long-shank hook that were designed to be used with plastic.  Try using a jighead that contrasts in color with the soft bait.

In addition to catching walleyes on the weedline, you’ll catch a variety of other species.

Walleye season is here or very close.  If you keep these ideas in mind, you’ll be able to have a much better walleye-catching season.

To see all the most recent episodes of the Fishing the Midwest television series, new fishing related tips and fishing articles from the past, visit fishingthemidwest.com. If you do Facebook, check us out for a variety of fishing related things.


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