How to Fish for Walleye: A Useful Guide

By Richard | Fishing Advice

how to fish for walleye
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Fishing presents itself with lots of challenges but also lots of benefits.

Aside from the fact that it’s an excellent opportunity to bond with your friends and family, fishing can actually help boost your immune system and improve your overall health, including your entire body’s strength.

These are perhaps the reasons why fishing has been a popular recreational sport for decades in lots of different places.

If you want to get the full experience of fishing, you have to understand how fishing works, and what kinds of equipment and strategies work.

Whether you’re a professional or an amateur in fishing, there’s a big chance that you’d come across one of the most popular fish species in angling.

That’s right. We’re talking about the walleye.

If you’ve been experiencing a hard time catching this fish, or you just want to know what you must do before you head out to the lake, you don’t have to worry.

We’re here to teach you how to fish for walleye.

What Is Walleye?

A walleye is a type of fish found in freshwater and is very common in freshwater games or fish angling.

1. Size and Weight

It is a member of the perch family and considered as one of the biggest species.

The average walleye measures around ten to eighteen inches and weighs around one to three pounds.

2. Eyes

There are many theories as to why they are called walleye.

One theory says that it’s because of its eyes that point outward like it’s looking at walls.

Another theory states that the eyes of this fish have a special layer of pigment, allowing their eyes to reflect light.

This characteristic allows the walleye to see even on the murky water.

3. Habitat

Walleyes are found in freshwater lakes, rivers, and streams throughout Canada and the northern parts of the USA.

We’ve mentioned that the walleye has a pigment in their eyes that reflect light, but this also makes them more sensitive to light.

As such, walleyes can only be seen in deep waters during clear days.

They would even hide in underwater logs or weed beds to keep them away from the light.

4. Diet

Walleyes often eat other smaller fish species, but they can also survive on worms, crayfish, and minnows.

Most of the time, walleyes only look for food during low-light conditions such as dusk or the early mornings when the sun has not yet risen.

However, during overcast days or if they’re in murky water, walleyes may feed throughout the day.

Why Are Walleyes Popular in Fishing?

Walleyes are considered the holy grail when it comes to fishing. That means catching a walleye means you’ve caught one of the best species you can ever catch out there.

There are various reasons why walleye fishing is popular. Aside from the glam brought about by fishing for walleye is a different kind of high, walleye actually tastes really good.

With the popularity of walleye fishing, various local and national agencies have implemented strict walleye fishing guidelines.

That is to prevent overexploitation or maybe even extinction.

For example, catching walleyes that are under fifteen inches is prohibited.

Other states also made it a point to issue regulations on walleye slots, which means that you’re only allowed to keep a walleye that fits a certain size limit.

This is to ensure that the medium-sized walleye fish species remain in their natural habitat.

When walleyes reach their medium size, this is when they’re considered sexually mature, which helps ensure that the overall walleye population does not drop.

How to Fish for Walleye

Walleye fishing is a popular recreational activity, and we understand if you’re now feeling the urge to go to the lakes and catch one your own.

First of all, make sure that you follow the regulations above when it comes to walleye fishing.

You can also check with your local government to confirm what their regulations are.

Once you’re done with that, we’ve prepared a quick list for you.

In the following selection, we’ll give you some of the best tested and proven methods for catching walleyes.

Make sure that you pay close attention.

What Do You Use for Walleye Fishing?

After learning more about walleyes, it’s time to answer the question, what do you use for walleye fishing? Actually, there are lots of equipment involved in walleye fishing.

There are your basics like the reels, rods, and lines, and on the other hand, there’s also the bait, hook, and other stuff.

However, if we will talk about walleyes, the one thing always found in a walleye angler’s bag of equipment is the jig.

The jig is a small piece of equipment that you attach to the end of your line for catching fish.

It is divided into two parts. One end of it is called the head, which is basically a hook made of lead.

Attached to the hook is a plastic bait called a trailer.

Despite the jig's simplicity, it’s popular in walleye fishing for one reason: jigs can easily increase your bite ratio.

how to fish for walleye

What Colors Are Best for Walleyes?

As we’ve mentioned, the jig is composed of two parts, namely the hook and the trailer. Even though using a jig can significantly improve your catch, it’s still important that you use the right jig for the right job.

Believe it or not, the jig's color is sometimes the sole factor deciding whether or not you catch a walleye.

You must know what colors are best for walleyes to ensure that you get a good catch.

The best bait color to use in walleye fishing depends on where you’re fishing.

Since walleyes are found in lots of different bodies of water, you must also have a variety of jigs in your arsenal.

For example, if you’re fishing for walleye in murkier waters, you have to use a jig that can contrast the water's darkness to catch the walleye's attention.

Hence, using bright and natural colors when fishing in murky waters is the best way to go.

Colors on the green, red, and orange spectrum is the best option.

On the other hand, walleyes are also found in clearer lakes.

In this type of lakes, when the visibility can reach up to eight or even twelve feet deep, light penetration is significantly reduced.

Thus, using a darker colored jig will actually make the bait look more natural as compared to brighter colored ones.

What Is the Best Time to Catch Walleye?

To understand what is the best time to catch walleye, you must remember that this specific type of fish is sensitive to light.

This does not mean, though, that you have to go fishing at midnight just to catch one.

Walleyes are sensitive to light, but they don’t have night vision. They still need a faint amount of light to see.

As such, walleyes often feed during the time of day when the light is limited.

These are the times when the sun is just about to rise or has just set.

During the mornings, the best time for walleye fishing is around six to nine. Another time of the day when it’s best to fish for walleye is around seven to ten at night.

In the event that you’re actually fishing on murky waters, or the weather is partly cloudy, there’s a good chance that walleyes are feeding throughout the day.

As compared to the common fishing conditions where you’d see anglers fishing on a sunny day, walleye fishing is best on rainy days.

Lastly, you’re probably aware that the sun is most active during the summer.

Being light-sensitive types of fish, it would be challenging to find walleyes during this time of year.

This is a time when walleyes are like ghosts where they are just simply nowhere in sight.

On the other hand, during the spring or fall, the sun is not as active.

This makes these two seasons the best time of the year to fish for walleyes.

Conclusion

Angling is not just about your body’s strength and your skills in playing tug-of-war with big types of fish.

Whether you like it or not, angling involves both the physical and intellectual qualities of an individual to ensure that you get a good bite ratio.

In the natural order of things, a predator would have to study and observe the prey's behavior to catch it flawlessly.

The same philosophy can be applied in angling. Different types of fish have different behaviors, as well.

In understanding how they move, you’ll also know when’s the perfect chance to catch them.

In learning how to fish for walleye, you must understand how unique this creature is.

Even if you spend your entire day fishing for walleye, it’s quite difficult to get a good catch if you don’t know when they feed.

Always remember that a walleye is light-sensitive. With this knowledge, you’d get to maximize your skills in walleye fishing.

Just make sure that you have all the necessary pieces of equipment to guarantee that the knowledge you have do not go to waste.

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