There are many different ways and techniques of fishing for walleye, but not all of them will suit beginner or amateur anglers. Today we are going to cover this topic from the perspective of a beginner angler who wants to get into fishing for this species.
Walleye is a fish which likes interesting structure and depth, so I would recommend staying away from a light tackle and get into the more serious game with Medium Heavy rod (anything with 1/4 oz to 1 oz) with fast or extra fast action. Most likely, it will become the most versatile piece of equipment which you will use for literally anything, so it makes it a great investment.
As for the reel, bait caster or spinning gear is a matter of preference, but I would suggest starting with good size (Shimano 2500-4000) spinning ree as it will be more forgiving for beginners.
Fishing line is a question of preference:
However, I would recommend getting a good braid (10-20lb) and fluorocarbon leaders (that is more of a personal habit of mine).
Now, the most interesting part – baits, lures, hooks, jigs, etc. There are multiple walleye baits, but I love catching them on soft plastics for several reasons:
Good beginner set would be a couple of paddle tails (swimbaits) and twister tails as they are considered to be allrounders when it comes to fishing in general, but what I find more important is your jig as you will need one to get to the bottom where those walters hide.
Good question with no ultimate answer to it, as you will need a set of jigs.
First, decide on a hook size by trying your baits on jigs. After that choose a weight of the jig. I would suggest next sizes 1/4 oz, 3/8 oz, 1/2 oz, and 1 oz. This set will cover most applications and will allow you to adjust to pretty much any condition out there.
If you like experimenting and trying something new, I would highly recommend getting a set of same sizes of our Demountable Jigs as they will give you much more action, especially if you fish with passive baits (worms, larvas, craws, etc)
Okay, you got everything and got to your body of water where you want to catch walleye. It would be great to have a fish finder or sonar to see the structure of the bottom as the hardest part of fishing is finding fish. With bass, it is a bit easier, as you will be checking shallow parts of the water and docks while walleye tend to like hiding at the bottom in an interesting structure.
Essentially, what you are looking for is humps and sudden changes in depth, as walleye will be sitting on the edge waiting to attack the prey which will be swimming by. Another structure you should be looking for is any underwater objects like trees, sunk stuff, etc, as there is a good chance of walleye sitting there. The good thing about walleye fishing is that if you find one, there is definitely more, and one spot can produce tons of fish for you!
So, you found an interesting section and positioned yourself comfortable to cast into the structure, but what jig and bait to use?!
It is where I would share a small tip with you. The only way to find what works is to experiment, but there is something that can speed up the process:
Longer jump will cause missed hits, and shorter jump might scare the fish. If you feel that the jump is too long, increase the jig's weight; if it is too short than decrease it.
Choosing the bait is much easier, just use what you feel the most confident with. For me, it would be Larva and good paddle tail like Classic. Don’t go crazy with size, and try to stay in 2.5" to 3.5" inch size.
Last but not least, color, that is totally a matter of preference, but chartreuse will be a good starting point. If you don’t get bites, change color to something completely different (naturals or purples). Eventually, you will find a key to getting them. After that, it is a matter of how many you want to catch!
When it comes to pike or musky fishing, a lot of people tend to lean towards hard baits which we will write about very soon. This time, however, we are covering soft plastic lures for pike and musky. Fishing with soft lures can be as effective as with hard baits but require a smaller investment. I want to let you know in advance that all baits in this article are tested and proved to be worthy to stay in my fishing arsenal. Let’s begin!