The best way to Fish for Walleye within the Spring

Relying on the place you reside, the spring walleye season is already underway…otherwise you’re eagerly awaiting for the opener. In Minnesota, the magic day is Saturday, Could 14. In both case, listed below are just a few nice fishing ideas that’ll enable you put tasty walleyes within the boat this spring.

1) Fish Shallow Water for Walleyes

This spring has been a lot cooler and windier than regular throughout a lot of the walleye belt. The truth is, lots of the nation’s finest walleye fisheries are nonetheless ice covered. One of many largest errors made by early-season walleye anglers is fishing too deep. You need to anticipate finding fish shallow this yr and most years.

In turbid or stained waters, fish depths of simply 2 to eight ft on opening day, particularly when concentrating on wind-driven factors and shorelines. Simply final week in South Dakota, practically each walleye we caught on the Missouri River got here whereas casting cranks or jigs tipped with plastics to shoreline rock.

In clearer lakes, weed flats 4 to eight ft deep are house to roaming faculties of walleyes, as are the within weedlines of many lakes. Shallow rocks will even maintain fish, as will areas of present. Ahead-facing sonar like Garmin LiveScope and facet imaging are each excellent for serving to find shallow fish.

The important thing when concentrating on shallow-water walleyes is to make lengthy casts, and maintain noise to a minimal. Which means shutting down your outboard earlier than arriving on the spots you propose to fish. Braided line makes it simpler to forged farther, particularly with mild minnow baits and jigs.

Shut down the massive engine and go together with a stealthier strategy early within the walleye season. Steve Pennaz

2) Lures vs. Reside Bait for Walleyes?

There was a time after I believed walleyes couldn’t be caught on something however live bait. I’ve since realized that pretty much as good as reside bait is, there are occasions synthetic lures are significantly better, and that’s very true when trying to find opening day walleyes. Synthetic lures are a lot more durable than reside bait, after all, which makes them extra environment friendly for overlaying water as you seek for energetic fish.

Nice artificials for early-season walleyes embody 1/8- to ¼ jigs tipped with a wide range of soft-plastic or Gulp! trailers. Three- to 4-inch swimbaits, swimming grubs, and minnow imitators are all good choices for opening day, as are smaller plastic worms. Hair jigs fished plain are additionally excellent.

How to Catch More Walleyes This Spring
Mushy-plastics as a recreation changer early within the season. Steve Pennaz

The important thing with plastics is fishing a bit quicker than you do with reside bait as motion is what prompts the plastic. With hair jigs, slower is commonly higher. Additionally, when utilizing paddletail baits, ensure that the jig head you employ is heavy sufficient to maintain the bait down within the strike zone. Paddle baits transfer a ton of water and that may carry the bait too far above the fish to be efficient.

Crankbaits and minnow-imitating baits are additionally excellent choices. Berkley’s new Hit Stick in sizes 9 and 11 are nice for casting or trolling, and shad-style baits just like the Shad Rap and Flicker Shad are additionally lethal. I like measurement 5 for super-shallow areas and measurement 7 for barely deeper water.

3) Discover Walleyes Away from the Crowds

It’s fairly straightforward to seek out fish on opening day—simply search for the crowds. I’ve discovered it’s higher to review maps of an space that I do know have energetic fish—then search for different spots with the identical traits which might be usually away from the crowds. Not all of them will maintain fish, however many do, and I usually have them to myself as a result of nobody else thinks to look there.

When learning a spot, ask your self the next:

  • Is the world related to the shoreline or in the principle basin?
  • What kind of backside does it have? Rocky, sand, combined? And does the underside break shortly or slowly? (Normally, slower breaks are higher than quick in early spring.)
  • Lastly, is there one thing that makes the world distinctive like present, sure kind of grass, and so forth.?

One closing tip that has helped me patterns walleyes quick: When fishing with others, ensure that everyone seems to be fishing a special bait or lure till you might be seeing a sample. Years in the past, I missed a scorching jig-minnow chunk just because everybody in my boat was fishing with leeches completely when the fish wished minnows. That’s a lesson I’ve by no means forgotten.

How to Catch More Walleyes This Spring
Every angler ought to fish totally different baits till a chunk sample emerges. Steve Pennaz

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