Any kind of sporting activity gives one the joy of exploring not only nature’s various challenges but also their own skills and qualities. Fishing, more than often than not, tops the list of the most exhilarating sporting experience. So my fellow angler, we have put together this article on walleye fishing tips, confident that it will help you in your next venture when you try to catch a walleye.
Your Walleye Fish
Let us first, get to know about this particular fish, shall we? Take a look below to learn about what you are planning to catch.
Walleye Fish- Where do they live?
Walleye fishes are residents of the freshwaters of the most of Canada and Northern United States. Their population have been injected into the other states of America as well now. Unlike most freshwater fishes, Walleye prefer to dwell in murky, darken and cloudy regions of river, stream and lake waters and other freshwaters.
Mainly so because, they are sensitive to light. You can find a walleye resting on rocks and sandy surfaces or in lots of weed scavenging for food. You can also find walleyes in weed beds or inside logs hiding from any light.
Various studies have also shown that walleyes are actively mobile and will travel to cover a lot of miles to find the spawning spot.
In the spring time, you may find walleyes in shallow water all day.
During summer daytime when the light is direct and harsh for their sensitive eyes, they will remain in deep waters, however, will come out at night and in the dawn to feed.
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What do Walleyes eat?
A Walleye’s diet largely consists of crayfish, minnows, darters, worms and leeches. Larval and baby walleyes will consume water fleas, copepods, small insect larvae and fish larval fish. After 40 to 60 days, a Walleyes offspring becomes an adult and they and the older Walleyes will feed on almost the thing- them being, yellow perch ciscoes and they will search in shoals or bars for food at night.
The ideal condition for a Walleye to eat in is a low-light surrounding and they more often than not, feed during dawn or dusk. Walleyes tend to be most active during windy days and water with small waves and during murky water, they will feed entirely throughout the day. According University of Minnesota’s website, Walleyes are piscivorous (fish-eaters) and they will eat whatever kind of fish they can manage to hunt and gulp down.
What do they look like?
A distinct feature of Walleyes is that they have eyes that seem to be pointed outwards to them. A regular Walleye is mostly colored olive green and golden. It has olive green color on its dorsal side which fades into a light golden color on its flanks.
The olive-golden color is separated by five wide stripes that go up to the upper sides.The color then turns to white on its belly. The Walleye has a large mouth that is packed with very sharp teeth. Walleyes do not have rows of visible black spots on their two dorsal and caudal fins, unlike its close cousin, the Sauger. Normally, a walleye measures ten to eighteen inches long and will moreover, weigh around one to three pounds.
A walleye has its mating season in the spring time mainly which is in the month of April and they mate in waters that is of forty to fifty five degrees Fahrenheit. The female produces up to five hundred thousand eggs and lays them in the shallow waters. The baby walleyes hatch within 10 days and start consuming insects and planktons. An average walleye lives for a maximum of ten years.
Catching Your Walleye Fish
Below are some major pointers and heads up for you, so you know the best answers to how to catch a walleye, starting from equipment to other important information.
Equipment and Tools
Equipment are, for obvious reasons, essential in your how to catch a walleye guideline. You have your right size and the right quality and the weight and more often than not, the combination of all of them. Also, you need to have the right set of skills as an angler, to efficiently utilize your equipment to achieve desired, effective results.
So, let us get right into it, shall we?
- For the reel, firstly, make sure the one you have has a nice, smooth drag to put up with the fight with the fish. For the rod, a medium-action, graphite rod, that is between 6.5 and 7 feet long is strongly advised for you to use. It will work even more effectively if it is paired up with a high quality spinning reel that has been rated for 8 to 10 pound mono-filament test line. Moreover, your rod should have high level of sensitivity in the upper third of the rod, along with having a sufficient amount of backbone in the lower half part. These characteristics will allow you to respond to light biters, while also easily letting you play your fish to the boat or fishing kayak. You should carry a best baitcast rod and reel with you as it will allow you to manage heavier lines and bigger lures. Some anglers have stated that choosing a medium-action graphite rod within a 7-foot range, paired with a good quality bait caster and a 12 to 14 pound test line will work magically. This kind of rod will be your best choice if you decide to go for trolling and bottom-bouncing.
- The walleye is famous for catching live bait but letting go of it the very minute someone pulls it. This one rig called the “slip-sinker” rig will cut off the frictionl force. When a walleye hits the bait, the angler will free spool the line enabling the walleye to go forward and devour the bait from the hook set. The slip sinker rig is constructed of three main parts- a hook, a sliding weigh and a stop. You can most probably buy one that is already tied for you at fishing sporting shops and if not- you can make one for yourself. Fishing with the slip sinker can be rather easy. After you cast, all you have to do is let your rig go down. When you pull away at the rig, the stop seizes the sinker when it moves down the undersurface, presenting the bait as meal that is as natural as possible. Make sure to remember that the sinker is the top crucial part of the equipment; it must have enough weigh to take the rig to the undersurface. A very helpful tip to remember is that, use 1/8 oz for every 10 feet of depth. Many anglers use eggs for sinkers, however in if being more vegetation-focused, a bullet kind of sinker works well, enabling the rig to go down between the weeds.
- Using spinner rigs for hunting walleyes is an ancient method. Spinner rigs should be weighed to make sure that they can get to the undersurface. You may opt to choose a rubber core or split shot to add a several feet in front of the spinner rig for when you drift. However, most anglers mostly go for using “bottom bouncer” or a “three way rig” to maintain the spinner at the bottom.
- Using live bait for catching walleyes can be very helpful and effective. Live bait provides anglers with versatility in terms of both presentation and how to use the live bait. You can use your live bait on a slip sinker or a slip bobber rig that is pulled behind a spinner and tipped on a jig, or simply fished with a plain hook and split shot. There are a number of options when it comes to choosing your live bait. For instance, there are minnows, leeches and night crawlers. You have to keep in mind that the live bait you decide to choose must be suited to the season and weather you are catching your walleye in. Take a quick look on the following list-
- For summer time: Leeches and night crawlers.
- For spring time: minnows, small red tail chubs and fatheads.
- During fall time: minnows, large red tail chubs and small suckers.
- In the winter time: minnows, large shiners, red tail chubs and small suckers.
Facts to keep in check
As much as your tools and devices are your number one priority in you how to catch a walleye check list, there are also a number of other factors that are as equally important. Them being:
- Do remember to carry a pair of gloves and wear them to protect your hands from the extremely sharp teeth and dorsal fins of walleyes.
- During night time, walleyes will swim closer to the shore.
- Walleyes like cold water to that of warm water.
- Despite that fact that walleyes are most easy to catch during spring, do not be discouraged to try catching walleyes in any other time. Walleyes are known to be all-year-round-biters.
- The most preferred lures for catching walleyes are jigs and crankbaits.
- Most states and fishing spots have rules and regulations regarding the hours open for fishing, particular spots for fishing and the limit on your catch. Do not forget to go through these rules before you go in to catch your walleye. Not abiding to them will not only cause legal action taken against you and a fine, but also a disruption to the delicate balance of the ecosystem.
That about wraps up our article on how to catch a walleye. We are sure that you can catch your walleye fish in no time if you go through this once, put together, especially so that you know, how to catch a walleye. Happy fishing, fellow angler!