Walleye can be a challenging fish to target, but that’s what makes them so enticing. The challenge and their delicious fillets kick thousands of anglers into gear. I can’t make Walleye fishing easy, but I can make it easier for you to start fishing Walleye. Learning how to catch Walleye is a lifelong pursuit.
Walleye Rods & Reels
A solid spinning combo is your first purchase to start fishing Walleye. A typical Medium Power 6-7 Ft. spinning rod and a medium sized 35 reel will give you versatility to fish many of the popular Walleye techniques. However, more finesse tactics like jigging and rigging live bait are best served under a Medium Light power rod. If you can afford to own both, you can execute two approaches with ease. Use the Medium power rod for artificial approaches like Crankbaits and Soft Plastics, switch to the Medium Light power for live bait.
Fishing Line for Walleyes
For starting with only the 6’6″ M Combo, I recommend spooling it with an 8 Lb. Monofilament. Mono offers forgiving stretch, it’s readily available and inexpensive. You will be able to easily fish both Live Bait and Artificial directly to your Mono. If you were to start with both the 6’6 M Combo and 6′ ML Combo, I would recommend spooling up the most ideal line type for each form of presentation. On the 6′ ML Combo, I spool the whole reel with 12 Lb. Fluorocarbon. Fluoro has no stretch so you can accurately judge bites, and it is virtually invisible underwater. On the 6’6″ M Combo, I spool the main line with 10 Lb. Braid and tie on a 12 Lb. Fluorocarbon leader.
How to Catch Walleye on Live Bait
Live Bait is the key to bountiful Walleye trips. Anyone who is just starting out should default to Live Bait as Walleye are generally more finicky and complicated to catch versus the typical Freshwater fish. You want all the cards in your favor to start getting on fish. There is a time and place for Crankbaits and Soft Plastics, albeit these are typically more advanced and are generally used to weed out the eater Walleye and target trophies. Live Bait is the best option when you’re first learning how to catch Walleye.
Minnows are the most popular bait option for Walleye Anglers, I have found consistent success with Shiner and Flathead Minnows. When targeting bigger fish, Shiners in the 4-6″ range are the mainstay, these will weed through some of the smaller fish and get you on 25″+ Walleye.
Leaches & Worms
The second most popular option is Leeches, typically in the Large to Jumbo sizes. These are a great option in Walleye dominant bodies of water, however, in smaller bodies of water where Perch, Panfish and Bass populations are robust, your Leech will be the victim of theft. This can be true for Nightcrawlers as well, however rigging them to worm harness spinners lengthens their profile which sorts through the pests. Minnows and Leeches can be jigged, rigged, or floated on a Slip Bobber.
These are some rules to follow for Walleye Fishing Tips.