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At a Glance: Walleye Fishing
Whether it’s the dead of winter or the peak of summer, Walleye is one of the most sought after fish for not only seasoned anglers but those just starting out as well. Walleye are an exciting fish to catch. They can be a little tricky to feel as Walleye are known for their delicate bite, but once hooked put up a fast-paced fight. Walleye are also known for quickly releasing lures once they realize it is not real. So when it comes to fishing for Walleye, you have got to be quick.
Walleye have a long, stout body with a tall, spiny dorsal fin and a large mouth with sharp teeth. Walleye get their name from their glassy, blind looking “wall eyes.” This happens because of a highly reflective layer within their eyes, which excels their vision in low light, making them a formidable predator for baitfish and fry of other species.
Walleye are the largest member of the Perch family, commonly reaching up to thirty inches long. Walleye males commonly reach sizes around six pounds, while females commonly reach ten pounds. A cool-water fish, Walleye typically reside at depths of fifteen to thirty feet during the day. Only coming up at dusk, dawn, night time, and during choppy or overcast conditions. With their size, delicate bite, quick let go, and excellent vision, fishing for Walleye requires some specific gear.
When it comes to fishing rods, you will need one that is highly sensitive to detect that gentle bite, but stiff enough to quickly set that hook. Walleye fishing offers a lot of different tactics to be employed. If you are fishing using lures and jigs, a medium-light to a medium fishing rod with a fast to extra-fast action is preferred. If you are seeking to reel in some Walleye with live bait, a six and a half to seven and a half foot light to medium power rod with a moderate to fast action is recommended. Trolling is where the heavier fishing rods come in for Walleye. A medium to medium-heavy power moderate action rod is a favorite of trolling anglers looking to score some Walleye.
Anglers all around seem to agree that when it comes to reels for Walleye fishing, you can’t go wrong with a spinning reel. Whether you are jigging, lure fishing, or live bait rigging, the spinning reel is the most versatile and durable for pulling in those trophy Walleye. When it comes to trolling reels, you are looking for a reel with a high line capacity. Young or novice anglers may also consider spincasting reels to allow more focus on feeling those delicate bites. No matter what reel you select, an eight to twelve pound braided or superline is recommended for all spinning reels and spincasting reels because they offer little stretch which helps for faster hook setting and more animated lures. For trolling, a heavier line, up to twenty pounds, is usually recommended to accommodate weights and dipsy divers.
Walleye are visual hunters, so you need to peak their attention with lures and bait. When it comes to lures and bait, mimicking a baitfish has proven to be highly effective for Walleye. Jigs, swimbaits, spoons, and shad style crankbaits are going to be the most alluring to the keen eye of the Walleye.