The Mind of a Walleye: What You Need to Know to Catch One
Fishing is a widely celebrated hobby throughout the United States. Participants of all ages continue to better their fishing skills to catch bigger and better prey.
In fact, statistics show that over 12% of Americans go fishing (or hunting) on a regular basis. It's clear that the recreational activity is important to many people just like you. Whether you're a beginner or more practiced fisherperson, you can always work to improve your fishing skills.
Perhaps you've never perfected the challenge of catching a walleye fish. The walleye is attractive to fisherpeople for many reasons. If you're ready to learn how to fish for walleye, you've come to the right place.
Detailed below is everything you need to know about fishing walleye. You need to educate yourself as much as possible about the fish itself, its living habits, and its habitat. Only then can you really understand how to catch one.
You'll Need the Proper Equipment
To be successful in any hobby, you'll need to make some sort of investment. Fishing is no exception. Even when you just start out, you need to be willing to spend some money.
Investing in proper equipment can be the difference between a fun time and a stressful time during fishing trips. Don't go out there with cheap rods that might break. Don't short yourself when it comes to having everything you need to make the most of your attempts to fish for walleye.
The recreational fishing industry is a large one within the United States. It boasts of generating over $48 billion in retail sales in a single year. There's a ton of fishing gear out there of all types, uses, and levels of quality.
Don't forget to stock up on everything you need to carry in your tackle box. It's essential for any successful fishing trip.
Ask Your Peers How To Fish for Walleye
Any skill or hobby is best taught by someone more experienced than ourselves. Whether it's through formal instruction or guidance from a mentor, one-on-one learning will skyrocket your ability to catch a walleye.
Perhaps you don't know of anyone in your personal community who enjoys fishing. This might be true especially if you're new to the activity.
Don't be afraid to connect with an experienced fisherperson you've never met before. You can connect with people online in social media groups, for example. If they're present in those communities, they're likely willing and eager to offer the guidance.
Someone with the experience should at least know about the best local spots and times of year to find the fish. In fact, if you can swing it, it's always a good idea to fish with another person, for both safety and assistance.
Details About the Walleye Fish
The walleye is named for an unsurprising feature on its body - the eyes. You can identify a walleye by its bright, glassy, orb-like eyes on the top of its head.
The usual walleye has a beautiful olive green and golden coloring down its back. The fish is fairly thin and agile, and it has large teeth it uses when hunting.
Speaking of hunting, the walleye is, for the most part, a fish of prey. It likes to hunt small baitfish such as minnows, and it sometimes even enjoys an occasional leach. In fact, minnows and leeches are great baits to attract this fish.
Walleyes are often in schools with other walleye. When you find one, you can expect to find at least a few others in the area.
The water they prefer is cool in temperature, but not too cold. This, plus other factors like the time of year, affect where and when any fisherperson can find a walleye.
Where and When To Catch the Walleye
If you're dedicated, you can fish for walleye any time of day. Due to feeding habits and temperature preference, they'll be at different places at different times.
Note that walleye are prevalent in larger bodies of water, like the Great Lakes. Many northern states, and even Canada are more familiar with fishing for walleye. Comparing them to the river-loving trout, walleyes prefer lakes since they offer multiple environments.
During the hours surrounding both dawn and dusk, walleye like to feed. They do this in the shallow waters on the edges of large lakes, among rocks and crevices. They do this to hunt leeches and minnows, which lead them zig-zagging all through the water.
It'll be easy to find them during these times, but you'll have to be smart about fishing in the shallow rocky areas. To make it simple, you can catch walleye with just a normal bobber and plain hook in these areas.
During the middle part of the day, walleye move to deeper, cooler areas of these large bodies of waters they love. At these times, when the sun is high, practice fishing with a jig, instead.
Jigs are perhaps the most common technique to hunt walleye. In these deep areas where walleye are known to be found, there aren't dangerous rocks to avoid. Those skilled at jigging simply lower their vertical line to the depths with bait, and the walleye are sure to approach.
Walleye Fish During Spawning
Spawning is a long, detailed process for the walleye. It happens in the spring, and their habits are fairly predictable this time of year.
You can find them in the sandy, shallow areas where they breed. Be careful, though, since they'll be more aggressive than usual. Don't forget they have teeth!
Since they breed in shallow areas without as many rocks as throughout the rest of the year, you're in luck. Casting and retrieving live bait is a perfect technique during these spawning sessions.
During the summer, you'll have more luck finding walleye in the deep lake waters, relaxing and staying cool. Use a jig to reach them down there, or try night-fishing on the shores.
In the fall, walleye are difficult to find anywhere. In the winter, you can only catch them way north by ice-fishing.
Stay Informed About the Most Successful Fishing Practices of the Day
We hope you've learned enough about how to fish for walleye. For more expert guidance on fishing, we encourage you to check out the rest of our blog.