There is no denying; walleye is one of the most delectable fish and just one of the reasons for its enormous popularity among anglers. While small and medium sized walleyes do not put up much of a fight, those over the 10 pound weight will provide you with all the challenge and fight you need on a light tackle. Walleye belong to the perch family and is a freshwater fish mainly found in North American, Asian and European waters.
There are three main walleye species. The yellow walleye or commonly known as “walleye” is the largest of the three species with weights ranging from 10 to 30 pounds and they are prevalent in US and Canadian waters. The main difference between the yellow walleye and the blue walleye is color and size. The blue walleye is much smaller averaging about one pound. The sauger is the third specie of walleye with physical similarities to the yellow walleye. It is easily distinguished by a few saddle marks on the back and can be an average size range from 1 to 5 pounds depending on where they are located.
You may have the best fishing gear and tools but it is all worthless if you don’t know where find walleye. It is important to know the area you are fishing in and get as much information as you can about river or lake conditions. One main fact to note when looking for walleye is that they like cooler waters and shy away from bright light conditions.
During the winter months Walleye are dormant and can be found in slow moving, deep water. As early as February, the walleye can be found off feeding flats. With spring we enter the pre-spawn period which is a start of a feeding frenzy. Find them near their spawning areas in about 8-14 feet of water. With summer, walleye activity reaches its peak. In morning and evenings you can locate walleye feeding in the flats but they move to deeper water in the midday hours when it heats up.
While it is important to know the location of the walleye during the changing seasons and weather conditions, it is also good to know where they like to hang out in the structure of the rivers and lakes. A good bet in Northern lakes is at the base of rapids where the water is usually cool and oxygen rich. Any place that provides a gathering place for fish is a good place to find walleye. Check out the points of channels where the river flows in or out of lakes. These locations are especially good for late day or night fishing as the walleye move deep into the water.
There are many ways to catch walleye and look at them in detail will require its own article. However, there are a few common styles used to catch walleye.
Casting using a variety of spinners, spoons, plugs and natural or artificial bait has produced many successful catches provided you are using the right techniques.
Trolling is another popular method for many anglers but requires knowledge of the waters and a good understanding of fishing techniques in order to make the most efficient use of your time on the water.
Depending on how deep or shallow you are fishing the technique will vary. For example, if you are fishing deep at the bottom, a three way swivel rig and worm harness can get you a trophy fish.
In thick weeds try jigs with white twistertails or salted minnows.
Use your knowledge of walleye behavior and location to perfect your fishing technique under specific circumstances.
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