often mistakenly go on a lake and look at it as a big fish bowl, but fish only
hold in certain areas. So the key is to locate areas where walleyes live on a
seasonal basis. Many fishermen are tying to cover too much water too fast and
arenít spending enough time in specific areas that hold fish. I always pick 3
or 4 spots that look good on a map and concentrate on them.
For example, a sunken island may have a series of spots where the bottom
changes from one type to another. Transitional zones might be changes from
hard to soft, or sand to rock. These zones are just subtle changes and they
could be a very narrow band on a specific piece of structure. Often a point or
inside bend is present, too. Most anglers tend to fish the whole structure.
Concentrate your efforts on the 2 or 3 key spots rather than fishing a whole
flat or a whole sunken island.
When checking a potential spot, I run at a certain depth
and then look for baitfish. If I get too deep I turn in to shallower
structure. When it gets too shallow I will turn out to deeper water. By
following this simple piece of advice you will find points and inside bends on
a specific structure. Plus, my Bottom Line electronic depth finder will find
these transitional areas that are either hard or soft. This is just as magical
as the points or inside turns that you discovered while making passes over
When looking at structure, the edge is where gravel turns to sand, mud meets
rock, drop-offs, wave-washed points, deserted sandy bottom beaches, or bottle
necks between two different land masses, or near a culvert where fresh water
is filtered through a rock causeway. More subtle structure might be where
there is a confluence of two rivers, a mud line (cloudy discharge from one
river or stream into a lake), a current break in a river or a stream, even
shadows on the water, or a fallen tree to provide an edge that fish like to
With this in mind anglers should stop and think, where are the edges on this
body of water. For example, walleyes in cold water will probably be where
there is a warmer temperature. That might mean the northern part of the lake
or where a feed creek dumps into the river. Then, what other structures are
present to make up the edge? Is there a barrier from current or wind? Has the
vegetation or weed growth started yet? Is the bottom sandy, muddy, rocky etc.
A couple of other overlooked things like sun and wind are also big factors on
some of these points. I fish a point or flat on the side where the wind is
blowing into most of the time, unless there is a sharp drop off or some type
of rock structure to hold fish on the opposite side. Usually, walleyes will be
lying in an area where the wind is blowing water onto a structure. In clear
water lakes under bright conditions, look for shaded area on a piece of
Many times anglers get caught up in a certain type of fishing. These people
might retrieve a jig the same way or troll a crankbait at one speed. Also many
anglers use a pre-tied live bait rig with a standard snell when the fish are 3
feet off the bottom. The standard snell length might be placing the bait below
the feeding fish. Or they may be casting a #7 Lindy Shadling that runs 7 to 8
feet deep to fish that are 10 feet down. That means that the fish have to be
super active for them to come up after the bait. I always determine where the
fish are positioned in relationship to the bottom and what depth my bait is
running. I try to find a presentation that will put bait right in front of the
fishís nose and make it easy for the fish to locate the bait or lure.
When fish are suspended 1 1/2 to 5 feet off the bottom, the length of the your
snell, the position of your boat, and the presentation speed are important.
Many times, you have to stop and work the bait slowly through the fish. At
times, Iíve had my best luck with an almost motionless presentation. And, by
changing the length of the of the snell you can get fish on the bottom or
suspended. In fact, you could anchor, cast out and let the leech or crawlers
do its thing. This is a great method for catching spooky or inactive walleyes.
The key to fishing walleyes is versatility in your approach. Many anglers will
stick to one type of method. Some anglers believe that more walleyes are
caught on jigs or spinners. While other anglers will swear by the tried and
true methods of crawling crankbaits over endless structure. After watching,
listening, and reading other anglers I decided that I should change my
approach. There are a lot of little things in fishing that make a big
difference. You might say to yourself after a day on the water: Why didnít I
try spinners today? Why didnít I move shallower or deeper? Versatility is such
a key. Not only knowing how to use a rig, jig, or how to use a crankbait, but
also knowing all the things that makeup those families of lures. You have to
know how to trigger the fish. In other words you have to be looking for
walleyes in all the right places.
Whether you are in the states of Alaska,
Delaware, Maine, Massachusetts, New York, Washington, Oregon, Idaho,
Montana, Minnesota, Wisconsin, North Dakota, South Dakota, Wyoming, Iowa,
Michigan, Illinois, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Missouri, Kentucky, Colorado,
Indiana, Virginia, California, Nevada, or New Jersey, there are fish to
If you are in one of the Canadian provinces of Ontario, Yukon, Northwest
Territories, British Columbia, Alberta, Saskatchewan, Manitoba, or Quebec,
there are fish to catch.
You might be trolling with cranks as your lure of choice. You might be
jigging with jigs. Youíll probably need rods, reels, some live bait
(crawlers, minnows, leeches), sinkers, leaders, and fishing line. More
often times than not, it takes a boat to get to those spots, as well.
Maybe you will be fishing from the bank or wading, however.
You may need fishing reports or maybe even a fishing guide.
This website will try to help you achieve the goal of catching bigger,
better, and more numerous fish.