Techniques for Fishing Walleye

Trolling for Walleye:

  • Vary your speed – troll faster when fish are aggressive. Note: Trolling faster also allows you to cover more water as well.
  • Long rods with planer boards are a good idea to keep your lure out of your wake path. Planer boards also make it easier to manage multiple rigs.
  • Concentrate your efforts along the first break line and work your way out as success declines.
  • Running crawler harnesses with bottom bouncing sinkers off your planer boards often works well.

Trolling for Walleye - Crawler Harnesses:

  • Leader Line:  Use a long leader (about 5 ft) of reliable line that is relatively transparent. 12 to 20lb test fluorocarbon is a good choice.    
  • Hooks:  Be sure to go with bait holder hooks to keep your crawler hanging. Number 2 is recommended.
  • Beads: Use beads to add mass, attract fish, and enhance action.  Remember not to string any beads down the line of the clevis so you don’t disrupt the spinner.
  • Clevis:  Use a quick change clevis.
  • Blades:  Small no. 4 or no. 5 Colorado Blades
  • Bead / blade colors:  Red /silver, orange /chartreuse, chartreuse /chartreuse beads
  • Bottom Bouncers:  Use a bottom bouncer (typically  4 – 6 oz). A bottom bouncer is basically a lead weight bounced along the bottom ahead of your harness.  Bottom bouncers provide many advantages they:
    1. Keep your harness trailing close to bottom.
    2. Stir up the silt and bottom debris which attracts the walleyes. 
    3. Minimize snags as they keep your harness from dragging the bottom.
    4. Provide an effective “stop and go” presentation with every bounce.

Note: When using bottom bouncers, be sure you match the weight and speed so that it bounces!

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