One important quality that great anglers possess is the eagerness to learn. They know that simply mastering a few techniques isn’t enough; you need to stay current and on top of what’s new and what other successful anglers are using. It is for this reason that, now and then, we take a minute to brush up on what’s working on the water for anglers throughout the country, and today we’ll take a look at what fishermen are using these days when trolling for walleye.
For those of you who may not be familiar with trolling, the technique entails either cruising at a set speed—usually slower—or drifting in the current or wind, while keeping a lure or bait at a set depth. Typically, depthfinders are used to determine where the fish are holding and then a lure is let out on line to that depth as you move along.
One popular bait for trolling is the crankbait, which is a favorite due to the fact that it is typically designed to dive to a specific depth and run there. Rapala models, like the Husky Jerk, Minnow Rap, and Shad Rap, are popular choices and work well. A few years ago, Rapala even created the Trolls-To Minnow, which is made to troll at a targeted depth with enticing action and an internal rattle. Other great options include Berkley Flicker Shads, Storm Hot-N-Tots, and Cotton Cordell Wally Divers.
Many anglers have success with small spoons, as well. Spoons are great because they have reliable weight and offer great action in the water. Furthermore, their flash serves as a great enticer, even when the water clarity isn’t ideal. I suggest picking up several different color spoons, though, just as a precaution for the fickly nature of fish.
Plastic minnow baits can produce when used with Roadrunners, Twister Tails, or Beetle Spin jigheads.
You can also use live bait when trolling for walleye. While minnows can work well when used with trolling jigs, worms are a fan favorite for walleye. Bottom bouncers and worm harnesses have long been go-to setups for walleye anglers, and with good reason. A solid harness with two or three hooks and green/orange Colorado blades is a safe bet. The weight of the bottom bouncer will take the worm straight down to the strike zone, where the wire will enable it to bounce along the bottom.
The lures and tactics outlined today are just a few of what’s been working on the water for walleye anglers recently. If you’re thinking about walleye fishing in the future or if the techniques you’ve been using haven’t been producing, then try a few of today’s tips the next time you’re out. You never know; a fresh approach may be just what the doctor ordered.