Making Good Choices To Catch Walleyes

Making Good Choices To Catch Walleyes

How many times have you fished the same rig or jig all day? How often have you used your favorite presentation instead of experimenting with one less practiced or preferred? Have you ever felt lost on the water, unable to choose a proper approach?

Guilty on all counts? Through preference, sheer laziness, or lack of understanding or direction, we avoid making choices, or make the wrong calls. Versatility can be a double-edged sword -- the luxury to be able to make choices, but with choices, it becomes necessary to make them.

Among the armada of versatile anglers float many who have difficulty selecting which tactics to apply. They have all the recommended gear, but can't put the maze of options into practice. The difference between tools and skills is that tools can be bought, but experience is needed to develop the skills to use them.

BASIC GAME PLAN


Establishing successful fishing patterns is a process, walleyes, bass, baitfish, etc., whatever your choice may be. Each time you fish, you run through a system of decisions: choosing a general area of a lake-river-reservoir, selecting appropriate seasonal habitat, determining how fish relate to it, choosing likely presentations and boat control based on fish position and mood, and then fine-tuning a presentation or switching presentations to maximize your catch. It's not leaving the dock with something tied on the end of your line and predetermining that you'll use that something all day, even if it was successful in the past. The smarter you react, the more fish you'll catch.


Presentation Spectrum

Different presentations have inherent blends of characteristics. Some cover water quickly, while others strain small spots where fish concentrate along edges or within distinct spots. Some extract fish from cover; others excel in open water. Tactics for triggering strikes typically incorporate higher speeds, while those used to entice bites from fussy fish often call for livebait presented at a slow crawl.

Some presentations are limited in scope, applying strictly to certain speed ranges and small areas: slip bobbers fished in and around cover at minimal speed, for example. Others require a minimum amount of speed to make lures work properly, like trolled spinners or crankbaits. Still others work at a wide range of speeds, such as jigs, which excel at everything from motionless, to subtle hopping, to snapjigging.


Prerig several rods with systems appropriate to the lake, river or reservoir you plan to fish. We suggest one precision-finesse system, one coverage system, and perhaps a third with characteristics of each. Then fish several likely areas to judge fish response. Once you determine that a certain presentation is working, begin fine-tuning it with modifications in sight (profile, color, flash, action), sound (vibration), or scent (livebait); or try refinements in the system itself, like switching to lighter line, smaller hooks, adding weight to achieve better depth or control, or speeding up or slowing down your coverage. But don't place too much faith in little things like color pattern or scent until you have the basic system in place. Appropriate systems catch fish; after that, refinements catch more and bigger fish.

Get Your Fish On.

Plan your next fishing and boating adventure here.

GET THE NEWSLETTER Join the List and Never Miss a Thing.

Recommended Articles

See More Recommendations

Popular Videos

Minus System Crankbaits for Largemouths

Minus System Crankbaits for Largemouths

In-Fisherman Editor-In-Chief, Doug Stange demonstrates the use of DT Fat Minus crankbaits for largemouth bass.

New Spinning Reel for Finesse Fishermen

New Spinning Reel for Finesse Fishermen

As Pure Fishing's Andrew Upshaw explains, reel making giant Abu Garcia has done it again at ICAST 2019 with a new spinning reel geared towards finesse fishermen.

Travel Destinations on Ice

Travel Destinations on Ice

The In-Fisherman staff targets all fish during each and every season, with many of our favorite winter option are on the ice.

Sight Fishing Carp

Sight Fishing Carp

The In-Fisherman staff slips into stealth mode sight tactics for barrel-shaped carp.

Trending Articles

Now more than ever, understanding each category's strong suits is critical to choosing a powerplant that best fits your personal needs and preferences. Boats & Motors

2- Vs. 4-Cycle Outboard Motors

Dan Johnson - April 16, 2018

Now more than ever, understanding each category's strong suits is critical to choosing a...

Pole lines illustrate the paradox of catfishing. At a time when excellent rods, reels, and other Catfish

Catfish Pole Rigs

Richard Peterson with In-Fisherman - April 28, 2016

Pole lines illustrate the paradox of catfishing. At a time when excellent rods, reels, and...

Check out this Largemouth Bass Length To Weight Conversion Chart, a simple and accurate explanation from the In-Fisherman biologists. Bass

Largemouth Bass Length To Weight Conversion Chart

Dr. Rob Neumann - January 22, 2017

Check out this Largemouth Bass Length To Weight Conversion Chart, a simple and accurate...

'Walleyes spawn in spring and understanding spring walleye migrations, whether you live north or south, will help you pinpoint their predictable locations year after year. 

Walleyes spawn in spring, but spring may arrive in February in Mississippi, March in Walleye

Understanding Spring Walleye Migrations

Gord Pyzer - June 02, 2018

'Walleyes spawn in spring and understanding spring walleye migrations, whether you live north...

See More Trending Articles

More Walleye

Numerous studies continue to show that muskie stocking has little to no impact on walleye populations. Walleye

Walleye Issues: Esocid Factors

Cory Schmidt - October 10, 2019

Numerous studies continue to show that muskie stocking has little to no impact on walleye...

Paddletail Swimbaits are one of the most efficient options yet devised to catch walleyes, including during late season. Walleye

Paddletail Swimbaits for Late-Season Walleyes

Doug Stange - November 19, 2019

Paddletail Swimbaits are one of the most efficient options yet devised to catch walleyes,...

Walleye

Thumping Bottom for Walleyes

Doug Stange - March 10, 2020

Overcoming the challenges of finding and icing big-water walleyes starts with changing your mindset. Walleye

Big Water Walleyes

Dan Johnson - February 20, 2020

Overcoming the challenges of finding and icing big-water walleyes starts with changing your...

See More Walleye

GET THE MAGAZINE Subscribe & Save

Digital Now Included!

SUBSCRIBE NOW

Give a Gift   |   Subscriber Services

PREVIEW THIS MONTH'S ISSUE

GET THE NEWSLETTER Join the List and Never Miss a Thing.