Shore Walleyes Wader Invader

Shore Walleyes Wader Invader

In keeping with our foot patrol theme for spring shore walleyes, waders offer an easy and inexpensive alternative for fishing shallow areas near shore. Pop 'em in the trunk or back of the SUV, toss in a long spinning rod and a small component tackle box of lures, plus some warm clothes and a flashlight, and you're ready to go at a moment's notice.

Fishing in waders is a meet-and-greet scenario: you wade out to meet the fish on their way into the shallows from adjacent holding areas. The key is to pick out shoreline sections where the fish are drawn to you by distinctive shoreline features like rocks or contours, or by current flow, typically at creek or river mouths or on the downwind side of a narrows. Your mobility is limited, but the walleyes are free to roam. So, play percentages and be in position to intercept them.

Spring and fall are perhaps the best times to fish for walleyes with waders, since the fish tend to come quite shallow at night. In spring, it's a spawning thing; fish cluster in and around rocky shorelines, creek mouths, and riprap when the water temperature rises above 40F. In fall, it's a food thing, as fish move shallow to ambush a multitude of forage items ranging from frogs and salamanders entering the lake from swamps, to minnows and even bullheads roaming the shallows, to shallow fall spawners like ciscoes offering easy meals along mainlake sand-rock shorelines adjoining deep water. In most cases, wading is a night activity, since that's when the walleyes are most likely to come to you.

Tops on the list are likely neutral-buoyancy minnow imitators like Husky Jerks, retrieved slowly through the shallows, using the occasional pump-and-pause to make the lure first surge and then hang there in a following walleye's face. Next up is a jig of some sort, typically 1/4- to 3/8-ounce, dressed with a 4-inch shad body or twistertail. Jigs let you retrieve your lure nearer the bottom, just in case the water's more than 3 or 4 feet deep. Walleyes will, however, hit free-running lures at night, so you don't necessarily have to bang bottom to trigger strikes. You can try other options like rattlebaits, or even lighted slipbobbers dangling leeches a few feet below the surface. But most of the time, all you need is a couple of lures, the patience of Job, and the confidence to stand thigh-deep in cool water, waiting for that next bite.


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.

Mustad

Mustad's Saltwater Jig Lineup

Russ Whisler shows OSG's Lynn Burkhead the innovative features and great color schemes in Mustad's voluminous lineup of saltwater jigs introduced at ICAST 2019.

Berkley

Berkley's Frittside Crankbaits

World Fishing Network show host Chad LaChance had a chance to visit with legendary crankbait master David Fritts about his new Frittside crankbaits from Berkley. LaChance, host of the Fishful Thinker on WFN, also got a few cranking tips from Fritts, the former Classic and Forrest Wood Cup champion.

New Optimum and Optimum TS Downriggers from Canon

New Optimum and Optimum TS Downriggers from Canon

From rugged reliability to smooth integration of cutting edge technology across several different platforms, OSG's Lynn Burkhead learns that there's much to like about the new Optimum and Optimum TS downriggers from Canon.

See More Popular Videos

Trending Articles

Everything you need to know about popular catfish species and how to catch them on proven riggings. Catfish

All About Catfish

Rob Neumann

Everything you need to know about popular catfish species and how to catch them on proven...

To guide your carp quest, we've lined up the best carp baits that are easy-to-fish natural baits and commercial options. Carp

10 Best Carp Baits Available Today

Dan Johnson

To guide your carp quest, we've lined up the best carp baits that are easy-to-fish natural...

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...

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. 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

It's time to turn on the jets and hit the water. Walleye

Crankbaits: The Fastest Lures for Walleyes

David Harrison

It's time to turn on the jets and hit the water.

A spinner-crawler rig on a bottom bouncer has proven deadly for walleye to those who have perfected the tactic. Walleye

Spinner-Crawler Rigs on Bottom Bouncers for Walleyes

Michael Veine - August 05, 2019

A spinner-crawler rig on a bottom bouncer has proven deadly for walleye to those who have...

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...

The range of walleye hardbaits encompasses multiple categories and a dizzying number of lures. Walleye

The Lowdown on Walleye Hardbaits

Steve Ryan - May 28, 2019

The range of walleye hardbaits encompasses multiple categories and a dizzying number of lures.

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.

Get Digital Access.

All In-Fisherman subscribers now have digital access to their magazine content. This means you have the option to read your magazine on most popular phones and tablets.

To get started, click the link below to visit mymagnow.com and learn how to access your digital magazine.

Get Digital Access

Not a Subscriber?
Subscribe Now