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Walleye picture

How to fish for Walleye

The walleye is native to the central portion of North America from the Rocky Mountains to the Appalachian Mountain chains, ranging as far south as Arkansas, Mississippi, and Alabama, and as far north as Great Slave Lake, the Mackenzie River and the Peace River in northwest Canada. Introductions have extended the range beyond the Appalachian Mountains in the east, to the Columbia river in the west, and as far south as Texas.
Walleye are tolerant of a great range of environments but do best in the open water of large lakes and reservoirs. Walleye most often seek water in the 65F to 75F range. Walleye loosely school, and finding one fish is a good reason to keep fishing in an area. Walleye are usually found over firm bottom such as sand, rock or gravel and occasionally near vegetation but not in it. Walleye are extremely sensitive to bright daylight intensities and this restricts feeding to early mornings, evenings, and after dark. They use sunken trees, boulder shoals, weed beds, reefs and any other obstruction as cover. Walleye feed primarily on other fish, such as Yellow Perch, Lake Whitefish, and minnows.
There are a wide variety of ways to catch Walleye, including live bait like minnows and worms, spinners, crankbaits, and jigs. Generally the lure or bait is kept close to the bottom, and retrieved slowly or slowly trolled. 
Since the bottom few feet of water is by far the most productive for Walleye it is important to hold your bait within this area. Trolling is a good way to cover more water and search out Walleye. For Walleye use a medium-action graphite rod that is between 6 1/2 and 7 feet long with a high quality spinning reel that is rated for 6 to 10 pound test line. A 3 way swivel with a spinning rig on a light line of 6 to 8 pound test just off bottom works well. Tie a 3 foot leader from the 3 way swivel to a 1 or 2 oz weight and then tie a 5 foot leader to your lure. As you troll slowly let out the line until your sinker hits the bottom then raise the weight by 1 crank of your reel. A floating or a countdown Rapella works well. Crankbaits in colors of Perch, chartreuse, silver, blue, and red will all work for Walleye.


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