Techniques and Tips for Success for Using Walleye Lures

John Malcolm
John MalcolmPublished: December 8, 2023
Techniques and Tips for Success for Using Walleye Lures

Walleye fishing can be exciting but challenging. They are preddatory fish that require a specific set of fishing techniques to catch them.

What we're saying is that it takes a bit more strategy than simply throwing a worm and a bobber in the lake and netting a monster walleye.

TipWhy it's important
Understanding Walleye BehaviorKnowing their behavior helps in selecting the right lure that mimics their natural prey.
Location, Location, LocationWalleye prefer areas with a mix of shallow and deep water. Finding and presenting your lure in these areas increases your chances of catching a walleye.
Timing is EverythingWalleyes are more active at night and during low-light hours. Understanding their feeding patterns based on time of day and season can improve success.
Choosing the Right LureWalleyes are attracted to bright, shiny lures with vibration. Choosing the right lure that mimics their prey can catch their attention and trigger their predatory instincts.
Master the TechniqueExperimenting with different types of lures and adjusting retrieval speed and cadence can imitate the natural movement of walleye prey and increase success.

Now we'll get into the specifics of these techniques and tips so you can reel in more (and bigger) walleye.

Understanding walleye behavior.

Before anything, you have to know what you're up against. As we said, this isn't a simple panfish.

Walleyes are known to follow patterns and are attracted to certain types of lures.

Knowing their behavior can help you choose the right lure that mimics the fish's natural prey.

Walleyes are attracted to bright, shiny lures, so choose lures with silver, gold, or chrome color. The lure should create some disturbance or vibration since walleyes can feel the vibration of their prey.

The goal is to catch their attention and trigger their predatory instincts.

Location, location, location.

On top of understanding how walleye think, Knowing where to cast and troll your lure is the next logical step.

Walleye prefer to hang out in areas with a mix of shallow and deep water, such as humps, reefs, and points.

They also tend to hide around structure like weed beds, rocks, and drop-offs. This is a lot like largemouth bass — after all, both are predatory fish.

Underwater weed beds like this are excellent hideouts for walleye.

These structures, reefs, and points provide walleye a good place to hide out and wait for their prey to come along and then they strike.

This is what you want to do with your lure. You need to find and present your lure in these areas to increase your chances of catching a walleye.

The key is to find these structures on your fishing spot. You can use a fish finder or look for signs like swirls or baitfish activity on the surface.

Timing is everything with these fish.

ConditionsWalleye Preference
Water Temperature50°F - 75°F
Time of DayDusk, Dawn, Night
Time of YearApril - June
This table shows the best times and conditions to catch walleye.

Like all fish, the timing of the year and the time of day are crucial in catching walleyes.

Walleyes are generally more active at night and in the low-light hours of dawn and dusk.

Think about when their prey are active and try to match their feeding patterns.

During the summer months, walleyes tend to move deeper into the water during the day and come up to feed in shallow areas at night.

In winter, they'll be closer to shore in shallower waters due to the colder temperatures.

Also, pay attention to the water temperature, as walleyes are more active around 65 degrees. Generally, the late spring and early summer months from April to June are the best time to catch walleyes. Don't think that just because that's the ideal time, they're still really active even once the lakes ice over. I've caught plenty of monster walleyes while ice fishing.

Choose the right lure for massive walleye.

With your location picked out and the timing right, it's time to choose the right lure.

As mentioned earlier, walleyes are attracted to bright, shiny lures with some vibration.

Some popular options include crankbaits, and jigs. Each has its own advantages and can be used in different conditions. These are some of our favorites that we've caught monster walleyes with over the years

  • Crankbaits. These lures have a more realistic look and mimic the movement of prey fish. They work well when you want to target specific depths and areas with structure.
  • Jigs. Jigs are a versatile lure that can be used in various techniques, such as casting or trolling. They are also great for vertical jigging, which is a popular method for catching walleyes.
  • Plastic worms. While not the most traditional walleye lure, plastic worms can be effective in certain situations. Try using them on a jig head or rigging them weedless near structure.
  • Swim baits. You're essentially using a jig with a soft plastic tail here. This adds more action and can attract bigger walleyes. You want to mimic their prey.

Experiment with different types of lures to see what works best in your fishing spot, but make sure to have the basics covered first.

Adjust Your Technique

Different walleye fishing techniques suit different environments and water temperatures.

For the most part, you want to imitate the natural movement of their prey, so try adjusting your retrieval speed and cadence.

In colder water temperatures, a slower-moving jig would do the trick, and the opposite is true in warmer water temperatures.

When jigging, cast and let the lure hit the bottom before slowly lifting it while maintaining tension.

If you're trolling or casting, use a slow to medium retrieval rate.

Whenever we try a new lure we like to retrieve it close to the boat so we can watch how it works. From their we come up with our own technique that works for us.

Catch walleye like a pro!

Using walleye lures for fishing success involves understanding the right lures, their natural behavior, adjusting your technique, finding the right location, and timing your fishing session.

While there's no single way to bring in every walleye lurking out there, these tips and techniques can help you land your next trophy-worthy catch.

These should be a good starting point and from here you can develop your own techniques for whichever body of water you're fishing.

John Malcolm

John Malcolm

Expert Angler

John is a highly skilled angler with over two decades of experience and a passion that has led him to participate in numerous tournaments, including reeling in a remarkable 9lb bass on Lake Okeechobee. His dedication to fishing and willingness to share his expertise make him a respected ambassador for the angling community, inspiring others to appreciate the sport.

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