Walleye fishing is a popular activity among recreational anglers in various freshwater environments in the United States. In general, walleye fish inhabit bodies of water all the way from the U.S.-Canada border to the south of Alabama. Additionally, this species is restocked in numerous lakes and rivers around the country in order to ensure its population management. For instance, Minnesota regularly stocks types of walleye in approximately 900 lakes in the state.

A wide variety of walleye fish bait and lures can be used in order to effectively catch this species. For instance, jigs and spoons are particularly useful walleye fishing lures. In general, hooking one of these fish presents a challenge even to experienced fishermen, making them an interesting catch. Many people spend hours trying to catch these fish, but they are well worth the wait.

What is the best fishing rod for catching walleye?

A medium rig is composed of rods that are not too light or too heavy. Thus, it is best-suited for catching walleye fish. However, if you prefer to fly fish, you can catch smaller walleyes with lighter fishing rods. Conversely, if you are trolling, a medium to heavy rod is recommended. The common walleye fishing rods are:

  • Light-rated fishing rods – A proper light-rated fishing rod must hold between two and eight pounds. This weight will allow your rod to carry a line, lure, hook and the fish being caught. Moreover, light rods allow more precision, like in fly fishing, and are easier to handle for beginners.
  • Spinning rods – Spinning rods are meant for catching light to medium walleye fish. In general, these rods are made of flexible bamboo or fiberglass materials. Moreover, spinning rods are particularly useful for catching a walleye because they bend easily without breaking. For instance, spinning rods have enough flexibility to mitigate the effects of walleyes diving deep after being hooked.
  • Casting rods – A casting rod is optimal if you are using live bait. In addition, casting rods must be at least medium-rated to hold the weight of walleye fish.
  • Jigging rods – Jigging rods are good for catching bottom-dwelling types of walleye. These fish typically try to avoid bright sunlight by staying close to the beds of lakes and rivers during the day. Thus, a jigging rod can increase your chances of catching one of these fish.

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What are the best fishing reels for catching walleye?

The best walleye fishing reels are those that are properly paired with the fishing rod you will be using. The following reels must be included in your walleye fishing gear:

  • Spinning reels are best-suited when paired with a spinning rod.
  • Bait casting reels are optimal when used alongside a casting rod.
  • Jigging reels are perfect for anglers using a jigging rod.
  • Trolling reels are great for fishermen catching walleye fish through trolling techniques.

What are the best fishing lines for catching walleye?

Anglers must account for the weight of walleye fishing lures, bait and sinker as they relate to the average weight of a walleye. Depending on this estimate, you will need one of the following fishing lines:

  • Monofilament lines with a weight limit of about six to eight pounds are well-used for light to medium rigs.
  • Monofilament lines with a weight limit of 10 to 14 pounds are best-suited for medium to heavy rigs.
  • Fluorocarbon lines should be used for trolling and spinning as the line is nearly invisible. In addition, fluorocarbon lines are popular choices among anglers due to the fact that walleye fish are typically line shy.

What are the best fishing lures for catching walleye?

The best walleye fishing lures are the ones move in a way that imitates the favorite foods of a walleye. Thus, the following lures are great for catching walleyes:

  • Jigs – Walleye fishing jigs have a hook molded into their soft bodies and are attached to a lead sinker. A sinker is what allows a hook to sink underwater. Once sunk, a jig allows anglers to perform small, jerky vertical movements that will attract a walleye’s attention.
  • Minnow-shaped plugs – Minnows are one of the main sources of food for walleye fish. For that reason, a lure that imitates the shape of minnows and mimics their movement is very helpful.
  • Spoons – Spoons for walleye fishing are smooth, concave and oblong-shaped. This design allows the spoons to produce a slight wobble as an angler moves them through the water. Moreover, these lures reflect the light rather well and produce flashes of light that imitate a fleeing or injured fish. Thus, spoons are generally very attractive to a walleye.
  • Artificial worms – Artificial worms attract walleyes because they are some of these fish’s primary food sources. Similar to minnow-shaped plugs, artificial worms provide movement in the water that helps attract this species.

What is the best fishing bait for catching walleye?

Organic or live baits are also great options to lure in walleye fish. The following walleye fishing bait options are inexpensive and effective at catching walleyes:

  • Minnows
  • Crickets
  • Worms
  • Crayfish

What are the best fishing hooks for catching walleye?

There are a wide variety of hooks available for walleye fishing. In general, the recommended size for walleye fishing hooks is between 2/0 and 5/0. However, having a set of differently-sized hooks can provide you with the best results. Thus, consider the following hook options:

  • Wide gap hooks
  • Worm hooks
  • Soft-lure hooks

To further explore walleye fishing gear, you can click here.

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Is it easy to catch walleye?

Walleye fish are typically very aware of fishing gear such as lines and hooks. However, once they are hooked, these fish are relatively easy to reel in. Moreover, it is important to keep in mind that a walleye will instinctively dive downward upon being hooked. This makes them a stubborn catch at first, but also means they tire out faster than other freshwater game fish.

After successfully reeling in walleye fish, this species is typically small enough to be plucked out of the water by a line. If the plan is to release these fish after catching them, keep them in the water while removing the hook. A good walleye fishing tip is to fish in shaded areas or when direct sunlight is not hitting the water. Walleye fish have very sensitive eyes, so they cannot see if there is too much light. As a consequence, these fish will stay at the bottom of the water or in patches of vegetation, making them harder to catch.

What should you wear to go walleye fishing?

For walleye fishing, there is no specific attire that you need to buy or wear. However, there are a few items of clothing that can assist your fishing. The following are suggested walleye fishing clothes that may help make this activity easier for you:

  • Fishing vest – Fishing vest have various useful pockets and compartments to store all of your extra lures, hooks, lines and tools. Because walleye fishing takes place over extended periods of time, it is important to carry your gear closely.
  • Waterproof shoes – Walleye fishing may take place on a boat. When fishing from a boat, you can benefit from wearing waterproof or water resistant shoes. It is also recommended to get shoes that are anti-slip to ensure your safety on the boat.
  • Clothes you do not mind getting wet – You should expect to get wet at one point or another while catching walleye fish. Thus, you should purchase fast-drying shirts and pants in order to ensure your comfort while fishing for extended periods.

If you are interested in purchasing walleye fishing attire or looking into other fishing apparel options, you can click here.

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What types of habitats can I find walleye in?

The most successful walleye fishing locations are in large, shallow lakes, especially those connected to rivers or streams. On occasion, good walleye fishing spots are also found on smaller lakes or bodies of water without tributaries. During the day, this species usually stays near the bottoms of lakes where it is darker. At night, the walleye habitat can move into shallow water, where it is easier to hunt. In general, walleye fish thrive in environments that provide a combination of open water, gravel reefs and vegetation beds. In these locations, a walleye can stay out of the sun and even hunt during the day.

Where can I catch walleye?

Walleye fish are most commonly found in the upper Midwest and other parts of the northern United States. The following are among the most popular walleye fish spots in the country:

  • All of the states that surround Lake Erie
  • Green Bay, Wisconsin
  • Lake Oahe, North/South Dakota
  • Colombia River, Washington/Oregon
  • Bays De Noc, Michigan

Be sure to check for walleye fishing season and regulations in each of these locations before planning a fishing trip.

What are the different kinds of walleyes?

Walleye fish are part of the perch family. Thus, despite the fact that there are not different types of walleyes in the U.S., these fish are commonly confused with other members of the perch family. Species that share similar characteristics to a walleye include:

  • Pike
  • Sauger
  • Yellow perch
  • Darter

What do walleyes look like?

One of the best walleye fishing tips is to learn how to differentiate these fish from other species. Walleyes have two dorsal fins. The anterior fin, closest to the head, has sharp spines, while the posterior dorsal fin has rays instead. The tailfin has a white spot at the bottom. However, one of the most distinctive features in this species is its opaque silver eyes that give the illusion of glowing in the dark. When fishing for walleyes at night, you may notice the reflection of their eyes below the surface. Moreover, this fish’s vision is highly sensitive to light due to the fact that the species is primarily a nocturnal hunter.

When does the walleye fishing season start?

A walleye fishing season can vary according to each state or region. Thus, consider the following fishing seasons for walleye across the United States:

  • In Vermont, anglers are not allowed to catch walleye fish during the month of April.
  • Fishermen in New Hampshire can catch walleye year-round.

Anglers must note that a walleye size and low populations are also taken into consideration when states establish fishing seasons. In most cases, a walleye must be over 15 inches long in order to be kept. These regulations help smaller members of the species to reach maturity and reproduce. Certain regions may also set maximum fish lengths.

Are there regulations for catching walleye?

Walleye fishing regulations vary from state to state and are subject to changes from year to year. Thus, anglers must make sure that they are informed on the most recent regulations before fishing in an area. To learn more about fishing regulations, click here. Consider the following guidelines pertaining to walleye fishing:

  • Minnesota fishing regulations have established that anglers in Lake Vermillion can only catch one walleye over 26 inches during an entire fishing season.
  • In Connecticut, fishing enthusiast can only have walleyes that are at least 18 inches long.
  • Anglers in New Hampshire can only catch two walleye per day.

What do walleyes eat?

Walleye fish are a carnivorous species whose diet includes small fish and invertebrates. It is common for these fish to feed on the following:

  • Minnows
  • Yellow perch
  • Crayfish
  • Snails
  • Mudpuppies
  • Insects
  • Worms
  • Frogs

Can you eat walleye?

Top 10 Easy Walleye Recipes. Download our FREE eBook! Download Now

Fishing for walleyes is popular not only because this fish presents a fun challenge, but because they provide a delicious meal. Walleyes have a light, subtle flavor that tastes good when battered or baked. In many regions, it is also common to find this species used in fish fry dishes. Learn how to cook this fish into a satisfying meal by downloading our recipe guide.

What is the nutritional value of walleye?

Walleye fish are highly nutritious while also being low in calories. A 100-gram serving of walleye provides the following nutrition facts:

  • 96 calories (five percent of daily value)
  • 19 grams of protein (38 percent of daily value)
  • 75 grams of fat (three percent of daily value)
  • .4 grams of saturated fat (two percent of daily value)
  • 57 milligrams of sodium (two percent of daily value)
  • 92 grams of cholesterol (30 percent of daily value)

Discover the best recipes to cook walleye by downloading our 10 best walleye recipes guide.

Nutrition Facts
Amount Per 100g
Calories
93
4.7% of Daily Value*
Total Fat 1.2g
2%
Saturated Fat 0.2g
less than 1% of Daily Value
Cholesterol 86mg
29%
Sodium 51mg
2%
Selenium 12.6mcg
18%
Protein 19g
38%
* The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a serving of food contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.