Walleye Fishing Tips
These walleye tips are for our location on the English River system. They may not be effective in other bodies of water.
The English River is what we call tea colored water, or stained, which is ideal for walleye since they are very sensitive to light.
If you have never fished for walleye, here are two tips to get you started.
1. Slow down!!! Most people are excellent bass & pike fishermen, but walleye fishing can be frustrating if you are looking for fast or top water action. Whatever presentation you like to use, whether it be jigging, trolling or casting, or trolling crank baits, keeping it slow will result in more walleyes in the frying pan.
2. Fish close to the bottom!!! Getting your tackle hung up or snagged is part of fishing for walleye. Whether fishing with a jig, trolling, or casting crank baits, you need to be close to the bottom to catch the feeding walleyes.
Where to Find Walleye in the River
When fishing the English River you must keep in mind that there is water current. Fishing in the current will not be productive. So picture yourself in a wind tunnel that has a 90 degree turn at one end. If the wind is blowing 20mph when it gets to the 90 degree turn it will try to go straight ahead before continuing thus forming an eddy on the inside of that turn. To get out of the wind you would stand on the inside of the turn or in the eddy. If there is food going by you can just reach out & get it. This same theory holds true for walleye in & around current. Any obstacle that blocks or redirects the current of the water, is where walleye will hang out, in the eddies or slack water that these obstacles form to rest & feed. Often times the most subtle obstacle can hold fish. Some examples would be a rock pile, a sharp turn, a submerged rock shelf, slack water along the main channel, submerged weed beds etc. As long as there is some depth & structure around these obstacles there will be walleye. The abundance of structure and variation of water depths make the English River an excellent fishery!
Trolling & Drifting: These can be very effective techniques for walleye fishing anytime of the season. Trolling & drifting can be the best ways to find walleye that are feeding. This needs to be done slowly. 1/2 to 3/4mph works best for us. When trolling, we use a trolling rig that we make exclusively for our guests during the winter months. It consists of an 18" 30lb test leader made of flexible steel with a spinner blade, beads, swivel & a hook. Attached to this is a 3/8oz chained keel weight with a swivel snap. Drifting can be done with a regular lead head jig, 1/4 oz to 3/8 oz working the bottom. Bottom bouncers work well too. Live bait is usually the best bet, preferably minnows, leeches or night crawlers. Artificial baits will work when walleye are very aggressive. Once you've caught two or three walleye in the same spot, you can throw in the anchor, sit and use your jig fishing technique.
Jigging: This is one of the favorite methods among avid walleye fishermen. The idea here is to sit over feeding walleyes. Once you have done that, the rest is pretty simple. Tip a lead head jig with live bait, drop it until it hits the bottom, then raise it up about 6". Give it a few, two to three inch tugs every few minutes. Or you can cast out your bait, letting it sink to the bottom & work it as you are reeling it back in. This way you can work the area a little more. Floating jigs can also be excellent. This technique consist of a floating jig, an 18" to 20" monofilament leader tied to a swivel with a 1/4 to 3/8oz egg sinker above it. You can cast this out, let it sink to the bottom & leave it sit or work it slowly back. Again live bait works best with this.
Slip Bobbers: This technique works very well around rapids & fast water. Rigging is simple. You tie a bobber stop to the line then string the bobber on; at the bottom you'll need a 1/4 to 3/8oz lead head jig. This rig is adjustable. In most cases you'll want to set you bobber to 4' to 8'. When fishing the rapids, throw your bobber up stream right in the fast water. Let it work its way to the edge of the fast water. This is where you will get action! Again live bait works best!!
There are many techniques for successful walleye fishing. These are just a few of the preferred methods that work well on the English River.
Tackle & Rods
Walleye fishing can be very touchy at times. We suggest light to no heavier than medium action rods. We use 6' medium light rods with spinning reels strung with 8lb test monofilament line. Walleyes can be very finicky at times, biting sort or soft, just mouthing the bait, making it hard to feel with a heavy action rod. A lighter action rod & lighter test line will result in a better feel for the bite. For beginners, don't set the hook as soon as you feel a nibble. Walleyes have a tendency to nibble. More often than not they will not have the bait in their mouth when nibbling. Wait for a good steady pull, then set the hook. It is very important not to forget to set & check your drag often. We set the drag just tight enough to get a good hook set, this way when you get your trophy 8 to 10lber on the line, he can run & not snap your line, giving you a challenging fight to remember!
Colors: In the spring, bright colors seem to work best. Chartreuse, lime green, pink, white etc. In the summer months, more subtle colors like blue, brown or even black can be your best bet.
If you follow these tips you are sure to have a great walleye fishing experience at Cozy Camp!!! We look forward to being your hosts for your next Canadian fishing trip.
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