Although many anglers focus on lakes, many rivers are actually heavily populated with walleye. And since rivers are often overlooked, they offer more chances for you to catch a trophy walleye. These strategies can help you successfully catch river walleye.
Factor 1: Understand the Current
You probably won’t find walleye in fast-moving water. Yes, they like some water movement. But walleye generally prefer areas with a break (an island, boulder, wood, etc.). To successfully catch a river walleye, locate a break structure. Then, cast downstream.
But, don’t ignore current breaks on the upstream side. Look for any obstacle that is blocking the current (and forming a pool). These upstream areas are popular walleye resting spots.
Factor 2: Look at Water Levels
It is important to understand the river’s water levels. Walleye are easier to catch in low water conditions. The current is generally slower and the water is clearer.
If the water levels are higher, try fishing for walleye in the river’s shallow areas. Walleye are known to swim to these shallow areas to feed. Once the levels begin to fall, walleye will move to deeper areas.
Factor 3: Try Jigs
When walleye fishing in rivers, try using a jig as one of the items in your repertoire. The XPS Bucktail Jig is a successful option for catching river walleye. This jig is specifically designed to move through weeds without ripping. And it can keep up with the aggressive river walleye.
Another option is to use a bladed jig. When you are fishing in a strong current, it is important to easily attract the walleye. Bladed jigs add an extra bounce and shine that can attract the walleye in strong river currents.
Factor 4: Try River Trolling
Trolling can be an effective technique in rivers. When trolling for river walleyes, use a walleye spinner rig and a bottom bouncer. This can be an effective combination for attracting walleye.
Troll in the most populated areas, like breaks and holes. Of course walleyes also love to gather in weed beds, so consider trolling these too.
You should keep both single and double-hook spinners with you. Use the single-hooks for leeches and minnows. Keep the double-hooks for crawlers.
The Bottom Line?: Fishin’ Walleyes on Rivers is a Whole Lot of Fun
Many anglers only focus on catching walleyes in lakes. However, walleyes are also known to live in rivers. And since many anglers stay on lakes, you might have more opportunities to catch walleye in rivers. River walleye populations are generally large since they are not fished as often as lake walleye.
When fishing in rivers, it’s important to remember that walleye like to feed in shallow, still water. If you are fishing during a strong current, make sure to look for breaks and holes. Vertical jigs and trolling are both effective ways to catch river walleye.
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