Trolling is a successful way to catch walleye. Understanding the best trolling tactics will help you catch more walleye.
Troll at Faster Speeds in Clear Water
Clear waters, sunny skies, and high-visibility make walleye harder to catch. In these conditions, you need to adopt a “fast and furious” troll technique.
To successfully hook an ‘eye in clear conditions, you need to put these fish on the chase.
Use your sonar (or fish-tracking device of your choice) to determine the walleyes’ depth. Keep your bait a few feet higher than the fish and increase your trolling speed. Depending on your presentation, your speed should be 1.3-2.5 mph.
A hard-wobbling crankbait can be used at the higher speeds to encourage walleyes to enter chase mode. Try this technique to catch a trophy walleye in clear waters.
Troll Slow and Steady in “Tough-Bite” Conditions
However, if you are fishing under tougher conditions, you should slow down your trolling speed.
Walleye are lazy fish and slow trolling is a successful technique in “tough-bite” conditions.
Especially after a cold front, walleye become lazy and rest near the lake bottom. If you are having trouble landing a walleye, try reducing your trolling speed to 1mph and drag your rig near the bottom.
A successful rigging system for these conditions includes a dropper tied to the end of a barrel swivel. Keep the other end free on your mainline. Attach your rig to a second swivel (essentially acting as a stopper) at the end of the mainline. The walleyes won’t feel resistance as they can swim with the bait.
Use the Right Bait at the Right Time
Trolling quickly in dense areas can cause live bait to tear or rip off. To avoid this, use strong artificial crawlers in these conditions.
In warmer waters use crankbaits to catch aggressive walleyes.
Many anglers know that summer means fast, aggressive walleye. So adjust your bait accordingly. Crankbaits, especially Salmo or Rapala, are effective in many different bodies of water.
Combine crankbaits with faster trolling speeds, dive charts, and an “S” trolling pattern to effectively catch a trophy walleye in warmer conditions.
Try Contour Trolling
Trolling the contour is an effective technique in areas with large embankments. In these situations, walleye tend to swim slightly offshore and form a tight contour. By trolling this contour, you can efficiently catch more walleye.
To successfully troll the contour, make sure you use a large reel and troll at 1.5-2.5 mph.
Attach a large and strong reel to a downrigger rod (8-10 feet is best). Use a barrel swivel to connect your monofilament (12-pound is ideal) to a leadcore. Finish this off with a diving crankbait.
To master this technique, you need to cover a lot of ground at a high speed. Make sure your rods are extended on either side of your boat, so your reach is about 25-30 feet. Keep your speed around 1.5-2.5 mph. If you have tried an area with no results, consider moving to another spot or switching your lures.
Trolling is an effective strategy for catching walleye. Let the conditions of the day dictate your your trolling method.
I hope these trolling tactics help you catch your next walleye trophy.
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