Professional walleye anglers know that the weeds and weed beds are a favorite hiding spot for these fish, and working the entire weed bed will increase both the number and size of Walleye that you can catch.
The Walleye head to the weeds for a number of reasons, and in all seasons. The bait fish dart through the weeds to avoid predators, the weeds block out the sun, and they keep the water cooler.
All of these are reasons that the fish prefer weed beds.
To work the entire bed, start at the outer edges of the weed bed, and look for areas where the bottom drops off or flattens out.
Start with a jig and live minnow or a Fuzz-E-Grub or similar plastic bait. Jig along the outer edges of the weed bed, trolling slowly.
After a short time pick up speed to generate some action. Next, go back and forth from the outer edge to the interior of the weed bed.
This will allow you to evaluate the difference in depth and weed height between the outer edge and the interior of the bed, and help locate any Walleye that is hanging out in between the two.
Where the weeds are thin enough you should be able to troll right through them, but if they are very thick one technique may be to cast a jig and quickly reel it back in to see if you get any strikes.
This can also help you locate the Walleye, and determine where to fish for best results.
In deeper waters, swimming jigs, which will travel well through weed beds can be used to attract the fish.
Another method that can work well when you are crossing back and forth between the deep and shallow areas of the weed beds is a crawler harness with a crawler or fat leech on it.
Even though the traditional Walleye wisdom says to fish the edges of the weed beds during the day and the middle once the sun goes down, many anglers understand that Walleye are unpredictable.
This means that the fish can be found around the edges at night, in the center of the weed bed during the day, or any spot in the weed bed at any time.
Working the entire weed bed will ensure that you have not missed a trophy Walleye or a school of fish simply because you did not think the fish would be there.
Most professional anglers are pros because they are willing to try new things and go against the traditional advice.
In fact, go ahead and try some unusual baits or techniques, even if the “experts” say it is not the way to go.
The time-tested walleye fishing secrets of going back and forth, while varying your speeds, baits, and presentations, will help you catapult your walleye fishing.