How to Catch Walleye From Shore? [Best Way]

How to Catch Walleye From Shore

Walleyes are one of those fish species (with very sharp teeth) that can be caught year-round.

And that makes them very interesting to anglers ...

To catch walleye, you will have to find them, use the right tackle, present a tasty bait, and choose the best time of day.


 

Walleyes in rivers also behave differently than those living in still waters, and you have to consider that too.

Weather conditions will also affect your success ...

Here I am going to tell you more about how to catch walleye from shore, in the following chapters:

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What is the Best Way (Technique) to Catch Walleye From Shore?

The first thing to consider is the fishing technique.

When deciding about the best approach, first you will have to find out where the walleyes are.

If you are fishing in a lake, keep in mind that walleyes tend to move a lot more than those living in rivers. This is because currents bring food to walleye in a river, but in a lake, it has to search for it actively.


 

Walleyes also stalk their prey, so to locate it in a still water, you will have to locate different transitions. Search for weeds and similar covers in which walleye will prey.

While not stalking its prey, walleye will swim along those formations. Another good location is a steep drop-off.

In rivers, walleyes spend time in slow moving or still areas in the vicinity of stronger currents. They are usually oriented towards the current while they wait for prey.


 

When you are fishing in a lake, the best technique is to find transition zones where walleyes are and present your lure alongside those places.

Using live bait (if allowed) will increase your chances.

In rivers, you should cast the bait or a lure in a current above still or slow water where the walleyes are and then get it towards that place in order to trigger a bite.

You have four options when it comes to bait presentation (I will tell you more about the best bait for walleye fishing from shore in the next chapter).

So, depending on a location, you can try the following:



BOTTOM FISHING

This is also the simplest way. You will need a bait (preferably a live one), and a lead above the hook. The lead will pull the bait to the bottom and the bait will be positioned slightly above. This is an excellent approach when walleyes are near the bottom.

FLOATING RIG

Floating rigs should be used when the walleyes are moving actively or in moving waters. In moving waters, cast in a way I described before and you are likely to get a bite.



SPINNING

This last option (spinning) works well when you need to cover larger areas, such as alongside the transition zones. Cast the lure towards the end of the area where the walleyes are and reel in. It is also a good approach when the walleyes are feeding aggressively.

JIGGING

Jigging for walleyes is a very effective technique. You may do bottom hopping, where you let the lure sink to the bottom, pull your rod up, and let the bait sink again. You can also move a bait from side to side instead of doing it in the same place.

Another way to jig is to drift, where you move the jig alongside the bottom. This is excellent when the walleyes are very active. I will mention more about their activity periods in the following chapters.



What is the Best Bait to Catch Walleye From Shore?

To be successful, you have to choose the best bait for walleye fishing from shore. And there is more than one option.

Here is a short list of those:

MINNOWS

Minnows and other small fish are natural prey for walleyes. Using them alive is probably the best thing you can do while walleye fishing. Just make sure that you study the local rules and regulations about allowed baits.

LEECHES

Leeches are very tasty to walleye, and to be honest, walleyes will eat a lot of different creatures. Use them alive and fresh.



CRAYFISH

Crayfish is also among the favorite foods of walleyes. You can use it in many setups and you are likely to get a bite.

NIGHTCRAWLERS

Worms in general are excellent baits, and for walleyes, use nightcrawlers. They have an irresistible scent and wiggling motion, that will attract a hungry walleye.

So, these were the baits ...

But, what about lures for walleye fishing?



JIGS

Jigheads should be paired with a minnow body, which resembles the real minnow. The appearance will not make walleye suspicious towards it while the movement will attract it.

RATTLE SPOONS

Rattle spoons are excellent to cover larger areas and to make a very active walleye to bite. These are excellent for larger waters.

SPINNERBAITS

These work great in many situations, but they will really make a difference in later spring and summer, around shallower cover.

When choosing a bait, try to get the one that walleyes naturally eat in the waters you are fishing at during the specific time of the year.

How to Catch Walleye From Shore - Best Way

Walleye Shore Fishing Setup: What Gear to Use?

Choosing a good bait will not bring you a lot of success if you are not using the right fishing tackle.

Of course, your choice may differ a lot if you want to use it for a specific purpose, like jigging only. The same goes if you want to catch a really huge one, because then you will need sturdier rods.

But here I will mention all the items necessary to catch a small or medium fish, and all of this is suitable for beginners. Those who are experienced probably already have everything they need.

So, the walleye shore fishing setup should include the following:



ROD

Using lighter spinning rods will give you more control over the lure. The length should be 7ft to 7.5ft. Medium power and action should be enough for a beginner. You basically need a very versatile rod, to be able to use it in all kinds of situations.

REEL

There are a lot of spinning reels you can choose from, when it comes to manufacturers and price range, so that is up to you

The perfect size would be 3000 to 3500. You could use a 2500 size for a bit smaller fish; however, it may not hold enough line for some situations. Using larger than 3500 is not necessary.



FISHING LINE

When choosing a line, you have two options. Mono and fluorocarbon. The latter is more resistant and almost invisible. Make sure the line color is suitable for waters you are fishing in, as the walleyes can get spooked if the line is too visible. You can use fluorocarbon leader, 10lbs to 12 lbs. Mono should be 6lbs to 8lbs test.

A bit more experienced anglers can use braided with a fluoro leader, but keep in mind that it is a bit harder to tie knots with those, and some reels are not braid ready so you will have to invest some time into the setup before you head out to the water.

HOOK

Depending on a bait, the hook size can be #4 to #8. If you are not sure which one to use, go with a #6. It will work with the majority of baits I mentioned before.



How to Catch Walleye From Shore in Summer, Fall, etc. [Best Time]?

All the fish species, including walleyes, behave differently through the year.

To successfully catch them, you have to know about this behavior, and change your approach accordingly.

During spring and fall, low light conditions last a bit longer, and those two seasons are the best. March-May and August-October are good seasons. Of course, this also depends on how long the winter lasts, and how far north are you.

Increasing temperature in spring will activate hungry walleyes, while decreasing temperatures in fall will make them feed aggressively in preparation for winter.

So, fall walleye fishing from shore is as good as the spring fishing. Hungry walleyes can be caught on various baits while using different techniques, and you should decide which technique to use in accordance with the body of water. During these times, walleyes will come to the shallower water, closer to the shore.

When it comes to winter, walleyes can be caught through the winter, and you can try ice fishing.

I mentioned all the seasons except summer.

So, how to catch walleye from shore in summer?

In summer, you should search deeper weedy areas, where walleyes will hide from high temperatures and strong sunlight during the day. In the morning and evening, they will start lurking from the deep weeds and you have to be ready to present your bait in those areas. But, because deeper areas are usually further from the shore, you might end up empty-handed.

However, during summer, you can try fishing during the night, when walleyes come out of the deep. I will tell you more about this in the following chapter.

Except for the season, it is important to know the time of the day.

In most cases, walleyes will bite during low light conditions, which is around sunrise and sunset. To be precise, half an hour before and after sunrise and sunset, is considered the best.

Having some light, but not too much, is the best. But, this “golden hour” is not the only time, you can actually fish a few hours after sunrise and sunset.

In summer, when the days are long, and sun sets around 9pm, you can catch them until midnight!

Just make sure you arrive early enough to a desired location and set up your gear, to have everything ready one hour before sunrise, or sunset.



How to Catch Walleye From Shore at Night?

Night walleye fishing can be very successful ...

So, how to catch walleye from shore at night?

Although walleyes are the most active around sunset and sunrise, they feed during the night too. This approach is really good during summer, because at night, walleyes come into the shallower water, closer to the shore.

During night, you should try to cover as much water as you can, to locate walleyes. When you find one, there is a high chance that more are in the area.

Target deeper areas when you cast, and then move your lure towards the shallow areas. Also, target the weedy transitions.

When it comes to night bait, the best ones are live minnows, or minnow like jigs or crankbaits. Crankbaits will cover larger areas, while jigs work excellent in deeper water.

During night, it is hard to see the depth, weeds, and other lake/river features, which can tell you where the walleyes are.

So, if you do not know the location, I advise you to go there during the day and explore the area before nighttime.



What is the Best Barometric Pressure for Walleye Fishing?

As already mentioned, walleyes like low light, which means that they are going to be more active, even during the day, if low light conditions take longer. Cloudy skies, and I mean really cloudy, will block the sunlight and it is going to work into your favor.

But, what about barometric pressure?

When the pressure is steady, so are the fish. When the pressure is low, the fish, including walleyes, are going to be less active. During normal pressure, they are going to be moderately active. When the pressure is rising, walleyes will show some activity but not too much. You can still catch walleyes at this time, but it will not be your best fishing day.

If you can, go fishing when the pressure is falling.

Falling pressure will activate walleyes and they start expressing aggressive feeding behavior. This happens before the storm.

At this time, you should make your lure/bait presentations a bit more aggressive. Covering large areas fast is the best. If jugging, use heavier jigs and make longer and faster movements.

Another meteorological occurrence you should take into consideration is the wind. Wind can make a current on top of the steady lake and walleyes will face the wind direction as the arriving current can bring food. Wind stirs up the surface too and breaks the light rays entering the water.



Other Tips for Walleye Fishing From Shore...

And for the end, I am going to mention a few more tips that should help you learn how to catch walleye from shore.

So, when you go walleye fishing, consider the following:

KNOW THE SPAWN TIME

Depending on a location, fishing for walleye during spawn may be forbidden. But, even if it is allowed, you should avoid this time.

Depending on a location and temperatures, spawning occurs during spring, with water temperatures between 9 and 10°C/48 to 50°F.

At this time, they will come to very shallow water, but the majority of them will be focused on spawning. So, avoid this time and let them reproduce.

Target the time after the spawn, when walleyes will be very active and feed aggressively again.

CONSIDER THE WATER TEMPERATURES

When the water is warmer than 23.8°C/75°F, walleyes will migrate to the deep water, and frequently end up too far from shore for you to catch them.

Temperatures in range 18-23.8°C /65-75°F are good, as that are temperatures after the spawn when the spring is coming to an end. At this time, try to find walleyes at the steep drop-offs.

Spring temperatures below 7.5°C/45°F are good for shore fishing, because walleyes tend to feed aggressively after winter and before spawn.

BE PATIENT

Walleyes are strange creatures. One day, they will bite like crazy and you will catch them with no problem, and the very next day, that has the same conditions as the day before, walleyes will just stop biting. If it seems that you are doing everything right, but there is no success, change the location or the bait.

But, if absolutely nothing works, try again tomorrow, and don’t give up.

KNOW YOUR LIMITS

Shore fishing can be great, but unfortunately, you can fish only in the vicinity of the shore. In some places, that will not always be good. During summer, you will probably catch a lot less than anglers on boats who can reach deeper and more remote parts.

Conclusion

Learning how to catch walleye from shore is not that complicated, and can be very fun, if you inform yourself about walleye behavior through out the year.

Locating fish is important, and there is no lure or bait that will work if the fish is not there.

Have a few different bait/lure options with you and change on the spot if necessary. Walleyes can sometimes be a bit unpredictable and it is important not to give up.

Use relatively light tackle and target smaller specimens. Remember, very large lures can get you large fish only, but smaller lures can bring you both smaller fish and the trophy-size one!

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