April Walleye Ideas

Walleye season is either here or very near all across the Midwest

by Mike Frisch

Now that walleyes are or will be fair game throughout walleye country, here are some things to keep in mind regarding walleyes.

Some anglers are reporting the spawn happened a bit earlier than usual this year. The timing of the spawn varies from region to region, but it should be completed soon. After the spawn and throughout the summer, walleyes are often thought of as fish that like to be near deeper structure. While it's true that these glassy-eyed fish often can be found near rockpile and points and sunken islands and deep reefs, there are also times when they'll be in the shallows. Walleyes, like any other fish, go where the food is. If their food is shallow, the walleyes will be shallow. If their food is deep, they'll be deep.

The author with an early season walleye taken on a jig/plastic combo fished on the weedline.
The author with an early season walleye taken on a jig/plastic combo fished on the weedline.
Sonar is a critical tool for catching walleyes, especially when they're deep. It works well to cruise deep areas with a close eye on the sonar. If you see what you think are walleyes on the sonar, fish the area. If there is no life, keep looking.

If the food is shallow, that's where the walleyes will be. We've caught walleyes a good number of times on wind-blown points in just two or three feet of water. If the wind blows from the same direction for a couple of days, find a shallow rocky point and cast jigs or crankbaits. You'll probably get bit.

Weedlines also hold lots of walleyes. Look for points or pockets in the cabbage weeds. Just as an irregular feature on the bottom of the lake will concentrate walleyes, an irregularity in a weedline will concentrate fish.

A jig and minnow will catch weedline fish, but we're going to be ripping the jig off weeds frequently, and that will also usually rip the minnow off. A better addition to your jig is a small plastic swimbait. I've taken some really nice walleyes the past several years on Rage Swimmers.

Some jigs are made to be used with plastic. The new Rage Swimmin' Head is a good example of a jig designed for plastics. These jigs are made to keep your plastic bait perfectly horizonal, giving it a natural swimming action. Plus, these new jigs come with ultra-sharp hooks as well. In addition to catching walleyes on the weedline on swimbaits, you'll catch a variety of other species.

Walleye season is here or very close. If you keep these ideas in mind, you'll be able to have a much better walleye-catching season. As always, remember to include a youngster in your next outdoor adventure!

Author Mike Frisch
Mike Frisch
About the author:
Mike Frisch hosts the popular Fishing the Midwest TV series and is a co-founder of the Bass Pro Shops and Cabela's School of Fish. Visit www.fishingthemidwest.com to see all things Fishing the Midwest.

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