How to Catch a Walleye Trolling

How to Catch a Walleye TrollingWalleye are a popular fish found in northern lakes and rivers throughout North America. They are a challenging fish to catch and make for a great-tasting meal when cooked properly. One of the best methods of attracting walleye is by trolling your bait through the water. It's a technique used by professional anglers, and it's also the simplest method of fishing for beginners. Trolling can require patience, but if you plot your position right, you'll stand a good chance of reeling in walleyes.


Difficulty: Moderate

How to:

Things You’ll Need:
  • Boat with trolling motor
  • Reel
  • Bait
Step 1
Find a location walleyes are likely to inhabit. Walleyes prefer waters with gravelly bottoms, particularly those near the inlet to a stream or river. They also like underwater ledges and drop-offs--this is a popular place for fish to spawn. You should also take the sun into consideration. As it moves higher in the sky, walleye will move into deeper waters to stay in cooler, darker waters.
Step 2
Position the boat at the start of the course you plan to troll. Kill the main motor, and drop the trolling motor into the water.
Step 3
Tie a cannonball sinker onto the line with a clinch knot. This should be done prior to tying on the hook---which you will tie using a palomar knot. The cannonball sinker will weigh down the lure so that it drops down into the water and stays there---otherwise it will slowly rise to the top of the water as you troll.
Step 4
Bait your hooks. The best kinds of baits for trolling are ones that will mimic the movement of baitfish. Many lures are designed specifically for trolling, and shad and minnows are also popular and effective options, whether dead or alive.
Step 5
Drop your lure or bait into the water and let the line run off the reel as your line drops below water. Let it run out until it reaches the depth you want before setting the drag on the line.
Step 6
Keep the line still, and let the trolling motor move the bait through the water. Reel in once you reach the end of the course, then turn around and repeat.


Article Written By Jonathan Croswell

Jonathan Croswell has spent more than five years writing and editing for a number of newspapers and online publications, including the "Omaha World-Herald" and "New York Newsday." Croswell received a Bachelor of Arts degree in English from the University of Nebraska and is currently pursuing a Master's of Health and Exercise Science at Portland State University.

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