How to Walleye Fish With Live Bait

How to Walleye Fish With Live Bait
Walleye are a favorite game fish of many anglers in many parts of the United States. Belonging to the perch family, this fiesty fish will feed on a variety of lures and live baits. Often prefering to feed during early morning and late evening times when the light is dim, walleye rely on their excellent eyesight to help track down and attack live bait. Using the right rig setup to present the live bait will increase your chances of landing a big walleye.


Difficulty: Moderately Easy

Things You’ll Need:
  • 6- to 7-foot medium action rod with matched reel
  • 6- to 8-pound test monofilament fishing line
  • 1/4- to 1/2-ounce walking sinker
  • Barrel swivel
  • Fluorocarbon fishing line
  • Size 6 to 8 circle octopus hook
  • Scissors
Step 1
Slide a 1/4- to 1/2-ounce walking sinker onto the end of your main fishing line. The line you use should be in the 6- to 8-pound test range. Place a bead made of glass, plastic or metal on the line below the weight to help separate the weight and the knot you will be tying.
Step 2
Attach the main fishing line to a barrel swivel with a uni knot. Form the uni by passing 6 to 8 inches of line through the eye of the swivel. Bring the free end of the line up beside the main line to form a double line. Turn the free end down toward the swivel, creating a loop, and wrap the free end around the main line and through the loop three to four times. Pull the knot down tight, and trim excess line from the free end of the line.
Step 3
Cut a 5 foot or longer length of 6- to 8-pound test fluorocarbon line from a filler spool to use as a leader. Tie one end of the leader to the opposite end of the swivel with another uni knot.
Step 4
Attach a size 6 or 8 circle octopus hook to the end of the fluorocarbon leader with a Palomar knot. Form the Palomar by feeding several inches of line through the eye of the hook. Turn the free end, and pass it back through the eye, creating a loop on one side of the eye and a double line on the other. Tie an overhand knot with the loop and double line, pull the loop down around the bend of the hook, moisten and pull tight.
Step 5
Attach a live minnow to the circle octopus hook. Insert the point of the hook up through the lower jaw of the minnow and out just above the nose of the live bait fish.
Step 6
Cast the live bait walleye rig into the water, and allow the weight to settle to the bottom. Reel in the slack in the line until you can just feel resistance from the walking weight. Reduce the drag on your reel so that you can spool extra line from the reel when a walleye takes the bait.
Step 7
Allow the walleye to take the bait and turn. The circle octopus hook is designed to hook a fish in or near the lip. When you feel significant resistance, raise the rod tip and reel the line to set the hook.

Article Written By Keith Dooley

Keith Dooley has a degree in outdoor education and sports management. He has worked as an assistant athletic director, head coach and assistant coach in various sports including football, softball and golf. Dooley has worked for various websites in the past, contributing instructional articles on a wide variety of topics.

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