Virginia Walleye Fishing Techniques

Virginia Walleye Fishing TechniquesWalleye, also called the walleyed pike or jack, is native to the Big Sandy and Tennessee river drainage, which includes the Holston and Clinch Rivers in Virginia. As the largest member of the perch family, the fish is characterized by the milky cornea of its eye, hence the name walleye. According to the Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries, some of the best walleye fishing can be found in Flannagan, Gaston, South Holston, Philpott, Anna, Leesville, Chesdin and Whitehurst lakes. (Pictured: Holston River)


Effective walleye lures include plastic worms, small crankbaits and small jigs. Try plastic worm lures in pink and white color mix or orange and chartreuse color combination. Other effective plastic baits for walleye include culprit grubs in size three to four inches, especially during springtime. Cast your fishing lines in shallow to moderate depths during springtime, because this is when walleye move into shallow waters to spawn. In cold water, jigs with live bait or jigs dressed with plastic grubs work really well, according to the Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries. Spinner rigs or nightcrawler harnesses when trolling for walleye are very productive during the summer.

Water Depth

Walleye move to deeper waters during bright and sunny days, especially when the water is clear. When the water is stained and the weather is overcast or cloudy, cast your fishing lines in shallower depths. Use shallow-running top-water lures and plugs when fishing in shallow water or when fishing at night. Live baits such as minnows are most effective when walleye are in deeper waters.


Walleye tend to avoid bright sunlight and instead linger in waters with shaded or deep cover during daytime. During night, walleye move onto reefs and bars to feed. These fish like to orient next to large rocks, ledges, large logs, underwater islands and at the edges of aquatic vegetation. Other places where walleye congregate include spots along reefs, old riverbed channels and shoals, the Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries states.

Article Written By Rona Aquino

Rona Aquino began writing professionally in 2008. As an avid marathon runner and outdoor enthusiast, she writes on topics of running, fitness and outdoor recreation for various publications. Aquino holds a Bachelor of Arts in communications and English from the University of Maryland College Park.

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