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How to Catch Trophy Walleyes

Walleye is one of the most sought after game fishes in the United States. While not as common as largemouth bass, walleye live in most of the United States giving anglers nationwide the opportunity to fish for these prized fish. Of course what constitutes a trophy will vary depending upon your state or region, but here are some tips to catch bigger walleye no matter where you fish.

To catch trophy walleye, you need to fish where the trophy walleye are. I prefer to fish smaller waters due to the fact that they are generally less pressured than big rivers and lakes. But if you are looking for big walleye you need to head for large water and if possible large water that is not well fished. This of course is a tall order! One idea is to look for large rivers and lakes that are known for largemouth bass or other species. While of course bass fisherman will catch walleye, the fact that they are not targeting walleye might leave a big trophy walleye for you to catch.

Once you have selected your trophy walleye water it is time to get fishing. Catching walleye in numbers is a good way to provide a good meal, but not the best way to catch a trophy. Larger walleye will often be near, but not in the same place as the normal sized walleye. Look for the larger walleye to be in deeper water than where most walleye are being caught. However, if there is a cool water inlet in water that is not receiving a lot of sun light, the large walleye might be right up there with the smaller ones. Shaded breaks from a current behind boulders or other large structure in a river are a great place to catch walleye for eating as well as trophy walleye.

Another tip for trophy walleye, and most any other trophy fishing, is to use larger than normal baits and lures. Big fish are more likely to hit big lures. Big fish eating large baitfish get a better return on the energy expended to catch their meal. Larger baits and lures will help to reduce hits from smaller walleye as well. While you need to be certain to use a big enough hook, don’t go overboard and present a non enticing lure.

Trophy walleye didn’t get to that size by being dumb. Be careful with boat noise, obvious fishing line, and other small things that might make little difference when fishing for average sized fish. Do everything well and don’t give up, that next cast might be the one that sets the state record!

Motes has been published in a variety of national and regional publications on subjects ranging from frugal living to rabbit hunting.  View profile

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