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Fish Species of the Boundary Waters

Walleye

Walleye:

Although they may not be the best fighters, walleye are one of the best eaters and putting a few of these on the stringer will help you eat like a king. First things first, you need to catch them before you can eat them. The best action for walleye is in early spring, just after ice out. From then until the middle of June walleye can be found spawning in shallow water, around streams. Check for 10-15 feet of water off points, or anywhere water enters the lake. Walleye do much of their feeding in the dark, so early morning and late evening fishing tends to be the most productive. After the spawn these fish move out to deeper water, 15-30 feet, and focus on reefs and drop-offs. Work the changing contours to help locate walleye during this time of year.

Lures:
  • Rapalas in various sizes, both floating and sinking.
  • Lead-head jigs tipped with twister tails or leeches.
  • Deep diver lures during summer months.
  • Hot: Leech fished below a slip bobber.
Techniques:

Walleye tend to have pretty particular eating habits, the use of lighter line and no metal leader will help you catch more fish. Trolling with a rapala or similar lure can help you locate the fish, once you find them you may want to switch to jigs or leeches below a slip bobber. Silver and green can be good colors.


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Reader Input - Add Your Thoughts or Advice

Is there anything else we should know about fishing for walleye? Do you have a special lure or technique? Let's hear your tips and advice.

Joe T.: Don't overlook surface baits, I've caught a fair number of Walleye on the top, you just need to hit the right hatch.
pecarina: In shallow, weedy lakes, try fishing for walleyes at sunset along the edges of weeds that barely stick out of the water around 6 to 8 feet deep. The best way to cover more weed edges is to paddle slowly (troll) along the weed edge and reel in the wally pike.
B. Kuntze: We have always gone the 3rd week of June. Most walleyes come trolling the shorelines 50 feet out with a second fishing rod while casting to shore with a surface bait for smallies and pike. Favorite baits are medium size floating rapalas or a floating jighead tipped with a leech 30\" above a 1/4 oz slip sinker.
Mark: My son caught his first-ever walleye in the BWCAW - a nice 5 pounder! - on a leech under a slip bobber. Nine of her buddies followed suit, although none as big as she was. We were in 4 to 5 ft. of water near a point about 20 feet from shore. The water was perfectly calm, proving waves or chop is not necessary to catch these beauties.

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