Not enough attention is given to fishing for walleyes in weeds and aquatic vegetation. Let’s give the bass a little break and take a look at some fun, unconventional, but effective ways to catch walleyes in the weeds. Why look for walleyes in the weeds? When should I look there? What should I use? Mystery Tackle Box to the rescue.
Walleyes are a creature of habit. They school together along rocky structure of all kinds, and these locations are vulnerable to modern electronics and pinpoint GPS abilities. They are sensitive to too much fishing pressure. Now that these spots are more easily found, the resulting fishing activity tends to spread out the walleye to secondary spots…like weeds and vegetation. So when all the fisherman on the lake are running around finding structure, the seasoned angler in the “cool boat” knows to go to those weed edges and weed beds for some walleye fun.
The wind is your friend when fishing walleyes in the weeds. Find the weed beds and areas of vegetation that at the downwind end of the equation. A light to moderate breeze is perfect if mother nature is so cooperative.Think about the wind pushing all that food toward and into the weed bed. Then think about all those minnows that just might be taking cover. Stationing yourself on the edges of these weed beds allows you to be more aggressive to attract walleyes to the boat. Try shiny, happy crankbaits with lots of attention getting movement like Yo Zuri’s 3DB-shad.
or something shiny-shiny like the Len Thompson #2 Spoon. Retrieve this classic spoon along weed edges in an erratic, fast, and choppy manner to get big fish out of the weeds.
Another fun technique is to figure out how to run your jig and garnish right along the tops of submerged weed beds or cabbage. Why not fish outside of the box? Get used to a faster retrieve while you feel your jig hit and mingle with the tops of the weeds. Walleye can be very aggressive when eating minnows in these situations. Weedless designs like Fin Tech Tackle’s Title SHot Spoon are awesome for this kind of fishing.
When in doubt and in the weeds with the walleye, when nothing else works, it’s now time for the jigs, plastics, and maybe even leeches and crawlers. Walleyes can be finicky in weed beds. Some days you can find them on the insides, so you fish the pits and holes in the weeds. Other days, the walleye will tend to the edges.
The moral of this walleye story is to be ready with a variety of jigs and accouterments. Weight and size matter, you want to be able to get down to the bottom fast for aggressive bites, and then nice and calm during slow periods when the fish are barely moving. As always, if the walleye are taking a time-out, tip the jig with a hunk of nightcrawler or a juicy leech to stack the deck in your favor. Northland Tackle’s Gami UV Jig is perfect for waking up walleyes in the weeds. The Z-Man Chatterbait Micro jig is what the walleye order when they want their favorite light snack.
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