To walleye anglers, the spring takes top billing. It’s one of the best times of the year to catch not only numbers, but also trophies. The reason is simple – like many other fish, the spring is the time of the year when walleyes begin their spawning ritual.
Here are three places to find walleye during the springtime:
1. Tailraces Of Dams
Walleyes are river fish by genetic code, and as such they need current to spawn. This means that in reservoirs and river systems, walleyes head upstream once they get the urge in late February and March – often running into dams that are present on most major river systems. Once at the dam, they can’t go any further, and they pile up to do their business right there in the current. Ideal presentations for tailrace walleyes include jig and live bait presentations, plastics like The Bonehead Tackle Ring Worm, and twitching minnow baits like the Lunkerhunt Bento Minnow along current seams.
2. Reefs/Rock Bars
In lakes without river or current access, walleye spawning success goes way down. They make do by attempting to spawn on shallow reefs and rock bars. These places are the closest they can get to their natural desires, and can be particularly hot immediately during the spawn. Targeting shallow rocky areas at night can be amazing if you hit it right. Try casting jerkbaits or cranks along the rocks, or dragging Lindy rigs or jigs tipped with minnows for rock bar walleye action.
3. Channel Swings
When moving to their spawning grounds in river systems, walleyes will travel for miles to find the right combination of bottom substrate and current to do their business. Because they usually don’t make the trip in one single move, they will stop along the way to feed in deeper outside channel bends, where they can get out of the current and chase down some tasty baitfish. Try dragging jigs or plastics through the deepest outside channel bends you can find, or slow troll stick baits through the same areas.
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