Shore fishing for walleyes is popular in some parts of the country and for good reasons. As winter warms into spring, the walleye fishing gets going at a time of generally higher water due to both snowmelt and spring rains. High water causes a faster current forcing walleye into pockets of calmer water near the shore. Here are some tips on finding these milder areas that will hold walleyes as well as ways to catch them.
Fishing at Dams
The areas below dams are a great place to find walleye. In most areas, boats are not allowed to approach close to the dam, meaning that this area is for those fishing from the shore only. The area below dams can often be quite crowded with fishers at peak times. Use the crowd to your advantage and watch what others around you. Catching fish is using and copy their tactics.
Other Walleye Hotspots
However, if you are like me, standing on the shore shoulder to shoulder with dozens of other fishers is not too appealing. But there are other places to seek out walleye that might be less crowded. Rapids in a river also provide an obstruction that slows the spawning walleye’s movements and congregates the fish. Slow current areas near creek mouths and backwater areas will also see other anglers often overlook several walleye and these areas. I regularly fish a small creek mouth on the Ohio River almost within sight of a dam that is often overrun with anglers while the fishing is not as good as at the dam I generally catch a few walleye in complete solitude.
Baits and Lures for Walleye
Several baits and lures will work well for shore fishing for walleye, but minnows seem to work best in my experience. Fishing a minnow on a jig, a plain hook with sinkers, or under a bobber, all work well this time of year. However, fishing under a bobber can produce a lot of frustrating snags. Nightcrawlers, leeches, other baits will work as well. Though minnows always seemed to work best, I do most of my walleye fishing with nightcrawlers due to their convenience. Stick baits, jigs, and crankbaits are just a few of the lures that will produce walleye. Start by working them close to the bottom and around the structure.
Those fishing from shore is not handicapped at all without a boat when it comes to catching walleyes. They are fun fishes to catch, and walleye fishing can be a great way to get your fishing started for the year.