Walleye are by far the most popular species found in our waters. Many agree that they are the best tasting fish in the world. How wonderful then that they are fun to catch, easy to clean and can be prepared in a so many different ways.
Many anglers dream of walleye fishing all winter and can’t wait to get started right after ice out . One of the easiest time to catch walleye is in the Spring from opening weekend (third Saturday in May) to mid June. By the time opening weekend arrives, the walleye are done spawning.
If there is a river or current nearby, that’s where you’ll find walleye. They’ll swim very shallow and close to shore. Try a minnow on a hook or casting with small floating Rapalas and Junior Thundersticks. You can use a jig but expect to get a lot of snags. If you are fishing a lake and there is no river or current in the area, the walleye are most likely hanging out in sandy areas along the shore or sandy points leading off rocky points and shoals. The males will stay close to shore and shallow, but in the heat of the afternoon, big female walleyes will head out deeper, into about 10-15′ of water. If there are large muskies or northern pike the females will be less likely to hang around the spawning grounds in the day for fear that they will become lunch for those bigger predators. They will return to the shallow areas in the evening.
Fish for walleye with a light jig (1/8oz) and cast along the shore. The walleyes are quite aggressive in the Spring so you can pretty much jig any old way. Some say retrieve it quickly and aggressively, some say long slow jigs work best. Try bright coloured jigs such as Chartreuse in the day and in the evening when they are feeding, try blue, silver or brown. Experiment with different techniques and see what works best for you. Remember that if you are used to fishing warmer waters, remember our Canadian lakes are quite a bit cooler and the fish will react differently. If you are looking for the big females in the afternoon, try the dark water just where the sand bars drop off or try trolling 30′ from the shore in deeper water using down-deep Husky jerks.
In any case, be prepared to have some great Wabaskang Spring walleye fishing.