Catching Your Summertime Walleye

During the month of June, two things are happening to the walleye in your favorite fishing hole. The first is that their metabolism is kicking into high gear as the spring eases into summer and the lakes warm up to their summer temps. The second is that these fish have just finished their spring spawn and are now trying desperately to regain the weight they lost while fasting during the spawn. Put them together and you have the perfect conditions for catching walleye.

That does not mean they are an easy fish to catch. Walleye are voracious eaters, and to know how to catch them, you have to think like a baitfish. Baitfish usually swim along the shallows, meaning that is where you will often find walleye, but as lakes warm up, walleye often creep steadily towards deeper waters. In the evenings, you will often notice walleye swimming in the shallows above the plants, where they can dart in and snack away on those smaller baitfish, making planer boards and spoons the best tools to catch them.

Walleye are crafty fish, and will often avoid boats on the surface of the water where they are hunting. With a planer board, your bait will be drifting along to port or starboard, directly in the path of the boat-wary walleye. With multiple lines, you can stagger your planer boards, so they catch walleye in whichever path they take. Planer boards also have an extra advantage if you are boating with a partner because they help keep your lines from getting tangled together or running down the same path.

Since walleye like to hug the tops of the weeds, a jig often works to catch them too. You can add a trailing hook to your jig with a three-inch piece of monofilament line to the eye or bend of the jig hook then add a No. 4 or 6 bait hook to the other end of the line and bury it in the middle of the worm. That will help you catch the short strikers.

Color also makes a difference. Walleye in those shallows are frequently hunting baitfish and so making your lures white, gray or green will catch their attention and get them to want to bite. Some walleye guides also recommend adding a bit of red as well because the red color makes the walleye think that the “baitfish” is either frightened or injured, but easy prey for sure.

When you are fishing for walleye, you will want to feel for the wind as well. A windy shoreline pushes the baitfish into the shallows, and the hungry walleye will be right on their tails. Also, the extra waves add an increased feeling of security for the walleye as they move closer to shore and energizes them too, making them more active and more likely to feast on whatever bait they find. All in all, June is a great month for catching and eating these delicious freshwater fish, particularly with the right equipment.

Yellow Bird Products
1803 Holian Drive
Spring Grove, IL 60081

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