There is a predator among fresh-water predatory fish that is a desired trophy of many anglers, and not just beginners, although not everybody manages to catch it. The predator is greedy, voracious, but at the same time — reserved, cautious, has twilight way of life and rarely catches the eye. Perhaps, you have already guessed what is meant here is a tusky spiny-finned predator – walleye (also: pike-perch).
Appearance of walleye is well-known to everyone: an elongated torpedo-like body, long pointed snout, high dorsal fin with sharp prickles. Although walleye refers to the Percidae (perch) family (so to say, the head of the family), but its body shape resembles a pike to a greater extent rather than a perch.
It is commonly known that the walleye prefers deep waters with snags, and in case of river, it should be with a small current. The walleye mostly keeps the bottom in various bottom hollows hiding behind snags or underwater islands. Predominantly, the walleye is a nocturnal predator, at night it goes out on shallow sandbanks where it begins to feed actively.
The best time for catching the walleye on silicone jigs, however, as on any other bait, is early in the morning and at the beginning of dusk. It is better to search for the walleye on entries and exits of the pit, which can be detected by a few test tries of freelining.
Selection of bait and tackle
A fisherman who is eager to catch the walleye should be equipped with special care. This strong, dexterous and toothy fish makes serious demands for strength and reliability of fishing tackle. If it is affordable to use rather rough tackle for catching, catching the walleye is quite different.
One of the main fishing gears is considered to be spinning using which you can catch the walleye both from the shore and from your boat. The fishing rod must be tough and firm but not long (for boats — from 2.10 to 2.40 m, for shore — from 2.7 to 3.0 m). Experienced fishermen often use nylon cord instead of fishing line that conveys even the weakest fish bite much better.
You should take lots of various baits: plug, soft plastic bait and shad. When using spinning, you can get excellent results with jig baits. Its dimension depends on the strength of the flow and the depth of the relief of the waters.
One of the requirements to the tackle is its usability because sometimes you have to cast more than a hundred times until you locate the pike-perch. If the rod is too long, you will feel tackle and bait movements bad. If it is too short, you will not manage to cast on the desired distance.
Bait for the walleye
In the summer there is no need to lure the walleye, and in the winter it is done infrequently. Its main food is small fish that lives in its pond, so they believe that it is better to lure small fish with simple bait and the predators watching it will be certainly attracted.
The walleye can be easily caught using natural and artificial baits. Give preference to fish with red fins – rudd and perch. Some fishermen buy the most common clupeonella — and the walleye perfectly strikes on it. Anatomical feature of the walleye is a narrow throat that’s why all baits should be long and narrow.
It is completely useless to habituate the walleye with porridge or bread. It is better to prepare white fish fry, worms, frogs, larvae of lamprey, small crustacean. To inspire credibility of the walleye to bait, it is necessary to catch it in its native waters.
Pieces of advice and tactics of catching the walleye
Spinning should transmit information about what is happening with the bait, giving an idea to an angler about the environment. Spinning should closely match the weight of the baits used.
Effective diameter of fishing line
Currently, thin (0.2 — 0.25 mm) fishing lines can be effectively and reliably used for habituation of even very large walleye, because there is no need to use fishing lines of large diameter.
Don’t use swiveline hooks
The walleye is a predatory fish, it is alarmed by availability of unknown object in front of the bait and, if in the period of active bite this circumstance decreases due to a large number of bites, then under the conditions of bad biting, the number of disturbing factors should be minimized.
Choose bait carefully
The colors of the bait — soft plastic bait or shad, are also important, so do not try to have 2-3 different colors, but more diverse set. In the morning the fish can actively take bright colors, and in the late afternoon it prefers soft coloring. It is worth to say about such well-established manufacturers as Mann’s, Sandra, Kopyto. Do not store silicone lures packed for a long time because they eventually lose their elasticity. Also I warn you not to store silicon lures of different colors in one container not divided into compartments — they tend to fade as time goes on and encolour each other.
Use small- and middle-sized bait
Too large bait reduces the probability of success of catching the walleye, as the predator more likely hunts on small fish than adult fish.
Use the slowest speed of freelining
Remember that the bait simulates sick fish, that’s why when making the slowest freelining, you provoke even passive predator to attack.
Don’t try to achieve record to casting distance
You should not try to throw the bait as far as possible perpendicularly to the shore. Try to throw at a little angle to the shore, outlining obvious places for possible location of the walleye. Fish is located in a few meters from the shore, feeding on small fish and little aquatic invertebrates near the coastal edge.
Search for the predator actively
Do not get stuck in the same place if there is no biting, it is enough to test it 3-4 times and move on when you make sure that the efforts are ineffective.