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The Key Walleye Fishing Tip That Some Fishermen Forget             By Pat OGrady

Pat with nice walleye  

With todayís technology it is always easy to find the fish.  Fish finders make locating fish elementary for the average fisherman.   But finding them is only one aspect and does not guarantee fish in the boat.   You can see walleyes normally suspended at the bottom of steep drop offs near structure.  This is a normal pattern.   But are these walleyes actively feeding? 

Studies, such as the one done by Wahl and Peters, show that Walleyes are pursuers not ambushers.  They follow their prey and wait for strays to enter the strike zone.  They attack, usually from behind and then manipulate the prey in their mouths for head first swallowing.   Walleye found suspended at drop offs may be feeding but may not feeding as actively or aggressively as those following schools of baitfish.  That is where the aggressively feeding walleye will likely be found.  Thus it makes sense to locate the baitfish and fish on the edges of the school. 

Notice I said edges.  Again walleyes are pursuers and are opportunistic.   They try to expend as little energy as possible while pursuing their prey.  Again it has been noted in studies that walleye tend to work the edges of schools and wait for strays to trigger attacks in the strike zone.   They avoid low % strikes on prey and tend to work the parameter of schools.


Sometimes you can witness recreational fisherman sitting for long periods in the same location without much activity.  If catching fish is a priority and if the walleyes you have located on your fish finder are not hitting within the first 5 to 10 minutes, chances are they are not actively feeding.  It is normal to believe I just have to mix up my lures and see what works.  They sit and throw everything but the kitchen-sink at the suspended fish and if they are lucky, they get maybe 1 to bite out of reflex.   Chances are these are not prime fish for the taking.  You just wasted an hour trying to lure fish who are not programmed to strike at this point.

Experienced fishermen are constantly on the move trying to locate actively feeding fish.  They donít sit for more than 10 minutes without a strike in any one area.   They use the technology to locate the fish and then test them for aggressive feeding behavior.   If you donít have the technology, do your homework.  Learn the high % areas where walleye are likely to be found.  Troll through these areas until you find feeding fish.  Once located it is important that you focus on this area until the catch grows cold.    But above all, your first priority should always be to find actively feeding fish.






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