5 Important Things You Need To Know To Trolling Walleye

Walleye is a species quite special in the world of fishing. It is abundant in most of Canada and the northern United States. Unlike catfish, pike, and bass, walleye fish do not usually grow to any particularly large size. They need to be capable of fighting more vigorously. So this fish is loved by new to experienced anglers.

Trolling Walleye can be understood as catching by running a decoyed or lured rig behind a moving boat and pulling it slowly until a fish grabs it. Trolling Walley is a method of fishing with an uncomplicated technique, but it helps to catch a lot of fish. To get the most out of it, you need to do it properly with the right tackle and setup. This article will cover the basic gear and setup for trolling Walleye.

Rod And Reel Setup For Trolling Walleye

There are basic and necessary types of equipment to start trolling Walleye and how they fit the function that helps us to achieve our goal:

Trolling Rod

The most appropriate rod for catching Walleye is which has enough backbone to prevent it from being broken by the weight of big fish, heavy sinkers, and planner boards. We recommend you choose a rod with approximate status as we believe that it fits strength, flexibility along the rod, and power to most angles:

 * Rod Length: 6’ to 9’ (with 8 to 8’6” is excellent to start)

 * Rod power: Medium-heavy to medium

 * Rod action: Moderate

Moreover, there is a better choice of using a graphite trolling rod than a fibreglass one because their basic status of flexibility, power, and durability are around. The graphite rod’s weight is much lighter. Otherwise, in terms of length, the longer your rod is, the larger range you can reach. However, 8’ to 8’8’’ is a great deal for most. You should get a range of both long and short ranges when you can reach with four or more rods simultaneously since these will help spread out your lines without getting them tangled with each other.

Walleye Reel

In our opinion, the most important element of trolling the walleye reel is the line counter. You need to know how many lines to quickly get the bait into the fish area. This can only be done properly with a wire counter. Line counters allow you to release an accurate amount of line so that the lure is at the right point. Moreover, loading the spool to capacity and setting the line counter to zero are the initial steps for easier changes setup from one reel to another.

Many seasoned Walleye anglers choose the spinning reel. The best choice is size 35 (3500) because reels of this size allow you to experiment with different types of fishing rods, from jigs to soft plastic and lures. Besides, this type has more fishing lines which are convenient when you fish in deeper water.

It would be best if you also considered the gear ratio (which is the number of revolutions per hand crank of the handle). Typically, a slower ratio is used with live bait, and a faster ratio is used with lures. This factor also affects the timing and feel of a casting. The most common and versatile ratio would be 6.0:1. However, you can choose a high (9.0:1) or a slow ratio (4.0:1).

Typical types of gear ratios are:

  • Low ratio: 4.0:1 to 6.0:1
  • Medium ratio: 6.0:1 to 8.0:1
  • High ratio: 8.0:1 to 10.0:1

Choosing The Line For Trolling Walleye

We have three main fishing line material choices: Monofilament, Braided, and Fluorocarbon. Which fishing line to choose depends on your personal preference and budget.

Monofilament Line

This is the cheapest and most versatile choice for Walleye fishing. A 10-15 lb test monofilament line is the best choice. You can use heavier lines, but you won’t be able to feel Walleye taking your bait. Over time, it will become harder to use as it gets tangled up easily. Monofilament life can vary depending on how often and how long you fish, averaging 1-2 years of use before needing to be replaced.

Braided Line

Recommended Braid tests are 6 – 12 lbs. A Braided line is derived from natural fibers such as cotton and silk and twisted into a “braid”. Braided lines are mainly made of polyethylene and Dyneema, a substance similar to Kevlar. The braided line is more durable than Mono or Fluorocarbon because not stretch or UV-resistant. In addition, it is also difficult for fish to see the Braided Line when casting or fishing because it is thinner than the Mono line for similar line tests.

Fluorocarbon Line

Recommended tests for Fluorocarbon line are 6 – 10lb for any Walleye. It is more wear-resistant than Mono of similar diameter. In addition, it will be more durable than Mono and more sensitive when fishing because they are resistant to water and UV rays. A unique feature of Fluorocarbon is its ability to refract light like water making it invisible to fish in clear water conditions. One note this is a “low stretch” string and requires more force than a Monofilament.

Trolling Walleye With Live Bait And Lure

Choosing Live Bait For Walley

Live bait is the key to bumper Walleye fishing trips. For beginners, anglers should choose live bait as Walleye fish are often more difficult and complex to fish than typical freshwater fish. Live Bait is the best choice when you first learn how to catch Walleye. Minnows (Shiner), Nightcrawlers, and Leeches are Walleye’s most popular live bait.


Minnows are the most popular bait choice for Walleye. When targeting larger fish, Shiners in the 4-6″ range are the mainstay. They will eliminate some of the smaller fish and get you a 25″+ Walleye.


The second most popular option is the Leech, which usually comes in sizes Large to Jumbo. This is a great choice in the Walleye-dominant waters. However, it should not be used in smaller bodies of water where Perch, Panfish, and Sea bass populations thrive; your bait will be jointly stolen.


The above may also be true of Nightcrawlers, rigging them to exploit their lingering worm to get rid of the pests. Full Nightcrawlers are usually saved for spinning rigs but can also be a great floating option.

Choosing Lures For Walleye

There’s a vast range to select from when it entails Walleye trolling lures. In general, you’ll need to own a selection of various crankbaits and stick baits, allowing you to “match the hatch” anywhere you’re fishing. This indicates listening to what varieties of lure fish the Walleye are feeding on, then deciding on a entice that appears comparable in size, form, and color.

For instance, if you apprehend the Walleye are feeding on smelt, a Berkley Flicker in the color ‘Blue Smelt’ can be a very good desire to entice. Another rule of thumb is that it is better to use more naturally colored lures in clear water, as Walleye will have more time to look at the lure, while lighter-colored lures are better suited to muddy or murky waters.

Lure depth chart

Walleye are usually located suspended at a particular intensity range, and it’s crucial to troll your entice on the identical intensity or barely above it because Walleye feed upwards within the water column.

To get this, you need to recognize the intensity at which Walleye are holding. And secondly, you want to alter the intensity at that you troll your lures, which you could acquire through the use of a entice intensity chart.

Traditionally, this became called “The Trolling Bible,” which includes facts on many lures. However, the satisfactory manner of doing that in recent times is to apply “Precision Trolling”. You can use the app to decide the intensity of any entice version while trolling at a particular pace and with a particular quantity of lines out. In that manner, you could pick out precisely the proper quantity of line to launch out of your reel as a way to gift your entice on the proper intensity.

Trolling Walleye Fishing Rig

Walleye Rigs are the next best element in your tackle. There are three most popular rigs when trolling Walleye: Jig Rig, Spinner Worm Harnes, and Slip Bobber Rig. Each rig type has its purpose and location, allowing it to cover almost any body of water.

Jigging Rig

Jigging is one of the most successful ways to fish Walleye and is one of the most popular techniques. It is important to use a fireball-style fishing tackle when fishing for live bait. They have dedicated Walleye holders without lead prongs and short hook shanks with wide spacing. These two factors help to present aquatic live bait. We recommend 1/8 oz. and 1/4 oz. You can also use one with a smaller die head, but it won’t work at a typical Walleye 15-30 Ft of depth.

Essential to have a long shank with a 1/4 oz lead prong when jigging with soft plastic. The fixture is typical when using 4-6″ soft plastic and 1/8 oz for 2-3″ soft plastic. The lure should have a long enough gap to get a good set of hooks.

Spinner Worm Harnes

An advanced technique is to use rigs with double hook harnesses and bottom rails to support the night bugs. For this technique, you have to troll Walleye by placing your rig about 50-100 yards behind the boat, using a speed of 1-2 MPH. For the bottom, use 1-2 oz weighted ones.

Slip Bobber Rig

For starters, bobber rigs are one of the most popular. This rig allows you to place bait to any depth, providing a natural way of trolling Walleye.

  • The first step is to slide the thread into the rope, and then pull it into place.
  • Next, string the beads, float them, and tie them to your hook. Take a #7 split ball and clip it about a foot from the hook.
  • Finally, release some of the rope and adjust the depth of the laces until your bait is a foot above the bottom. Make sure your sliding bobber is upright.


  • Let the wind/current wash your float away, and make sure you adjust the depth as needed to keep bait covered more area. 
  • Make sure you know the regulations about where you fish when fishing with live bait in each lake. Some lakes only allow worms, while others allow leeches, minnows, and other species.

Planner Boards

These are designed to pull away the line sideways from the boat so that they are used for placing the rod if you have more than 2 for trolling or avoid entanglement.

After pulling enough lines off the spool and the lure is at the desired depth, you can attach the line to the clip on the side of the planer board. Then you wait for the fish to pull down the flag, or sometimes the board changes direction.

Trolling Walleye Technique For Beginners

Withinside the start, it’s high-quality. To begin with, fewer strains within the water, as that makes it less complicated to keep away from entanglement. Also, if it’s your first time fishing with planer boards, handiest use one on all facets of the boat so, withinside the starting, it’s high-quality, to begin with, fewer strains withinside the water, which creates it less complicated to keep away from entanglement.

If you are an angler with first-time fishing planer boards, handiest use one on all facets of the boat. Remember that if you use planer forums on one aspect of the boat, get a chew at the outer one. This may be elaborate since it is in the back of your boat with the opposite lines. After freeing the right quantity of line, clip it onto your planar board. After this launch, a greater line, permitting the board to transport out to the aspect to attain a range of lines. Repeat this technique.


The Walleye has created a special notoriety of its own because it is difficult to catch and is probably the best fish in freshwater we can eat. There are many ways to catch Walleye fish depending on the time of the year. The detailed article above has provided an effective and simple setup for anglers who have just started trolling Walleye ở mọi thời điểm. To know more about Walleye, please check out other articles on our website.

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