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Locating, Jigging & Rigging for Early Season Walleye

Spring walleye fishing can produce of the best walleye action of the year in the upper northern US and southern portions of Canada. Water temperatures are rising, and the fish are starting to move shallow for their yearly spawning cycle. This cycle can start weeks prior to the actual spawn and can stretch a week or two after walleye have spawned out. Spring walleye fishing can produce tremendous action, but timing the bite is important and a few key factors can help you determining when to hit the water and when to wait.

Once female walleye spawn out, they transition between the spawning locations and summer hunting grounds. This tends to be the most difficult period for many walleye anglers. Knowing how to recognize the “fish highways” during the transition will give you the upper hand on the walleye.

While location is important, it isn’t the only driving force behind a successful early season walleye outing.  Walleye spend most of their lives thinking about food and where they are going to find their next meal. Knowing what forage species are present, and where they are during the spawn and post spawn, narrows the location search and helps determine presentation options. Jigging for walleye and rigging for walleye are critical presentations for matching forage and presenting offerings naturally this time of year.

So, how do locations and presentations tie together? Walleye tend to frequent similar locations across most bodies of water. They also tend to feed on similar forage. Cracking this pattern and putting the two together leads to successful spring walleye fishing. Let’s walk through early season walleye spawn and post spawn locations and look at presentations that are reliable during this period: jigging and rigging for walleye.

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