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Seventeen Tips for Catching Walleyes

Bass, trout, and panfish draw most Virginia anglers to the lakes and rivers throughout the state. But the Old Dominion also has abundant walleye populations in many waters. Some are maintained by regular stocking, others by a combination of stocking and natural reproduction.

If you’ve devoted most of your fishing efforts to largemouths and bluegills or brookies and rainbow trout, give walleyes a try. The fall through spring period is an excellent time to go after “marble eyes,” as Midwesterners sometimes call them. Here are 17 tips and tactics to get you started.

  1. Detecting Bites
    1. These fish seldom strike a bait hard like a bass. Instead, you’ll usually feel a dull thump or just dead weight suddenly on the line (sort of like a flounder). Maintain light pressure until you’re sure it’s a fish, then set the hook by cranking the reel handle fast and snapping the rod upward.
  2. Jig Presentation
    1. Anglers fishing jigs often believe that twitching and jerking the lure during the retrieve is helpful. In fact, you’ll draw more strikes by simply reeling the lure in slowly and steadily. That duplicates the slow, slinking motion of an unwary baitfish finning past them. That is usually enough to draw a solid take from any nearby walleye.

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