Best Rigs for Walleye in Spring
When the winter weather finally leaves and spring moves in to warm up the water, walleye begin to wander away from their deep winter retreats and move into spawning mode. As the water temperature approaches 42° to 52° the spawning season begins. Here are some of the better rigs to try during this difficult season.
Walleye spawn where there is some form of structure or gravel to protect the eggs. This could be along a dam, a stone reef, rubble piles, gravel bars, or even in an area of flooded vegetation. These are the areas where you want to be fishing during the spring spawn.
For the most part, walleye are not interested in eating during the 2 or 3 weeks during the spawn or the 2 or 3 weeks after the spawn, however, a few males will occasionally nibble on a few things here and there. With this behavior in mind, the best tackle to use is ultra-light fishing gear. Load up your fishing reels with 2lb. test monofilament line. Attach the reels to graphite fishing rods. Thiswill help you feel exceptionally light nibbles. Care must be taken when setting the hook during these gentle strikes or you will pull the hook out of their mouths and far enough they won’t go after it again. When you feel alight nibble pull the line about an inch and wait. When you feel it bite again, pull it another inch or inch and a half and wait. The third time you should feel a good strong strike and you can set the hook.
A good bait to use are live minnows on #2 long shank fish hooks. They seem to like live baits during spawn. If they are slow biting try adding a couple of bright red beads and if they still won’t work, try chartreuse beads. If they’re being stubborn ultimately try a jig.