Tony Roach breaks down the strategy and tactics for targeting springtime walleyes on Green Bay.
Great Lakes Walleye Spring Tips
Most folks think “slow” when targeting walleyes in early spring when water temperatures are still quite cold after ice-out. That’s more myth than rule, especially on Great Lakes fisheries like Green Bay, where many anglers have seen excellent results ripping Rapala Rippin’ Raps for jumbo-sized Great Lakes walleye.
It all begins with locating the fish. A lot of these Great Lakes walleye will migrate towards river mouths and creeks during the spring in anticipation for the spawn. Those are often the first places you’ll start. Use your electronics to confirm fish are there. Once you have a school of walleyes located position the boat just outside the school and fan casting into them.
Even though the water is cold using aggressive baits like Rapala Rippin Raps in size six or seven is a great way to catch big walleyes. They produce a lot of flash and give off a ton of noise that calls in fish from a distance.
On Green Bay brighter colors seem to trigger the most strikes. UV Green, UV Pink Tiger, Chrome, and Firetiger are just a few angler favorites.
The key when fishing a jig and plastic is to work them in an aggressive fashion similar to how you would work the Rippin Rap. Utilize a snap jigging retrieve and occasionally mix in a straight retrieve working it close to the bottom for the best results.
Rip jigging both of these presentations off the bottom imitates gobies which is a common forage for the walleyes on Green Bay.