Avid angler and guide Tony Roach gives some tips and tactics on throwing swimbaits for walleye.
Swimbaits for Walleyes: Tips and Tactics for Success
Throwing swimbaits for walleyes is one of the most enjoyable ways to catch walleyes to catch during the spring, summer and fall months. They are aggressive fish that strike hard and leave you questioning the conventional wisdom that low-and-slow is the best way to catch walleyes.
Look a walleye in the mouth and you’ll see a mug full of razor sharp teeth. They didn’t earn these chompers by lethargically feeding on slow moving baits. They are predators and one of the best ways to take advantage of their instincts is burning a swimbait across their face and waiting for a savage strike.
Swimbaits have seen steady growth in recent years among walleye fisherman across the north country. With top anglers like Tony Roach and Al Lindner vouching for their effectiveness, many anglers have cut back on their use of livebait and started utilizing artificial presentation more and more.
Learning how to effectively fish swimbaits is a wise investment, because you can catch walleyes on them all year long. Depending on where you’re fishing, they can be killer for producing impressive mixed bags as well.
The beauty of this presentation is that there’s really no wrong way to fish the bait. You can pitch and rip them or simply swim them back to the boat. Chances are, you’ll get bit either way.
Obviously you can dial in your presentation throughout the day depending on the mood of the fish. Some days they may prefer a fast ripping action, other days they may prefer the bait slow-rolled on the bottom. Sometimes they like it burned on a straight line back to the boat. You need to experiment every time you hit the water. Sometimes retrieve style can make a big difference, and sometime they aren’t too picky!
One mistake many anglers make who don’t have much experience with this presentation is lure selection. It’s important to pair the right jig head with your swimbait.
Use a long shank hook with your larger, longer profile swimbaits, and a shorter shanked swimbait hook on your smaller baits. Having the right pairing will ensure your hooking percentage is at it’s optimal level.
Do yourself a favor and show some swimbaits for walleyes this year. Your wallet will thank you, and your wife will be happy to get the livebait out of her refrigerator!