Long line trolling for walleyes is a great tactic to cover ground and target scattered fish in the spring. Avid angler Joel Nelson offers up a few tips on long line trolling for walleyes!

Long Line Trolling For Walleye: Springtime

When it comes to springtime walleyes, most anglers tend to lean on the classic jig & minnow presentation and ignore crankbaits until later in the year, but that’s a big mistake.

Shortly after the spawn these fish can still be found up shallow and they are aggressive. Crankbaits are a great option for covering ground and catching springtime Eyes!

Areas/ Location:

When trolling for springtime walleyes they are a few areas that seem to always hold fish. The first is any flat near their spawning areas.

Look for hard bottom flats (either sand, gravel, or a mixture of both) anywhere from three to fifteen feet of water. During the day try to focus on depths between eight and fifteen and during those low light periods early in the morning and late in the evening move shallower.

On a lot of lakes, creek mouths and rivers mouths are also good places to try.

Wind blown points or shorelines are also good areas to check out. The wind should push the warmer water and bait onto those areas and that’s going to hold fish.

Post-spawn these walleyes are going to be chasing the bait so if you can locate the bait, the walleyes should be close by.

Baits:

On a lot of lakes in Minnesota, walleyes are keying in on shiner minnows this time of year. Because of this matching your bait profile with a shiner minnow is a great way to get bit. Baits like Northland Rummle Series Shiner or the Rapala Scatter Minnow are great trolling options that imitate shiners in the water.

long line trolling for walleye

When it comes to color, mix and match and don’t be afraid to cut and retie. Blue sliver, purple, firetiger, and perch are all good color options. Post spawn is a great time to target walleyes with crankbaits.

Long line trolling for walleyes is a tactic that works all throughout the open water season and shouldn’t be forgotten about during the spring bite!