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 success ripping Rapala Rippin’ Raps for jumbo-sized Great Lakes walleye.

Tony Roach breaks down the strategy and subtleties required to make this tactic work for your this spring.

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. These are often the first place you’ll start. Use your electronics to confirm fish are there.

Once you have located the walleyes setup just outside the school.

Even though the water is cold we are using aggressive baits like Rapala Rippin Raps in size seven and in bright colors like UV Green, UV Pink Tiger, and other bright flashy options.

Big plastics work well too, but the key is to work them aggressive. You are not going to work these baits like you would live bait.

Rip jigging these baits off the bottom imitates gobies which is a common forage for these walleyes.

When looking at a set up for this style of fishing a six foot ten inch medium power rod with an extra fast tip works great. Pair that with a 2500 or 3000 size reel and have it spooled with eight to fifteen pound braid and then about a four foot, eight pound fluorocarbon leader.

Having a fluorocarbon leader is really important because it gives you some stealth in the clear water and you have the sensitivity to feel the light bite. Even though these walleyes are inhaling the bait the bite is still pretty light so having that sensitivity is important.