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Andrew Martinsen's Walleye Fishing Update

Canadian Walleye Fishing

Catching Walleye in the Great North

A walleye is a walleye, right? Well, not exactly. Walleye often display regional behaviors that can knock an angler off their game. If you are planning on hitting the Canadian waters for walleye, you may want to anticipate an awaiting challenge.


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Canadian walleye are notoriously soft biters. This can lead to many missed fish. It is hard to know when to set the hook if you don't realize a fish is on the line. There are several techniques that can help prevent this from happening to you.

To start, you need to understand how a walleye takes the bait. Sometimes, walleye will be more aggressive when they take the bait. They will slash at it quickly like a pike or a muskie. Most of the time, their approach is much more subtle.

Typically, a walleye will creep up behind their prey and flare their gills. This causes an intake of the prey and the surrounding water. If the walleye detects any interruptions in the water flow, they will abandon the bait before you even know they are there.

In order to prevent this reaction, you need to limit the resistance that the line and lure produce. This can be easily done by switching your line choice. Use a lighter line with a smaller diameter. A four or six pound super braid is a good option. This reduces the drag on the lure and makes the line less noticeable to the walleye.

Try using a bottom bouncer when fishing for Canadian walleye. This rig works great for slow biters. The bouncing motion of the weight creates slack in the line. This makes it easier for the walleye to inhale your offering undisturbed.

Sometimes a change in your presentation is needed. If you are jigging, keep your lifts short. Some anglers jerk the rod too hard. They can literally pull the bait right out of the walleye's mouth.

If you are jigging, you might want to offer the walleye a bigger bite. Adding a plastic body or good size minnow increases the surface area. This makes it much easier for the walleye to inhale the bait. The less a walleye has to work for their meal, the less likely they are to give it up quickly.

You may need to alter your technique with cranks as well when hitting Canadian waters. A slow, steady retrieve with crankbaits works great if the walleye are striking hard. Deliberate feeders respond better to a stop and go presentation. Once your crankbait is at the right depth, lift the rod tip then reel in the slack. This will achieve the look that walleye will definitely go for.

Canadian walleye may also require a slight change in your trolling technique too. If the water is choppy you can actually use this to your advantage. Troll with the waves. This creates a natural slack in the line.

Watch the line carefully on turns if you are using a planar board. Turns create slack in the line which can also lead to more solid strikes from walleye. A good number of fish can be caught on turns when trolling.

Walleye typically behave the same across the board. Sometimes, though, there are regional differences that can challenge your normal technique. You will need to add some flexibility to your style if you hope to hook a walleye from the great north.

Walleye are available in utter abundance at many of Canada's wonderful lakes.


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