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Walleye are a highly sought-after gamefish, particularly in the northern U.S. and Canada but Tennessee also has a number of locations which have been successful for walleye anglers. Walleye are fished both recreationally and commercially for their succulent flavor but Tennessee walleye anglers are generally fishing for fun and personal purposes.
Although these fish do have their behavioral habits, they are not the easiest fish to catch, which presents somewhat of a challenge and a more interesting fishing trip for those with their mind set on catching walleye.
These fish are most commonly found in lakes and rivers with structure such as weed and rocks. They tend to swim around the surface feeding on baitfish until they feel threatened or the water temperature rises when they will drop deeper into the water and remain relatively inactive. The best time to catch walleye is early morning or late afternoon when the sun has set and the walleye are closer to the surface.
One of the most recommended and popular fishing spots in Tennessee is Dale Hollow Lake. The lake's deep, clear water and unspoiled shoreline make it a quality and peaceful fishing spot which is home to a number of species of fish including bass, trout and walleye. The best technique to use for catching walleye in this lake depends on the time of year that you are fishing. In spring crankbaits in shallow water are a popular choice but on a summer night a vertical jigging spoon used at a drop off is recommended. If you are hoping to catch walleye at Dale Hollow Lake in winter try fishing live bait, moved very slowly to spark the fishes interest.
Young walleye will feed on plankton but once they reach around 6 inches in length they will mainly be eating minnows and this will be their food of choice. Therefore live minnows or lures replicating small fish are in general the favored type of bait to use. Walleye continue to grow all throughout their life and have an aggressive appetite, which means as long as you are looking in the right place, you can be fairly sure that the fish will take the bait.
Center Hill Lake is also known for its abundance of walleye and the riverine portion near the Rock Island State Park is a particularly good section. In February to March walleye are feeding exceptionally aggressively as this is the time just before spawning. The water is cold so work slowly. Favored bait here in the winter includes a jig tipped with a live minnow but remember that it's always a good idea to ask local bait and tackle shops for advice on techniques for certain spots.
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