Adventure Colorado - Trolling Tips for Walleye

Trolling is one of the most effective ways to target walleyes and provides the angler with the ability to reach much of the walleyes depth range.  Anglers can effectively cover vast expanses of open water where walleyes frequently "hang out" especially in the warm water months of the year by pulling (trolling) baits behind a boat.

Trolling is largely an underutilized technique because of the learning curve involved and this leaves many anglers frustrated.  It takes time and patience to learn effective trolling techniques.  Adventure Colorado guides are on the lakes constantly ... time well spent and you can benefit from our dedication and expertise.  

Here are three tips to improve your success trolling for walleyes.

Walleye Trolling Tip #1 - Where is your bait?

Whether you are trolling cranks on lead core or dragging nightcrawler harnesses, the biggest key to success is knowing how deep your baits are in relation to the bottom or the fish (if they’re suspended),  There has been a lot of research on this, and there are many resources out there to tell you exactly how deep your bait is running.


With harnesses, the key is to add enough weight ensuring the line is leaving the rod or planer board at a 45 degree angle to the water, relative to the speed you are traveling. If the line is less than 45 degrees, add a little weight to your bouncer or snap weight. If it’s more vertical, remove some weight.

Walleye Trolling Tip #2 - Why am I not catching Fish? - Changing Speed

Often anglers locate a real promising area, have a good spread of baits out, not catch any fish and wonder why. Changing baits is usually what anglers first start doing ... but sometimes changing baits is not the "key" to getting the "hook".  Anglers should experiment equally with lure speeds. Typical crank bait trolling speeds are 1.5 – 3 mph, and there are times when speed makes a BIG difference. If you are marking bait and fish but not hooking up -- speed up or slow down. Making “S” turns is also a good way to test several speeds at once. When you head into a turn, the outside lines will speed up and the inside lines will slow down. If you are consistently getting fish on the outside bends of turns, this indicates it is a good idea to speed up.

Walleye Trolling Tip #3 - Going Shallow

Most people think walleye are almost always in the deep water, and think to be successful catching them trolling you need to be near the bottom in the deeper portions of the lake.  Sure, there may be some walleyes deep, but the vast majority of the walleyes (and particularly the bigger ones) will be where the food is (big fish are lazy and looking for easy meals). Follow the bait fish. Usually shallows contain the highest abundance of baitfish. Shallow flats adjacent to creek channels, weed edges, and bars and reefs are all dynamite shallow water structure to target while trolling for walleye.

Adventure Colorado is set up nicely for trolling including planer boards and have many more tips and techniques utilizing trolling. Reserve a trip with us and learn about these techniques and have a great boating experience as well.

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