Expert Tips and Techniques: How to Successfully Fish Nightcrawlers for Walleye

How to Fish Nightcrawlers for Walleye: A Comprehensive Guide


Are you an avid angler looking to catch elusive walleye but unsure of the best bait to use? Look no further! In this guide, we will dive into the art of fishing nightcrawlers for walleye. Whether you’re a beginner or an experienced angler, these tips and techniques will help increase your chances of success on your next fishing excursion.

The Allure of Nightcrawlers

Nightcrawlers are highly effective baits when targeting walleye due to their natural appeal. These large worms possess enticing characteristics that attract walleyes from afar. Not only do they emit vibrations as they move through the water, but their scent also triggers a strong response in hungry fish.

Gearing Up: Essential Equipment

Before heading out on your fishing adventure, it’s crucial to ensure you have the right equipment at hand. Here are some essentials:

Rods and Reels:

Invest in a medium-action spinning rod paired with a reel capable of handling 8-12 lb test line. This combination offers flexibility and strength required for reeling in larger walleye.


Choose hooks suitable for live bait such as size 1/0 or 2/0 Aberdeen hooks. Their long shanks provide better hooking efficiency while preventing swallowed baits.


Opt for slip sinkers weighing between 1/8 oz and 1/2 oz depending on current conditions and depth requirements. Attach them above swivels or directly onto your mainline to maintain control over bait presentation.

Locating Walleye Hotspots

Now that you have the proper gear, it’s time to find the perfect spot where walleye lurk. Here are some key locations to consider:


Walleye typically favor areas with submerged structures like rock piles, drop-offs, or sunken trees. These structures provide hiding spots and ambush points for these predatory fish.

Weed Beds:

During certain seasons, walleye can be found in weed beds near shorelines or in deeper water. Targeting these areas can yield excellent results as they attract smaller baitfish that walleyes prey upon.

Current Breaks:

It’s important to note that walleyes love current breaks created by natural obstructions such as rocks or fallen trees. These breaks create eddies and offer a prime feeding location for opportunistic anglers.

Nightcrawler Presentation Techniques

Once you’ve identified your fishing spot, it’s crucial to present your nightcrawler bait effectively. Below are three popular techniques:


Using a jig head paired with a live nightcrawler is an effective method for tempting walleye into biting. Cast your line near structures or drop-offs and make slow vertical movements while enticingly bouncing the lure off the bottom.

Slip Bobber Fishing:

This technique allows you to suspend your nightcrawler at various depths above structure-rich areas where walleyes lie in wait. Choose an appropriate slip bobber rig matched with a sensitive rod tip capable of detecting subtle bites.


When targeting larger bodies of water during daylight hours, trolling is an efficient approach. Attach a spinner harness featuring one or more hooks baited with nightcrawlers and slowly tow them behind your boat.

Tips for Success

To maximize your chances of success, keep these additional tips in mind:

Experiment with Colors:

Don’t hesitate to try different colored hooks or even dye your nightcrawler to stand out from the crowd. Sometimes a little variation can make all the difference.

Stay Patient:

Walleye fishing requires patience, so don’t be discouraged if you don’t get immediate results. Persistence pays off, and sometimes it just takes time for walleyes to strike.

Plan Your Fishing Trips:

Research local conditions such as water temperature, weather patterns, and recent catches before heading out. This information will help increase your chances of locating active walleye feeding areas.

In Conclusion

Fishing nightcrawlers for walleye is an art that can yield fantastic results when done right. Armed with the proper equipment and techniques outlined in this guide, you’re now ready to embark on a successful journey targeting these elusive fish species. So cast your line confidently into the depths using irresistible nightcrawlers and bring home that trophy-sized walleye!