Unlocking the Secrets: Expert Tips on How to Fish Walleye in Rivers

How to Fish Walleye in Rivers: Expert Tips and Techniques


Fishing for walleye in rivers is an exhilarating experience that combines the thrill of angling with the beauty of nature. These elusive creatures are known for their delicious flesh and challenging behavior, making them a favorite catch among fishing enthusiasts. In this comprehensive guide, we will walk you through everything you need to know about successfully targeting walleye in rivers.

Gear Up Properly

Before venturing out into the river, it’s crucial to ensure you have the right equipment. Here are some essentials:

Rods and Reels:

Invest in medium-action spinning or baitcasting rods ranging from 6 to 7 feet long. Pair it up with a sturdy reel capable of handling heavier lines.

Fishing Line:

Opt for low-visibility monofilament or fluorocarbon lines with a test strength between 8-12 lbs. Heavier line may be necessary if navigating around strong currents or heavy cover.

Baits and Lures:

Effective options include jigs, crankbaits, swimbaits, jerkbaits, and soft plastic baits imitating prey such as minnows or leeches. Experimentation is key when selecting colors based on water clarity.

Identify Ideal Locations

Knowing where walleye typically hide in rivers greatly increases your chances of success:

Deep Holes:

Focus on deep pockets often found near drop-offs or bends where walleyes seek refuge from swift currents during daylight hours.

Eddy Currents:

Look out for areas behind rocks or other obstructions creating slower-moving eddies where walleye gather to conserve energy while waiting for prey.

Underwater Structures:

Walleye are drawn to submerged trees, rock piles, and underwater ledges. These areas provide cover and ambush points for them to strike at passing baitfish.

Master the Techniques

To effectively catch walleye in rivers, you must employ suitable techniques:


One of the most popular methods is vertical jigging. Cast upstream, allowing your jig to sink before slowly lifting and dropping it while maintaining contact with the riverbed.


Trolling with crankbaits or spinner rigs can cover vast stretches of water. Adjust your speed according to the current flow until you find the right combination that triggers strikes.

Timing Matters

Understanding when walleyes are most active will significantly boost your success rate:

Dawn and Dusk:

Walleye tend to be more active during low-light conditions when they feel less exposed. Plan your fishing trips around sunrise or sunset for optimal results.

Bright Moonlit Nights:

During bright moon phases, walleye often become more aggressive as their nocturnal instincts kick in. Take advantage of these opportunities with strategic night fishing expeditions.

Patient Persistence is Key

Remember that successfully catching walleye requires patience and persistence:

Experimentation is Essential: