Revealed: Expert Tips on How to Hook a Leech for Successful Walleye Fishing

How to Hook a Leech for Walleye Fishing

If you’re an avid angler or new to the world of walleye fishing, using live bait like leeches can greatly increase your chances of success. However, knowing how to properly hook a leech is essential for enticing these elusive fish. In this comprehensive guide, we’ll walk you through the step-by-step process of effectively hooking a leech for walleye fishing.

Why Using Leeches Can Be Effective

Before diving into the details, let’s briefly explore why using leeches as bait is so effective when targeting walleye. Walleye have a keen sense of smell and are attracted to natural movements in the water. The squirming motion and scent emitted by live leeches closely mimic their natural prey, making them irresistible to hungry walleye.

Gathering Your Equipment

Prior to heading out on your next walleye fishing expedition, ensure that you have all the necessary equipment at hand:

  • Fishing rod and reel suitable for walleye fishing
  • An appropriate sized hook (size 4-8)
  • A container with cool water to keep your live leeches fresh
  • Snap swivel or leader line (optional)

Selecting Healthy Leeches

The first step in successfully hooking a leech involves selecting healthy specimens from your bait container. Look for active and lively ones that haven’t been damaged during transportation or storage. Avoid any discolored or sluggish individuals as they may not be attractive enough to entice hungry walleye.

Prepping Your Hook

Now that you have your lively leeches ready, it’s time to prepare your hook. Start by threading the hook point through the thicker end of the leech’s body (the tail). Take care not to pierce any vital organs or damage its delicate skin. Push the hook about 1/4 inch into the leech, ensuring it remains secure but still has freedom to move naturally in the water.

Adding a Snap Swivel or Leader Line

For anglers looking to prevent line twist and enhance their presentation, adding a snap swivel or leader line can be beneficial. Simply attach either option above your hook using an appropriate knot. This will provide extra flexibility for your leech bait without compromising its natural movement.

Presentation Techniques

The way you present your hooked leech while walleye fishing can significantly impact your success rate. Consider utilizing one of these popular techniques:

Bottom Bouncing:

Rigging up with a bottom bouncing setup allows you to keep contact with the lake bed while slowly moving forward. Cast out and let your bait hit bottom before proceeding to reel in at a steady pace, enticing nearby walleye as they lie close to rocky structures and drop-offs.

Slip Bobber Fishing:

If precision fishing is more appealing, slip bobber rigs are an excellent choice. Adjusting the bobber stop according to desired depth ensures optimal positioning of your live bait where walleye tend to gather during various seasons.


Trolling offers versatility when covering large areas of water quickly. Use crankbaits or spinner rigs alongside a trailing leech on monofilament or braided line for best results.

Patiently Waiting for Walleye

Now that you have your leech properly hooked and your presentation technique ready, it’s time to be patient. Walleye fishing requires a keen eye and steady hand. Maintain focus on your rod tip for any signs of movement indicating a potential bite.

Final Thoughts

Harnessing the power of live bait like leeches can make all the difference when targeting walleye. By following these step-by-step instructions for hooking a leech and deploying effective presentation techniques, you’ll increase your chances of reeling in more walleye on your next fishing adventure.

Remember, practice makes perfect! The more you experiment with different methods and adapt to specific conditions or locations, the greater success you’re likely to achieve in hooking those prized walleye!