3 Iowa walleye fishing tactics that anybody can use

The walleye is a popular fish species in Iowa and many anglers seek them out. They are an elusive fish that’s hard to catch and that makes seeking them out exciting and interesting. When you do get one hooked, it will fight hard to get away and many times, they will work themselves loose. Walleyes make fishing interesting because they are so challenging. If you’re not careful or if you’re not paying attention, you’ll lose your catch.
You have to work for it if you want to catch this species. You usually can’t just throw in your line and expect to reel in a nice catch. You may be able to do this during the spanning season when they’re really hungry, abundant and feeding aggressively but most of the time you’ll need to put forth an effort if you want to catch walleyes.
When you do get a bite, you have to be careful not to set the hook too quickly. This fish will nibble on the bait a few times before swallowing it. If you try to set the hook too soon, you’ll pull the bait out of its mouth. When you feel him take it, set the hook with two or three short strokes. Do not jerk when setting the hook or you still may pull it out of its mouth and lose your catch.
Iowa Walleye Fishing Tactics
The tactics that you use can make a big difference in reeling in your limit and going home empty-handed. Many anglers love to fish for this species at night because this is when they’re the most active but it’s not the only time you can catch them. They are also very active on windy days when the water is choppy and when the skies are overcast. However, you can catch them on sunny days too, if you fish in the shadows or deep waters.
Here are three Iowa walleye fishing tactics that anybody can use:
1. Fish along the edge of the lake in the shallows because this is a great place to find some of the largest walleyes and one of the most overlooked places in the lakes and rivers. Many anglers automatically assume they must go out to the deeper parts of the water to catch the largest fish but that’s simply not the case. Anyone can fish the shallows regardless of whether you have access to a boat or not.
2. When fishing in the cooler months try vertical jigging. When you hit the bottom with your jig, it will look like a baitfish on the bottom and this gets the attention of the walleye. Lift the jig up and down but wait a few seconds in-between each time you lift to give them time to spot it. The fish move a little slower when the water is cold even though walleyes prefer the cooler waters.
3. Fish with a three-way swivel and use a bobber. This will make it easier to tell when you get a bite from this elusive fish and increase the number of fish you actually hook. Many anglers miss a lot of good opportunities to reel in a nice catch because they can’t tell when they get a bite. Using tactics that help you tell when the walleye takes the bait can greatly increase the number of fish you reel in. It’s a good idea to use a sensitive rod combined with lightweight fishing line and small tackle when seeking out this species because it will help you detect a strike.
Fishing for Iowa walleyes is a lot of fun but it can be challenging as well. Using these tactics can help to ensure you have a successful fishing trip the next time you fish one of the lakes or rivers in this state.
Where to Fish for Walleyes in Iowa
There are many excellent places to go walleye fishing in Iowa that will prove to be very productive but some are more popular than others. Below are a few of the most popular places to go walleye fishing but there are many more located all through the state.
Big Creek Lake has some of the largest walleyes in the state but it does have strict fishing regulations so be sure and check these before you start reeling in the fish. Brushy Creek Lake is another excellent place to catch walleyes in Iowa but this lake is very deep so keep that in mind when fishing it. Other great places to seek out the walleyes in Iowa include Little River Lake, Three Mile Lake, Rathbun Lake, Mississippi River, Twelve Mile Lake, Clear Lake, Lake MacBride, Storm Lake and Spirit Lake.
Walleyes are highly attracted to live baits such as worms, minnows and leeches but artificial baits can work just as well when presented correctly. Some of the best lures to use include crankbaits, spinnerbaits, spoons, jigs and plastic worms.


Dan Eggertsen is a fellow walleye fishing enthusiast to the point of obsession. :) He's been providing solid advice on walleye fishing since 2004.

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