How to Find and Catch Walleye When Fishing a New Lake
Walleyes are a blast to catch, but what do you do when you find yourself fishing a new lake that you aren’t familiar with? Finding walleye in new lakes can be a bit tricky for any angler but luckily there are a few simple things that you can do to increase your odds of landing this popular fish. Let’s dive into some tactics and tips to help you conquer a new lake on your next walleye fishing trip!
Find Optimal Habitat and Areas
This may seem obvious, but the best way to find walleye is to find the optimal places that they are most likely to be hiding. You can do this by carefully by studying the lake. There are plenty of environmental features to look for, including:
- Inflowing rivers, lakes, or streams. These areas bring in food and will attract walleye.
- Sand bars, rock points, and islands will often hold groups of walleye as they provide travel and transition areas where walleye will move from deeper water to shallow areas.
- Sand and mud flats will often attract smaller fish and other invertebrates which provide a major food source for walleye.
- Thick vegetation and other structures. Just outside these areas, walleye will be on the hunt for smaller fish that live here.
You will want to know the depth of the lake, and where you can expect to find walleye depending on the weather and season. Walleye are generally caught anywhere from 10 to 40 feet in-depth, so you will have to hone in on the right depth to stand the best chance.
Walleye are wandering fish, and you can find them in depths of 10 to 14 feet in the spring, 15 to 40 feet in the summer, and 15 to 25 feet in the fall. Of course, this will depend entirely on the lake that you are fishing.
Use the Right Fishing Gear and Tactics for the Situation
In addition to finding the right walleye areas, you must ensure that you use the right gear and tactics to catch them. This will change depending on the weather and conditions that you are facing.
For example, walleye have very sensitive eyes to the light. While dawn and dusk are prime fishing times, bright sunny days will warrant different lure colors compared to overcast or stormy days. Bright days are going to work better with more natural and metallic colors, while darker days do well with colors like dark green, dark blue, purple, and chartreuse in order to help them stand out against the water.
Arriving at a new lake that you have never fished before doesn’t have to be challenging if you approach it the right way. By looking for the right walleye habitat, paying attention to the weather and lighting, and using the best lures and colors, you can be sure to have a successful trip no matter what.
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