River Walleye Fishing Tips – Follow the Masses
By Bob Alter
To help you find river walleye fast I prefer to follow the masses, especially if it is a new river or a river I have not fished in a while.
Here are my top river walleye fishing tips.
1. Follow the Masses
2. Talk to local shops
3. Visit forums
4. Read Maps
5. Hit and Run
Top 1: Follow the Masses
Word travels fast about hot fishing spots and soon the masses hear about it and you’ll find that each weekend more and more boats are fishing in that particular walleye fishing hot spot.
It is not hard to find these locations because there normally are between 5 and 25 boats in one particular drift. Simply position your boat at the furthest upstream position, put your walleye fishing rig (bottom bouncers/spinners), get your electric motor started and drift downstream.
I prefer to fish this location until I don’t see walleye being caught anymore. Then I pull all the gear inside the boat and move to a new location and start the drifting process all over again.
Top 2: Talk to local shops
This is where you get to become a CSI of the river. Visit your local shop, talk to the owners, talk to the employees, and talk to other fisherman if you can get up the nerve. The questions you want answered are: what are they using to catch walleye, what part of the river is producing and what depth are they fishing? If you can get those three questions answered you should be able to catch walleye your first trip out. Like I told you before, on the Columbia river it is not hard to find these locations, including depth. so if the only thing you can get answered is the walleye fishing rigs that are producing you will do just fine.
Once you get to the river, simply take a upstream route or a downstream route and move until you find the “masses”.
Top 3: Visit the Forums
Using Google, type in walleye fishing forums and start looking. Obviously you want to find forums that discuss walleye fishing in your area or particular river. Once you find it, don’t be afraid to look at old posts, newer posts and recent posts. You can gather a ton of good information on your local walleye river. Take notes on depth, time of year, location, depth, speed, etc. This can be an valuable resource if you are willing to spend a few minutes looking on the internet.
Top 4: Read Maps
It is wise to purchase a map of the river you will be fishing. Looking for hot walleye spots is not to hard because you are looking for structure. Underwater islands, head of islands, drop offs associated with a flat area are all really good places to start. My favorite thing to look for is turns in the river. Anytime you can find a spot on the river that has a hard bend in the river, you will find walleye somewhere around there. You might need to work the area hard, but you normally find walleye.
Top 5: Hit and Run
This method works extremely well on the Columbia River below dams, especially McNary and John Day. Near Lake Roosevelt it is harder because the packs of boats are so spread out and you will find people targeting multi-species.
After you have launched the boat head upstream or downstream until you find a pack of boats. Walleye fisherman all use the same methods of drifting which is start upstream and troll downstream. Once you find a pack of 5 or more boats in one drift just start your drift on the upstream side and start trolling. If you catch fish, stay there and if you don’t then keep moving until you find the next pack of walleye fisherman. Below McNary you can travel about 10 miles downstream and hit 6 or 7 hotspots and it is very easy to find these locations because the fisherman will be on the drifts.
All these walleye fishing tips are useless unless you take good notes. Water temperature, locations, depth, river levels, weather conditions, walleye rigs used, and speed are part of the note taking process. These notes are valuable to you the next time you plan a walleye fishing trip. The more notes you have, the easier it is to pin point exactly where you need to go to catch a boatload of walleye.
I have plenty of other walleye fishing tips and tricks you will want to read about. Visit River Walleye Fishing for more fascinating tricks to catching more walleye and don’t forget to download your free copy of Walleye Fishing Hot Spots in Canada and in the United States.