How To Catch Walleye From The Bank (Bait, Rigs & Tips)

Walleye fishing is something I’ve been wanting to do for a while now and I’ve been doing a lot of research to find the best setup possible to catch them. I’ve been looking into the best rigs, best bait, and other tips, and in this post, I’m going to be showing you how to catch walleye from the bank.

I had to travel about 7 hours to find a spot that had walleye so it was a bit of a trip getting there but it was well worth it. I mainly just fished from the shore and learned a lot while I was there. I had certain setups that didn’t work at all (that were supposed to) and some techniques that worked a lot better than others.

I’ll be going over what type of line you should be using, how to set up your rod the right way, what bait I found to work best, and a few other tips to help you get going. Continue reading or watch the video below for the full details on what rigs and baits should be used to catch walleye.


Walleye Rigs & Setup

The first thing we’ll need to talk about is what rod and reel to use. We’re fishing from the shore so obviously you’ll need a casting rod. It doesn’t really matter which kind you use and is more of a personal preference thing. If you’re fairly new to shore fishing then probably go with a spinning rod. If you have a bit more experience then you could try a baitcaster. My favorite cheaper reel is the Shimano SLX.

The next thing you’ll need to do is figure out what type of fishing line you’ll be using. Walleye have sharp teeth and are pretty tough on your line and lure so you’ll want to make sure it’s decently thick (at least 10 lb test). With almost all of my setups, I’ll use a 20 lb braided line with a 10-15 lb fluorocarbon leader. The leader line only needs to be a few feet long.

I like using a braided fishing line because it’s much stronger than normal fishing line. It’s not going to break if you get caught on something and it’s much thinner than monofilament. It also doesn’t stretch so it’s much more sensitive and will make your cheaper rod feel more expensive. Here’s how to tie them together:

You could also use a swivel to connect the two lines since it’s easier and adds a bit of weight so it’s easier to cast. You can just tie the two lines together if you prefer or just use one type of line. Whatever you prefer.

Walleye Bait & Lures

The next thing we’ll need to do is figure out what type of lure or bait to use. Walleye are predator fish and will eat pretty much anything if they’re in the mood. Pretty much anything that resembles a fish will do the job.

You’ll want to attach a jig head hook to your line and I’ll normally use a 1/4 oz. Sometimes you can go smaller but this is what worked best the majority of the time. I like using an orange or yellow color but anything bright should do the job.

There are two things I like to put on the jig head. The first is a live minnow and the second is a fish colored soft plastic. Something like the Strike King Rage Swimmer (see it on Amazon). If the fish are more active then the live bait might work better but soft plastic is normally the easier option.

You’ll want to make sure the soft plastic looks and moves like a fish in the water (don’t use a worm). Make sure the tail has a swimming action. If you’re using a live fish then all you have to do is put the hook through the head or lips of the fish. Go through the bottom first and then out the top.

How To Fish Walleye From The Shore

It’s not always easy to find the perfect shore fishing spot to catch walleye but you’ll want to do the best you can. When you’re out in the boat you can go to the exact spot you want but you’re limited on the shore.

The first thing you’ll want to look out for is an area with weeds. Walleye like to sit in cover and ambush their prey as they come by. The next thing you’ll want to look out for is a steep drop off in the water (where it goes from shallow to deep). This is where they’re most active. If you can find both then you’ll have a good day of fishing.

When it comes time to start fishing, the technique you’ll use will depend on the temperature of the water. If the water is cold you’ll want to cast and retrieve slowly because the fish aren’t moving much and don’t want to chase. If the water is warmer then you can retrieve quicker.

The way I like to fish for walleye is by swimming the bait along the bottom. I guess it’s somewhere between jigging it and dragging it. Here’s the process that worked best for me:

  1. Cast your bait and let it fall to the bottom.
  2. Lift your rod up so the bait swims along the bottom.
  3. Reel in slack and let your bait fall back to the bottom.

That’s pretty much it. You can just take your time and slowly bring the bait back to you. You’ll most likely get a hit when your bait is falling back down. Let the fish play with it for a few seconds and then set that hook.

Until next time, happy fishing. If you want to catch more fish, use more hooks.

Let me know your thoughts and any questions you have. Like this article? Feel free to give it a share!

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Jon Webber

I'm by no means an outdoors or fishing expert, but it's something I've been interested in for over 20 years. I created this site to test out different gear and techniques to see what actually works.

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