Last modified July 24, 2010 by

The Silence of the Walleye Zealots

Walleye (Sander vitreus, formerly Stizostedion vitreum)

I recently contacted Jonathon and pointed out the obvious lack of a walleye fishing zealot on Fishing Fury. For those in the know, the benefits of a walleye fishing zealot are obvious… but for the uninitiated, a walleye fishing zealot is like a cool breeze pouring across the lake on a summer evening. The words of the zealot open your eyes and make you see things from a glassy-eyed perspective. They make you feel the thrill of the “whack” on the end of a Lindy rig, and the gut-wrenching sickness when you discover that you are about to net some “lesser” species. Spend a few quality hours with a walleye zealot and you’ll likely run home, pile your “non-walleye” tackle in a heap in the front yard, soak it in kerosene and set it ablaze.* Spend a month or two and he’ll have you drinking the water out of a leech container on command.

* Check with your local fire marshal to find out if a burning permit is required.

But this is not what I want. I’m a centrist at heart and have no desire to convert the masses. My hope is to provide the reader with a glimpse into the world of someone who spends 99.9% of their angling time chasing stizostedion vitreum.

Look… I have nothing against the other popular species:

Me with a Northern Pike, about 100 years ago...

This photo is from roughly 100 years ago when I found great satisfaction in chasing fat northern pike across Northern Minnesota. So much so that I strapped this one on a stringer and photographed it as a warning to all other “hulky slime” that their days were numbered. Today I simply tolerate…

Me with a Northern Pike, only a few years ago...

I’ll touch a northern, but only long enough to get it the hell off my line so I can get back to catching walleye.

A nice little walleye.

Just look at that cute little fella. The slender body, the glassy eyes, powerful fins. I can taste the meaty white fillets fresh out of the deep fryer. I like to share and write about my passion for walleye on my walleye fishing blog. Stories, advice, anything the walleye junkie might want… it’s there. And I hope to bring a bit more of it here.

If you’re like me you love watching the professionals go out and hammer the fish. Unfortunately, the reality is that there are many days that most of us go out and get blanked or come in with way less than a limit. That’s just reality, and that is what I try to convey with what I write. But we do have some great days, and I let people know what we do when we are successful as well as what we tried when we weren’t.
Let me give you a little taste of what I like to talk about. The most popular lures among walleye fishermen consist of three basic setups with several variations within each of these categories:

Jigs

Different types of jigs

Walleyes are bottom-oriented fish, and jigs get your bait down to the bottom. This is probably the most common method used for enticing walleyes to bite, particularly early in the year. Tipped with one of a variety of minnows, or imitations, the jig is fished in a variety of waters using an equally varied number of tactics.

Lindy Rig

A basic lindy rig diagram. By Tony Andrews

I call it the lindy rig because that’s what it was called back in the 60’s when the Lindner boys started marketing it. The “rig” gets live bait down near the bottom and lets the bait do its own thing, moving slowly and naturally to entice the walleye into dropping the hammer on your line. I know guys that fish this all year long. The “rig” has many variations including plain hooks, floating hooks, crawler rigs, crawler rigs with spinners and argument-inducing versions of snell length and composition. I’m getting hungry just thinking about it, but you get the idea.

Crankbaits

Various Crankbaits

This is definitely fodder for a future article. A staple on big water, very effective on the smaller lakes I fish, the crankbait is a fantastic way to put walleye in the live well. Anglers use Shad raps, Salmos, Wally Divers, all fished directly behind the boat, off planer boards, behind a dipsy diver, or off lead core. Crankbaits let you cover a ton of water in a short period of time to zero in on feeding fish. All the other gizmos let you get your lure down to where the fish are hanging out when you are fishing bigger or deeper water.

I’ll be talking more about all of this in future articles and on my blog. Until then, spread the word… the silence of the walleye zealots here is deafening and I aim to change that!

– Tony Andrews (WalleyeGuy Blog)

Tony AndrewsTony Andrews makes his home in Northern Minnesota as a Technology Coordinator by trade, but he spends his summers fishing area lakes with his family. As a typical Minnesota fisherman, he likes to put his thoughts and experiences in writing on his WalleyeGuy Blog to provide a window in to the real world of fishing… the one in which many days on the lake produce nothing, and most of the fish are average-sized at best. His walleye fishing tips and advice are all based on tactics that he has found to be successful.