The Question

Dear Gord,

For a few years now I have been fishing for walleye in the South Saskatchewan River, mostly from shore, using a basic pickerel rig. It seems to work OK, but I would like to try some different techniques. Any suggestions?

Devin Allin Swift Current, Saskatchewan

The Answer

For starters, check out my 2011 Walleye Guide in the May 2011 issue of Outdoor Canada, it’s about fishing with guide Jeff Matity last summer out in your neck of the woods, on Last Mountain Lake. He’s developed a great new pattern: catching walleye with Fergie spoons—a big, aggressive presentation.

That said, I would wager that over the years more walleye have been caught using lead head jigs, tipped either with a soft plastic dressing (curly tails, worms and minnow baits) or live minnows, nightcrawlers and leeches, than all other baits and lures combined.

Jigs are without question the best walleye lure you can use day in and day out.

Though if you ever have the opportunity to troll, you need also to fish the "Slow Death" method for walleyes. I wrote about "Slow Death" in OC’s May 2009 issue, and it is deadly! In fact, Slow Death is so simple and so effective you'll never use a pickerel rig ever again

Finally, I would never discount casting and trolling crankbaits. Crankbaits account for some of my biggest walleyes every year, especially in rivers. Simply pick a crankbait that will dig into the bottom as you slowly troll into the current, and hang onto your rod.

Hope this helps,

Gord Pyzer

Fishing Editor