Tips for targeting walleye when the water’s cool and the days are still short
#6 Locate active fish by fan-casting jigs
Casting small jigs tipped with leeches or small soft-plastics from shore or a boat is another early-season walleye tactic. The key to this presentation is to methodically cover all the water in front of you while slowly retrieving the jig; periodically stopping and twitching the jig can often trigger strikes.
Throw the first cast to the far left, then a little to the right on the next cast and so on until you’ve covered all the water in front of you, from left to right. Then it’s time to work the area again, starting from the right and working back to the left before moving on to a new area. If you catch a fish, cast back to the same spot.
As for equipment, a seven-foot medium-power, fast-action spinning rod paired with a reel spooled with six- or eight-pound fluorocarbon is perfect. The longer rod allows for farther and more accurate casts, while the fast tip helps you sense bites and make quick hooksets—and bring more fish to hand.