Trolling Spoons for Walleye
Trolling spoons for walleye allow you to cover a lot of water in a quick amount of time. Spoons are generally designed to be trolled fast but you can slow troll them in the right situations.
When trolling for walleye there are generally two choices; out in deep waters or closer inshore specifically targeting structures or drop offs.
In the height of summer when walleye are out in deep waters escaping the higher temperatures I like to run four rods with spoons on all.
Two spoons running deep and two running at mid-height. This can give you the best coverage, of course a fish finder is a massive advantage in these situations.
Once you find the depth they are suspended at then you can adjust your other rods to match.
When they are congregating in shallower waters I look to target them along drop offs, deep pockets, sand banks and break points on the shore line.
Trolling Spoons for Walleye
Although trolling spoons on the surface for walleye may seem pretty simple however there are a few key elements to get right some of which you will only figure out through trial and error on your local waters.
Almost every lake will fish a little different due to the temperatures, depth and the structures of the bottom.
So try not to look for any hard and fast rules that you may find online, as ever local knowledge is generally best.
That being said the basics will still be the same no matter where you are fishing.
Thick, heavy casting spoons are usually not what you want to use although they can still work.
Flutter spoons for walleye are the top producers as they are designed to run at speed.
The only drawback is that their light weight and thin profile means they have no natural diving capabilities of their own so once you are at depth your rigging needs to help set the running depth.
1. How Do You Troll Spoons for Walleye?
Trolling a spoon for walleye is pretty simple, let out your line behind the boat at the correct speed and then cover water where walleye are known to hold in.
Nothing in life is simple.
Once you start to troll at anything beyond the 15 to 20 feet range you really will need to employ either a down-rigger, planer boards or some kind of weighted trolling rig to help fine tune the depth your spoon will run at.
Planer boards also allow you to run a lot of lines at a wide distance from the boat.
My personal favorite when running four lines is to have the two widest also running out the longest.
This allows a hooked walleye two never really get near your shorter run lines that are out the back on down-riggers.
2. How Do You Rig a Walleye Spoon?
The simplest rig when trolling with a spoon is to attach a swivel to your main line and then a leader length of roughly six feet of fluorocarbon to a link snap link.
Spoons need swivels in the rig as the can twist your line up in only a matter of minutes especially if you are trolling fast.
This is best when trolling in shallower waters and the amount of line you have out and the speed at which you are trolling is the only real way to fine tune your running depth.
Once you hit deeper waters as mentioned above you need planer boards or down-riggers.
You can also run a three way rig with a spoon running off of the back and a deep diving crankbait running off the bottom.
3. What Size Spoon for Walleye?
Shorter spoons that are in the 2 to 3.5 inch seem to be the best size spoon for walleye.
When using spoons size really does matter in fact I would say it matters more than color.
Larger salmon or lake trout spoons are just that little bit too big.
The only issue with using the 2 inch spoons is that you will have to deal with hooking into a lot of smaller fish, small walleyes, perch and even juvenile northern pike.
In my experience 3 inch spoons hits the sweet spot you get less bites but those bites will be higher quality and more targeted to decent sized walleye.
4. What Color Walleye Spoons?
The best color spoons for walleye will be silver, gold, five of diamonds and a bright contrasting pattern.
Whilst gold and copper might be the most consistent base color spoons on Lake Erie, on somewhere like Saginaw Bay silver can often be the dominant color choice when using spoons.
When we talk patterns ever angler has his favorite but ultimately I think it comes down to contrast more so than the exact choice of color.
Contrasting colors give the walleye something to really chase and stand out from the background.
Every day is different so on your first troll of the day set a variety of colors and see what works.
5. Tackle Considerations
Trolling is not jigging and the types of tackle you use is entirely different. Pulling heavy lures on planer boards or down-riggers needs a setup that is able to handle a lot of pressure all day long so your lighter jigging setup just won’t cut it.
A good walleye trolling rod with a medium or medium/heavy power rating and a high quality trolling reel.
Personally I favor a line counter for most trolling work but they are not crucial.