I’ve put a lot of walleye in the boat the past couple of years fishing the Connecticut River and the tributaries of Lake Champlain jigging. One thing we haven’t done a lot of is learning how to troll for them over large areas. The opportunity arose to going trolling for walleye with a friend and I jumped at the chance to learn something new.
Our plan was to take an afternoon/evening trip to one of the few inland ponds in Vermont that has a sustainable walleye population. I had never personally fished this pond before and my fishing buddy had only been on it a few times in the past having decent success.
The pond was great, one deep hole but lots of humps with weeds a top of them and rocky shores. I wanted to learn how to run in-line planner boards with cranks so we set one board on either side with cranks and two lines out the back running spinners.
There is a lot more to trolling than just simply cruising around dragging baits behind the boat, especially for walleye and I quickly learned why. Speed and boat depth control are very important to keep your baits at an effective depth. A good sonar unit with a chartplotter is also an essential tool in catching roaming walleye. We made several passes through our first spot and I missed a decent fish on the spinner.
Through conversation about good places to look for fish we made our way through a stretch that my buddy hadn’t fished before. This particular spot was nothing more than a gradual inside turn pushing up to a rocky shore, I thought it looked like a fishy spot on Navionics. While we made our first pass through the spot, we had our first fish on for the afternoon. The 21” walleye came on a spinner tipped with a crawler. Starting to think that the spinner bite was key, we switched over to running just spinners. We had a quick bite to eat and motored over to another spot on a rocky hump. While making our first pass, we started to mark a good number of fish laying on the bottom when we hooked into our second fish of the day. Another nice walleye, this one coming into the net at 22”.
As the sun went down and daylight faded, we decided to call it a day. A very productive day in my mind. Some the best ways to learn something new is to just do it, it also helps to have good friends that are willing to share with you their knowledge.