4 Walleye Fishing Setups for “Most” Situations

The product recommendations on our site are independently chosen by our editors. When you click through our links, we may earn a commission. 

Wired2fish’s Kyle Peterson prefers walleye fishing with faster-paced tactics using forward-facing sonar, Garmin’s LiveScope Plus in this case. He shares his top 4 setups for delivering baits to the noses of walleyes with the ultimate speed and control and several rigging tips to help you get the most efficiency out of each setup.

Traditional walleye fishing setups such as live bait fishing with Lindy Rigs and jigs are slow and easy while trolling plugs lead the artificial charge. A new breed of walleye anglers takes a more proactive power-fishing approach. Step 1: locate fish with sonar, Step 2: get bait in front of their snout with speed and precision. Step 3: gauge their mood and quickly catch them or move on to different fish if they’re not receptive. *Featured product at the bottom.

Here’s how Peterson accomplishes the above with a handful of go-to walleye fishing rigs.  
  1. Drop shot. The ultimate in efficiency, a drop shot fished with a heavy weight gets down to the fish fast and with pinpoint accuracy. Locate walleyes with live imaging and then pitch on them — the drop shot falls straight down to the target. A small hook and leech hooked just behind the sucker are usually too much to resist. Fished in this manner, Peterson feels he can put his bait in the face of more fish than most other applications.
  2. Slip bobber. Ah, a good old cork. A slip bobber can be fished at any depth and suspends a lively bait in the face of fish. While a drop shot may fish faster, there are times when a suspended leech bobbing with the waves triggers more bites. You can also easily adjust bait depth relative to the fish without retying, whereas a drop shot requires re-rigging with a longer or shorter leader.
  3. Gliding jig. Often referred to as glide baits in walleye world, lures like the legendary Rapala Jigging Rap dart aggressively from side to side when snapped. Peterson has the most success fishing these baits across the bottom on a cast, but they also produce in vertical jigging applications. Speed is a powerful trigger, and few lures have the sheer fish-triggering speed and action of a minnow darting erratically across the bottom or in place.
  4. Moving baits. Peterson has excellent success walleye fishing with hard baits such as jerkbaits and small crankbaits, while paddle tail swimbaits rigged on a ball head jig can be similarly effective, especially when immediate depth control is needed. As he notes, live imaging shows us that fish commonly occupy the entire water column 360 degrees around the boat, not just relative to good-looking structure and cover. Keep a few moving baits ready so that you can capitalize on these roamers.