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Mississippi River Walleye Fishing Tips

Nov 30, 2007
Walleye fishing on the Mississippi river is special. While other walleye enthusiasts are inside the warmth of their humble abodes during the winter months, dreaming about warmer weather and walleye fishing, those fortunate enough to be on the Mississippi River can actually BE out there with their hooks in the water, reeling in the catch of the day, walleye style!

Open water walleye fishing can be enjoyed all year round! Following the big drought that came at the end of the '80s, walleye began to spawn and hide in places in which they had not been previously plentiful. This version of survival of the fittest also saw walleye moving farther to the south, where they found spawning ground and hiding places where they flourished, making it possible to locate vast numbers of nice walleye all the way to St. Louis!

Near Dubuque, Iowa on the Mississippi, walleye stack up near the bases of the main lock and dam, particularly during the winter months, which allows walleye fishermen to catch their limit of nice walleye whenever the ice allows. Fish the deeper areas in the lower areas of the river during this winter fishermen's prime time as well for great walleye catches.

With spawning usually beginning by mid April, fishing is usually prime downriver around bend areas where the river bottom is hard and rocky, but walleye can normally be found spawning in the muddy areas and even in trees that are flooded and brushy areas. During early spring months, like May, walleye can be found in areas where the current tends to run a little slower, because their food sources are plentiful and easy to get at there. Muddy, flat areas are also good choices for finding walleye during May in the Mississippi, particularly inside turns near wingdams and downriver areas.

Rods with fast tipped spinners are good choices for catching walleye. Using eight lb. test line is a good choice with these when fishing for walleye. One suggestion that is good no matter what conditions or where you are fishing for walleye is to always watch your line for the slightest indication you have a bite, because walleye can bite lightly, and you have to be vigilant!

It is always a good idea to look for walleye in shallow water. Use the lightest weight jigs you can for the current in which you are fishing. Use a weight sufficient to allow your jig to just float to the bottom. The more naturally your bait seems to be, whether in color, appearance, or action, the more fish you will catch, and a jig that drops heavily and quickly, like stone will startle, rather than attract, the fish.

The jig size you choose matters too when fishing for walleye. Usually, jigs anywhere from a sixteeth of an ounce to a quarter of an ounce are good choices.

Cast toward the shore, and slowly reel the bait back. Take extra time to slow your reeling when you are close to likely spots (such as rocky areas) and watch for birds. Anytime you are fishing for walleye, and see lots of birds on the shore, there is a good chance the fish are there as well, because walleye and birds look for the same food source, and when these bait fish are present, the chances are the birds on shore can signal walleye are there too!
About the Author
Dan Eggertsen is a fishing researcher and enthusiast who is committed to providing the best walleye fishing information possible. Get more information on Mississippi walleye fishing here: http://www.askwalleyefishing.com
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