The Way to Walleye
A hard or rocky bottom, which most depth finders also can identify, is best. A good spot along a bluff is where rocks that have sloughed off the bluff face form a debris pile near the base.
Although it’s the best known, Stockton is far from being the only good walleye lake in the state. You can find good walleye fishing at Pomme de Terre, Bull Shoals, Table Rock, Norfolk and Smithville lakes, as well as at many others, including some lakes not much larger than 100 acres.
Walleye seekers can obtain good guidance by searching the Fishing Prospects Web page (www.MissouriConservation.org/4193) for lakes and rivers that offer walleye fishing. Click on the link to the lake or river you’re interested in, and you’ll also learn some valuable fishing and population information.
How you fish for walleye depends primarily on what areas you are fishing. If you are targeting fish beneath schools of shad, for example, one of the best techniques is to jig for them with heavy spoons.
Jigging spoons trigger walleye into striking. Fish a spoon near the bottom. Rip or lift it up several feet and let it settle back down. When it is released, the spoon erratically darts and slides toward the bottom, resembling a crippled or dying shad dropping out of the school. The walleye usually hit when the lure is falling, which is why you don’t want a completely slack line.
If you’re fishing deeper than 20 feet, you’ll probably need a 3/4-ounce spoon. In shallower water you can get good results with 1/2-ounce spoons. Silver is a good starting color, but gold and lime colors also work well.
This isn’t finesse fishing; use heavy (although flexible) line and a stout rod. If you are fishing jigging spoons correctly and in the right places, you’ll frequently have to pull them out of snags.
You have a multitude of fishing options when fishing points. Many anglers make a “milk run” of these underwater structures. They’ll first cast crankbaits over the top of a point and then troll the same lures along the sides. If they don’t get any action, they’ll move on to the next point.
If you’re less jittery, you can work a point more slowly and