Trolling Weights for Walleye

trolling weights for walleye
trolling weights for walleye

Use Trolling Weights for Catching More Walleye

Walleye fishing is a favorite pastime for many anglers, and trolling is one of the most effective techniques for catching these tasty fish. In recent years, trolling weights have become more and more popular. They are an effective way to get your stickbait, crawler harness, or crankbait down to where the walleye are. They also aid in having less fishing line out on each rod in your trolling spread. However, choosing the right trolling weight is crucial for success. In this article, we’ll explore the best trolling weights for walleye and provide you with a comprehensive guide to help you catch more fish.

Why Trolling Weights for Walleye Matter

Trolling weights serve several important purposes when it comes to walleye fishing. They help your lure or bait reach the desired depth, maintain a consistent presentation, and trigger strikes from curious walleye. Using the wrong weight can result in your lure or bait swimming too high or too low, reducing your chances of success. Weights will also aid in keeping your lure at depth while slow trolling which is popular in the fall, winter, and spring months.

Types of Trolling Weights for Walleye

Before we dive into the best weights for walleye, let’s take a look at the different types of trolling weights available:

1. Banana Weights

Banana weights are one of the most popular choices for walleye trolling. They are shaped like a banana and are designed to pull your lure or bait down to the desired depth. They come in various weights, ranging from 1 ounce to 4 ounces or more. These are used as inline weights when trolling crawler harnesses, typically from May into the summertime.

2. Bell Sinkers

Bell sinkers are another common type of trolling weight. They are shaped like a bell and are typically made of lead or a lead-free alternative. Like banana weights, they come in various weights and help you reach different depths. These are an alternative weight for walleye spinner fishing. They can be tied on forward of the spinner or used inline.

3. Snap Weights

Snap weights are versatile weights that can be easily attached or removed from your line. They are typically made of lead or a lead-free alternative and come in various weights to accommodate different depth requirements. Snap weights are the most popular weights to use on Lake Erie. They come in different sizes and shapes, depending on what you like. They are removable while landing fish, which makes them highly desired for cold-water walleye fishing.

Factors to Consider When Choosing Trolling Weights

Weight (oz)Typical Depth (ft)Best For
110-15Shallow water or low-speed trolling
215-25Early season or shallow water walleye fishing
325-35Mid-depth walleye fishing
435-45Deep water walleye fishing

When selecting the right trolling weight for walleye, there are several factors to consider:

1. Water Depth

The depth at which you’re trolling is the most crucial factor when choosing a trolling weight. Walleye are often found at specific depths, so it’s essential to match your weight to the desired depth. Marking walleye with your fish finder will give you an idea of where the fish are in the water column. Once you know what depth the fish are at, select a trolling weight accordingly. You can use different-sized trolling weights for the same depth, it just depends on how much line you want to let out. Most dive charts will give you an exact depth using the 50/50 method.

2. Line Diameter

The diameter of your fishing line can affect how quickly your lure or bait sinks. Thinner lines tend to sink more slowly, while thicker lines sink faster. Consider your line diameter when selecting the appropriate weight. Since most fishermen use trolling weights in conjunction with trolling crankbaits, mono is the preferred line. In shallower bodies of water, you can get away with using a 10 lb. line. In the deeper Great Lakes, 12 lb. and above line is preferred.

3. Lure or Bait Size and Type

The size and type of lure or bait you’re using can influence the weight required. Larger or more buoyant lures may need heavier weights to reach the desired depth, while smaller or denser baits may require lighter weights. Consider the action of the lure you are trolling and consult the dive chart for it using assistance from the weight.

4. Water Current

Strong currents or wind can affect the depth at which your lure or bait runs. In these conditions, you may need to adjust your weight accordingly to maintain the desired presentation. There are strong currents in big river systems and the Great Lakes. Use a tool such as a Fish Hawk to determine the difference between your speed over ground and the speed at your trolling depth.

The Best Trolling Weights for Walleye: A Ranked List

Now that we’ve covered the basics, let’s dive into the best trolling weights for walleye, ranked from best to good.

1. Offshore Snap Weights

Offshore weights are widely used as the best choice for walleye trolling. Their streamlined shape allows for efficient trolling and minimizes line resistance, while their weight distribution helps keep your lure or bait running at the desired depth. These weights come as a kit or individually.

2. Gatorbait Pro Snap Weights

Bell sinkers are another excellent choice for walleye trolling, particularly in areas with strong currents or wind. Their compact design and weight distribution make them effective at maintaining depth and minimizing line resistance.

3. Depth Charge Snap Weights

Snap weights are a versatile option for walleye trolling, as they can be easily added or removed from your line to adjust depth. They are particularly useful when fishing in areas with varying depths or when experimenting with different weight configurations. This snap-weight kit is a great choice. These are well-made snaps that will withstand fighting a walleye while trolling.

Tips for Successful Walleye Trolling

In addition to selecting the right trolling weight, there are a few tips that can help you catch more walleye while trolling:

1. Experiment with Depth and Speed

Walleye can be found at various depths, so it’s important to experiment with different depths and trolling speeds until you find the sweet spot. Don’t be afraid to try different weight combinations or adjust your speed to trigger strikes. Your fish finder may be marking fish at one depth, but that doesn’t mean your baits should be at that depth. Walleye will eat up while trolling, try and keep your lures above where you are marking fish.

2. Pay Attention to Structure

Walleye often relate to underwater structures like drop-offs, humps, and weed lines. Pay close attention to your electronics and adjust your trolling pattern to target these areas. This is especially true on the Great Lakes. They are full of offshore islands and shoals. Walleye like to hang out in these areas while feeding during low light conditions.

3. Use Planer Boards

Planer boards can help increase your spread and cover more water when trolling. They also help keep your lures or baits away from the boat, which can be especially effective in clear water conditions. Planer boards also help keep your lines organized, especially when you have fish on.

4. Vary Your Presentations

Walleye can be picky at times, and what worked yesterday may not work today. Don’t be afraid to mix up your presentations by trying different lures, baits, or even colors until you find what the fish are biting. A good start to walleye trolling early in the day is to set different depths and lures. This will help you narrow down what the fish want.

5. Be Stealthy

Walleye have excellent eyesight and can be easily spooked. Try to minimize noise and vibrations in your boat, and avoid sudden movements or casting shadows on the water. If you can get away with not using your kicker engine do it. If you can troll with just your trolling motor there will be less noise. Also, stay outside of packed-up boats.

Conclusion

Choosing the right trolling weight is crucial for successful walleye fishing. By considering factors like water depth, line diameter, lure or bait size, water clarity, and current, you can select the best weight for your specific situation. Banana weights, bell sinkers, and snap weights are among the top choices for walleye trolling, each with its own strengths and ideal applications. Remember to experiment, pay attention to structure, and vary your presentations to maximize your chances of catching more walleye