In the early part of the season, trolling shallow water for walleyes can be very effective. This takes a much different approach than you might normally use when trolling for walleyes. First of all you’ll want to use use smaller, more subtle action crankbaits this early in the season. Lures like the Berkley Flicker Shads in size 4 cm and 5 cm are ideal. These lures in particular are good because they feature rattles, which can be a great advantage since you are often dealing with dingy water conditions early in the season caused by spring rains, run-off and/or wind.åÊ The rattles will draw in the fish, the profile and color of the bait will tempt them to bite.
It also pays to have a stealthy approach when trolling shallow water, which is why I often recommend using your bowmount trolling motor. In this scenario you want to use long rods like the Bass Pro Shops Walleye Angler Series 10 and 12 foot trolling rods (models WL10T-2 and WL12T-2) and run your cranks on long lines to try and keep the spooking factor to a minimum. If you find your lures are digging into the bottom too much long-lining behind the boat, you can try running them on shorter lines or raise your rod tips. For these light action baits you typically do not want to go to a heavier pound test line (while it would reduce their diving depth) as that heavy, stiff line can dampen the action of these subtle crankbaits.