Walleye Fishing Without a Boat



Wader fishing, shore fishing or fishing from a float tube can not only be fun but very productive. Especially on small lakes and rivers, larger boats are simply not practical and wading or shore fishing can be the best option. Float tubes are a great option for fishing small waters and can get you into places unreachable otherwise.

If you love to fish and want to be mobile, get the waders on, grab your float tube, a few jigs, some artificial tails, and a selection of shallow crank baits and you are in business.

Total Solutions Technique

Late evening or early morning are typically the most productive times for the wader or shore angler. My favorite technique is to cast jigs. Use 1/16 to 1/8 ounce jigs tipped with an artificial tail and make as long as cast as possible. Let the jig settle to the bottom then make 2 or 3 cranks on your reel to make the jig jump off the bottom and then let it settle back down again. Keep the rod high; held at a 9:00 to 10:00 o’clock position and use the reel to lift the jig off the bottom. When your bait is ½ way back to shore, swim it back in giving it a twitch now and then to trigger any “followers”.

Another good system, especially early in the season when weeds are newly emerging, or late in the fall as the weeds start to drop, is to cast shallow crank baits over the tops of the weeds. This is one tactic where wading or a float tube can come in handy, as it allows you to reach weed beds well off from shore. Again cast as far as you can and make a couple of fast cranks to get your bait down. Then twitch, crank again and let the bait stall. Repeat the retrieve until your lure is out of the productive zone.

Total Solutions Equipment

For a rod I prefer a 6’6”-7’ in medium action. The longer rod helps in making long casts and fighting fish. Team that with a light reel that’s durable and a smooth reel to operate.

Spool the reel up with a small diameter, no-stretch line like Berkley Crystal FireLine. This will work well for both casting cranks and jigs. Its lack of memory and thin diameter lets you get longer casts and its no-stretch characteristics allow you feel even the lightest bites. For casting jigs I prefer 6/2 (6 pound test/2 pound diameter) and for casting cranks 10/4 (10 pound test/4 pound diameter).

Tip your jigs with a 3 or 4 inch Berkley PowerBait Minnow or a 3 or 4 inch Berkley GULP! Minnow.