What is the best way to successfully fish walleyes on a large river system?

Wing Dams are good at times, mainly in the summer, but are also one of the most difficult structures to fish. I’ve had my best wing dam luck holding my boat up stream of the face using my electric bowmount trolling motor and presenting a 3-way rig with a 1 to 2 ounce bell sinker. I slowly drop back until I feel the soft bottom transition into the rocky, hard face of the dam. On the “business end” of the 3-way rig I typically use a bare hook, light jig. Another and often very deadly set-up on the 3-way is a “D-Rig” (or what some refer to as a Dubuque Rig) consisting of a Mustad Ultra Point #2 Gold Aberdeen hook (model 32602NPG) dressed with a chartreuse Berkley Power Grub and a red bead ahead of the hook). Tipped with half a nightcrawler or a minnow, it’s a deadly rig in the current.

More common tactics for fishing rivers would include vertical jigging channel edges or the edges of deeper holes. Pitching light jigs to shallow water is a great technique, especially in early spring. Spots like warm water discharges, shallow rock piles or even moored barges can be good targets for pitching.

Rivers are tough to figure out, but once you learn to fish one, the tactics can be used in any walleye river.

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