Rigging Tips for Algoma Walleye

Check out which baits to bring and what colours are the hottest for fishing Ontario's favourite species.

Far and away one of the most sought-after species in Ontario’s Algoma Country is the walleye.

The large, white tail spotted, finned critter attracts a lot of angling attention from visitors to the region every year from season opening in May to late and every opportunity in between, there is a lake or river system in Algoma that harbours these golden bars.

Although the region hosts countless bodies of water that have walleye, catching them can be accomplished a lot easier if you are prepared prior to departing for your trip.

aerial lake fishing boat

Speaking with lodge operators or guides is a start. They will help you decide what to bring depending on the time of year, the hottest colours of jigs, what style of body baits to troll, the size and shapes of bladed worm harnesses and the most popular rod and reel models to tangle with these walleyes.

We have made many trips to Algoma from late May to late season and have our best results with the following equipment choices that will make your trips more successful and less stressful when deciding which baits to bring and what colours are the hottest.

fish mouth

Best baits and colours for catching walleye

Rod & Reel Combination: Spinning rods are the most popular amongst travelling vacationers especially if flying into camps from the U.S. The two-piece rods are ideal in the six-foot to seven-foot models with reels spooled up with eight-pound monofilament or braided line with leaders attached in clear water conditions. Several rod combos rigged with heavier lines can be used for trolling body baits and bottom-bouncing night crawlers.

Hard Baits: Slender-bodied minnow-shaped hard baits are popular in wild colour combinations that attract walleye. Bright chartreuse, oranges, green and pinks and clown colours.

Worm Harness & Nightcrawler Rigs: Pack some variety of bladed worm harnesses and rigs with orange/gold, perch patterns, chartreuse greens and silver tones seem to attract the walleyes on most bodies of water.

Ball Head Jigs: The simple, yet deadly ball-headed jig is a VERY popular choice amongst guides and visitors alike in bright bubble gum pink, chartreuse/oranges, fire tiger and purple tones that are usually tipped with a minnow, leech or nightcrawler and vertically jigged below your boat.

Soft Plastic Baits: Three- to four-inch curly-tailed grubs and shad-like baits in the three to five-inch range in yellow, white, purple and peach tones work for us rigging onto a jig head and fished similar to using live bait.

angler fishing walleye

All of these bait options can be sorted into travel-friendly storage containers and easily accessible depending on the conditions and or choices of the lodge guides references depending again on the time of year and depth of the walleye.

Enjoy the world-famous walleye of Algoma Country and practice selective harvest of the larger females because, in truth, the smaller males taste a lot sweeter than the older fish.

Fish smart, fish safe. 

angler fishing walleye
All photo credits: Karl Kalonka
About Karl Kalonka

It's possible Karl's love for fishing began as early as the age of five. His parents took the kids on weekend trips across Ontario fishing for panfish, catfish, and bass. "I started with a bobber and worm from the time I was five years old," says Karl. These days, he has the enviable task of doing what he loves for a living, travelling across Ontario fishing, filming and producing two outdoor series, Extreme Angler and Crappie Angler TV.

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