Throughout the seasons, you may end up catching walleye in water as shallow as 2 feet of water and as deep as 40 feet of water. Walleye can often be found in shallow water during the spring and in low-light conditions throughout the summer and fall, but they will be found in deeper water for most of the summer and fall. If you plan on getting good at catching walleye throughout the entire season, you need to learn how to fish deeper water.
Vertical jigging is one of the best ways to keep your baits right where you want them, which is usually right on the bottom. Break out the jigs and drop shot rigs and your favorite baits and fish them vertically.
Jigheads Are King
Jigheads have been king for deep water walleye fishing and nothing is changing any time soon. They work great with live bait and soft plastics and because walleye are often right on the bottom, they are the best rig for presenting your baits right where the walleye are resting. Use lively minnows, nightcrawlers, leeches or your favorite soft plastic bait and you will be able to catch some deep water walleye.
Drop Shot Rigs Are Almost As Good as Jigheads
At times, nothing will work better than a drop shot rig. You can present live bait or a variety of soft plastics a little differently than you can with the jig. Many baits look a lot better on the drop shot rig and when walleye are ready to eat, they have no problem feeding up just a bit off the bottom. Try to keep your weight and hook about a foot away from each other. You will get more bites by fishing closer to the bottom most of the time.
Fish the Drop-offs
Drop-offs are great areas to fish because walleye have quick access to deep and shallow water. Walleye can move into shallows to find an easy meal and then get back into deeper water without much effort. Steep drop-offs tend to hold more walleye than a gradual drop-off, especially during the summer and fall months.
Most anglers will troll deep-diving crankbaits and spinner rigs in deeper water. Casting can also be effective, but you need to be able to get your lures down deep, so trolling is usually easier to get your bait down there and to keep it at the appropriate depth.