Walleye (Leech vs Hook Size)

Leeches are the most plentiful of all walleye baits. They are  natural to all bodies of water including ponds, creeks, marshes, streams,rivers and lakes. When using leeches for walleye it’s  important that the right size hook is used for the size of the leech that you are using. In general, the smaller the bait the smaller the hook! However, when using leaches, a larger hook is best. When a walleye grabs  a leech it will roll up in a ball, frequently around the  hook. It is also important to remember to set the hook harder when using leeches, as you have to drive the point of the hook through the leech first and then into the fish. Hook the leech through the sucker end of the leech for float-fishing. This is actually the leech’s tail, contrary to what many novice walleye fisherman believe. That will cause the leech to swim away from the hook in an enticing manner.

Leeches are the most plentiful of all the baits.  It seems that they are
natural to all bodies of water including creeks, rivers and lakes.  They
can be left in a container of water for a long time without food.
Walleyes love leeches almost all year round and they are classified as a
universal bait for walleyes.
Leeches inhabit lakes, ponds, marshes and slow moving streams,
throughout most of North America.  All leeches have sucking disks at
both ends.  The mouth is located in the smaller disk at the head end.
Leeches use the larger disk on the tail only for clinging to objects.
Most leeches eat dead animals.  Some species such as the horse leech
digest the skin of live animals and feed on the tissue.  A few kinds,
such as the medicine leech, are called bloodsuckers.  They have jaws
which actually cut through skin to reach blood vessels and tissue.  Not
all kinds of leeches attract fish.  The leech species that live in
waters with game fish populations usually make poor bait.  Most game fish
ignore horse leeches.  Either the scent of the horse leech repels fish
or it lacks the action of bait leeches.
Fish eat many types of leeches, but only the ribbon leech is widely used
as bait.  A few anglers have found tiger leeches to be good pan fish
bait.  A ribbon leech has a firmer body than a horse leech and body
situations or grooves that are less pronounced.  The color of a ribbon
leeches varies from pure black to light brown.  Some have a brown or
olive background with many black spots.
Leeches are easy to keep alive.  They are not as sensitive to
temperature changes as minnows, and they require relatively little
oxygen.  Leeches can be kept alive until fall, even without food, but
they should be allowed to clean themselves.  Leeches that develop a slim
on them are in need of a place to clean themselves.  Leeches that are
held in stagnant water over long periods of time need to ride themselves
of waste and if they were in a stream or pond they would burrow into the
sand to clean themselves.  Many anglers leave their leeches in a plastic
container in the refrigerator and find them in a slimy smelly mess.
Finally fishing with leeches made easy with a new device from JNB
Originals, the Leech Tamer.  This device is a durable net bag that is
porous and rough to the touch.  It has a Velcro closure at the top and
best of all it floats in your live well or bait well.  Leeches have a
place to rub against to clean themselves and they stay the same
temperature as the water.  The leech will not curl up, because of
temperature shock, and selection is easier plus it will give you more
time to fish.  The Leech Tamer can be stored in your refrigerator with a
small pail or bowl of water or tied off the dock.
The summer is the best time to fish with leeches because their
population is on the decline.  By mid-summer most of the adult leeches
have deposited cocoons and die off.  When the leech enters the walleye’s
environment they are usually attacked.  Also, in the summer time the
leech will wiggle more below a float than a worm.  When drifting or
trolling, anglers will catch suspended walleyes on floating jig heads and
slip sinker rigs.  As you can plainly see the leech is a universal bait for Walleye.

Category: Walleye

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