The Ultimate Guide to Seasonal Walleye Fishing Techniques and Tips

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Seasonal walleye fishing can be a daunting task for many anglers due to the changing habits of this elusive fish throughout the year. Even experienced fishermen can struggle to catch walleye during certain seasons. However, with the right techniques and tips, you can increase your chances of success.

In this blog post, we’ll provide you with a comprehensive guide on proven fishing techniques and tips tailored specifically for each season – spring, summer, fall, and winter. Whether you’re a beginner or an experienced angler, this guide will help you improve your skills and increase your chances of catching walleye all year round.

Key Takeaways

  • For spring walleye fishing, look in rivers or streamsgravel spots and weed sides.
  • To catch summer walleyes, use heavy jigs and trolling methods on deep waters.
  • In fall season, find where minnows feed as walleyes follow them. Use different baits during trolling for best catches.
  • In winter time, slow – moving baits work as metabolism of the fish slows down. Ice fishing works great during this season if you have all the right tools ready.

Spring Walleye Fishing

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During spring, walleyes undertake their spawning activity in specific habitats like tributaries, gravel shoals, and weed edges; employing the correct fishing techniques and suitable bait at this time can drastically increase your catch.

Spawning behavior and habitat

Walleyes like to spawn in spring. They move to shallower water near shoals for this time. These fish can also spawn along shorelines of lakes or within rivers and creeks that feed into the lake.

A smart fisher knows where these spots are. It makes it easier to find and catch walleye during the spring season.

Targeting walleye in tributaries, gravel shoals, and weed edges

Fishing for walleye needs different plans. In spring, the fish come to tributaries, gravel shoals, and weed edges to spawn.

  1. Start by looking in small rivers or streams. Walleye like cold water and move here in early spring.
  2. Use your fish finder to spot gravel spots in the water. Walleye put their eggs here.
  3. Move slow along weed sides with your boat. You will find walleyes hiding there.
  4. Add a bait fish on your hook while fishing near these places.
  5. Use jigs and crankbaits when fishing from boats.
  6. Cast your rod near rocky banks and around weed beds ends.
  7. Vertical jigging works well if the walleye are deeper down due to colder water.

Recommended fishing techniques and bait

Using the right bait and techniques raises your chance to catch walleye. Some great tips for you:

  1. Jigging hard baits works well in spring. Good choices are jigging spoons, blade baits, and gliding jigs.
  2. Live baits like minnows, nightcrawlers, and leeches can lure walleye. Make sure to check if using live fish as bait is legal where you fish.
  3. Jig – fishing is a nugget of wisdom from seasoned fishers. Your jig should be heavy enough to touch the bottom.
  4. For spring walleye fishingswimbaits work like magic. They win bites whether you fish them fast or slow.

Summer Walleye Fishing

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As water temperatures rise, walleye behavior shifts, prompting them to move to deeper lake structures such as humps and drop-offs. To effectively catch summer walleye, anglers must adjust their tactics accordingly—using deep-diving lures or trolling techniques can yield successful results.

Investing in a quality fish finder will also aid in locating these elusive fish during the warm months.

Changes in walleye behavior and location

In summer, walleye act in new ways and move to different spots. The warm season gives them a hunger for baitfish meals. They swim near deep structures or suspend in open water to feed on these small fish schools.

Their quick moves from shallow spawning areas to deeper waters can be surprising. Even so, all these places are within a day’s swim of their spawning habitat. A wise angler knows this pattern well and uses it for successful summer walleye fishing.

Fishing tactics for deeper main lake structures, humps, and drop-offs

Fishing for walleye in deep waters comes with its own tricks. Here are some tactics that can help:

  1. Use a jig head. A popular way to catch walleye is to let it bump off the bottom. This lure led method works well in deeper waters, where walleyes like to hide.
  2. Try trolling. Trolling means moving slowly over the water while dragging a lure or baited line behind your boat. This is a hit method for finding walleye in deep spots of the lake.
  3. Drift fishing works great too! Live bait attached to your line draws walleyes from their deep humps and ridges.
  4. Use the right lures! The better you know your lures, the more fish you will bag.
  5. Also look at our Ultimate Guide to Seasonal Walleye Fishing Techniques and Tips! It has lots of advice about summer fishing at depths where this fish is found living.

Effective lures and techniques for summer walleye

Catching walleye in summer needs the right gear and skills. Here are some useful lures and ways to catch these fish:

  1. Use a Jig: A jig is the top lure to use. Pick one just heavy enough to touch down at the bottom. This works well as walleyes tend to go deep when it’s hot.
  2. Tie on a crankbait: The Salmo SDR Bullhead in perch is good for trolling deep. This helps players find walleyes that hide far below the surface.
  3. Go slow with your trolling: Walleye move less in summer’s high heat. Trolling your boat slow gives them time to attack the bait.
  4. Make use of spinners: Spinner rigs can cheer up lazy walleye in summer’s heat. Make them flashy to get their attention.
  5. Fish during dusk or dawn: In summer, daylight makes walleye wary, but low light can make them bold again.

Fall Walleye Fishing

In the autumn season, uncover the unique migration and feeding patterns of walleye and learn about effective trolling and jigging techniques; delve deeper into this guide to boost your fall catch.

Walleye feeding patterns and migration

In the fall, walleye change where they eat and live. As it gets cooler, these fish move to shallower water. In deeper lakes, they go towards deeper parts of the water instead. This shift relates to the minnows’ behavior too.

Minnows are a type of food for walleyes and come more into shallow waters in fall because they spawn at such times. So changes in walleye places often follow changes in their food steps like this one with minnows happening during this season.

Best locations for fall walleye fishing

Fall fishing spots are crucial to finding walleye.

  • Rivers are rich with walleye. Look for the outside bends, especially near fallen trees and log jams.
  • Boulders and other big structures draw in walleye during open water season. In fall, you’ll find more walleye around these places.
  • Another top spot for fall walleye is rock piles. They love hiding here.
  • Walleyes like to hang out near weed lines. Visit these places in the fall.
  • Explore waters close to home too. You may come across great walleye spots.
  • Remember, fall is the best time to catch gold – green predators called walleyes. Don’t miss it!

Recommended techniques for trolling and jigging

Let’s look at the top techniques for trolling and jigging.

  1. For trolling, use speed to your advantage. This allows you to cover more ground.
  2. Try different baits in the water at one time. You’ll find out what works best.
  3. Keep your gear at different levels in the water. You can catch walleye that are higher or lower.
  4. To catch walleye in deeper water, use heavy bottom bouncers or three – way rigs.
  5. For jigging, keep it simple by using a basic jig head with a minnow or a worm.
  6. Use a jig just heavy enough to touch the bottom of the lake or river.
  7. Move your rod tip up and down as you reel in slowly to make the bait look alive.
  8. Jig – fishing is great for catching walleye, but try crankbaits too for something different.
  9. Ice fishing is perfect for vertical jigging since winter walleyes like slow – moving baits.
  10. Be patient! Trolling and jigging take time and practice to get right.

Winter Walleye Fishing

As winter sets in, walleye behavior and metabolism undergo significant changes. In these frigid months, tactics adjust to targeting walleyes in river currents and thermal discharge areas which stay relatively warmer than open lakes.

Ice fishing becomes a popular method during this time, requiring specialized gear for optimal success. Understanding the proper techniques can ensure an exciting catch even under iced-over waters.

Changes in walleye activity and metabolism in cold water

Cold weather changes walleye behavior. They move less and their bodies slow down. This is because their metabolism drops in icy water. Walleyes change where they live and what they eat during wintertime.

In cold water, they find places where they can save energy by eating less food than normal. Despite these shifts, we can still catch walleyes in winter.

Strategies for targeting walleye in winter rivers and discharge areas

Winter is a great time to fish for walleye. Here are some methods that work well:

  1. Look for areas where two rivers meet. This is often a hot spot for catching walleye in winter.
  2. Fishing near ugly water, or discolored and dirty water, can yield good results as walleye often inhabit these regions.
  3. Search for walleye at the mouths of inflowing creeks and rivers. These areas tend to have warmer waters which attract baitfish, hence attracting walleyes.
  4. Throw your line in deep holes in river bends since this is where often inactive walleyes pass their winter days.
  5. Stick to sections of open water where modest depths intersect as this can be key to snagging a winter catch.
  6. Choose your gear wisely because winter walleye have slowed metabolism and are not willing to chase fast-moving lures or baits.
  7. Ice fishing works well in lakes, especially if you drill holes on places like rocky banks and weed bed edges.
  8. Use live bait, jigs or crankbaits when casting along these spots to increase your chances of a catch.
  9. Learning how they move during seasons will help you target them better during ice fishing.

Recommended gear and techniques for ice fishing

Ice fishing needs the right stuff and skills. Here are some things you need:

  1. Ice auger: This tool makes a hole in the ice.
  2. Fishing rod: Get a small one, made for ice fishing.
  3. Jigs, spoons, lipless crankbaits, and minnows: Walleye like these baits.
  4. Portable fish finder: This gadget helps you find fish under the ice.
  5. Heated shelter: Stay warm while you fish.
  1. Choose your spot: Walleye like deep water and drop-offs.
  2. Keep quiet: Noise scares walleye away.
  3. Watch your bait: Lower it gently through your ice hole.
  4. Be patient: You may need to wait for a while before walleye bite.
  5. Check local rules: Make sure you know the laws about ice fishing in your area.


1. What is walleye fishing?

Walleye fishing refers to the act of targeting and catching walleye, a popular game fish known for its strong fight and delicious taste.

2. When does walleye spawn?

Walleye spawn in the spring when the water temperature reaches around 45 to 50 degrees Fahrenheit. This is the time when they move to shallower areas, such as gravel-bottomed shoals or protected bays, to lay their eggs.

3. What is the best bait for walleye fishing?

The best bait for walleye fishing depends on the season and the specific fishing conditions. Popular options include minnows, leeches, nightcrawlers, and artificial lures such as jigs and crankbaits.

4. Where can I find walleye?

Walleye can be found in various habitats depending on the season. In the spring, look for them in shallow water near their spawning grounds. During the summer, they tend to move to deeper water or hang around weed edges. In the fall, walleye may return to shallower areas before winter.

5. What are some tips for catching walleye?

To increase your chances of catching walleye, consider the following tips: use appropriate bait, locate areas with structure or cover, fish during low light conditions (dusk or dawn), vary your retrieval speed, and experiment with different techniques such as trolling or jigging.

6. How does water temperature affect walleye fishing?

Water temperature plays a crucial role in walleye behavior. They are more active and feed more aggressively in water temperatures between 50 to 70 degrees Fahrenheit. In colder or warmer temperatures, walleye may become less active and less likely to bite.

7. What are some common walleye fishing patterns?

Walleye fishing patterns can vary depending on the season and location. Some common patterns include targeting shallower water in spring and fall, fishing deeper water during summer, and focusing on weed beds or drop-offs where walleye often gather.

8. How does the seasonal migration of bait fish affect walleye?

Walleye feed on bait fish, so their movements are often influenced by the movement of their prey. As bait fish migrate, walleye will follow, making it important to understand the seasonal movements of bait fish in order to locate walleye.


Hi, I’m Kurt and I’m the author of walleyemania. I’ve been fishing for Walleye since I was a kid and I love sharing my tips, tricks, and stories with other anglers. Whether you’re a beginner or a pro, you’ll find something useful and entertaining on my site. I cover everything from the best gear, baits, and techniques to the best spots, seasons, and recipes for Walleye fishing. Join me on my journey to catch more and bigger Walleye!

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