The Ultimate Guide To Walleye Fishing On The Red River In Minnesota

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Walleye fishing in the Red River of Minnesota can be an adventure filled with both challenges and rewards. Known for its abundant species, this waterway is a haven for the state’s fish – Walleyes.

This guide will provide you with insider knowledge on understanding walleye seasonal patterns, locating prime fishing spots in the river, and mastering effective techniques to land your prize catch.

Ready? Let’s dive into it!

Key Takeaways

Understanding Seasonal Patterns of Walleye

Walleye fishing on the Red River in Minnesota is influenced by seasonal patterns, with different strategies and techniques being effective at various times of the year.

Early Season Period – Mid May Walleye Opener until early June

Unleashing the early season period for walleye fishing on Minnesota’s Red River, starts in mid-May and carries until early June. This particular time frame often aligns with Mother’s Day weekend, bringing about an exciting opportunity for anglers to bag their catch.

The onset of this period typically witnesses a flurry of spawning activities amongst the Walleyes or they are just done spawning – offering excellent prospects for an angler’s success.

However, timing remains crucial as factors such as lake ice-out and weather conditions could bring variations to the usual opener schedule. Nonetheless, armed with knowledge about these seasonal patterns facilitates in upping your game while chasing the popular gamefish on Minnesota’s Red River during this early season spree.

Summer Peak Walleye Fishing – Memorial Day until about Independence Day

Summer peak walleye fishing on the Red River in Minnesota is a thrilling experience that takes place from Memorial Day until about Independence Day. This period is known as the high season for walleye because of their increased activity and warmer water temperatures.

Walleyes are sensitive to light and tend to prefer cooler waters, which prompts them into deeper areas during daylight hours.

As an angler, it’s crucial to understand these patterns and adapt your techniques accordingly. Shallow vegetation or rock formations can be bountiful hunting grounds especially in late-summer when you’re fishing for walleye in North Dakota or along the Red River of The North.

Get ready to cast your line this coming Independence Day holiday as weather forecasts predict ideal conditions for fishing across North Central Minnesota – a perfect time to pit yourself against nature’s stealthiest river predator, the elusive walleye!

Mid to Late Summer Warm Water Period – Mid July until Late August

As the heart of summer sets in, from mid-July to late August, walleye behavior on the Red River takes a fascinating turn. This period, often referred to as the ‘Mid to Late Summer Warm Water Period‘, presents unique opportunities for anglers aimed at landing a trophy catch.

During this time span, walleyes retreat from shallow waters due to high temperatures and seek comfort in deeper abysses with cooler water conditions. However, under the cloak of darkness or during early morning light show hours when water temperature goes relatively down by a few degrees is when they eagerly feed near shorelines teeming with baitfish.

Using live baits proves extremely effective now; whether it’s leeches or nightcrawlers dangled tantalizingly just above the bottom where these golden predators lurk. Rigging heavier jigs can also work wonders to reach depths where most fishing lines fear to tread.

But don’t discount artificial lures altogether; casting deep-diving crankbaits imitating minnows along prime feeding grounds can yield impressive results too.

Keeping abreast of seasonal movements will keep you one step ahead on this thrilling game of strategic angling amidst grand forks or other celebrated walleye hotspots across MN during summer’s warm water phase!

Early Fall, Cool Water – Late August until late September

During late August until late September, walleye fishing on the Red River in Minnesota enters a period of cool water. This time is considered prime for targeting walleyes as they transition from their summer patterns to shallower areas in preparation for winter.

As the nights grow cooler, walleyes start moving from their deeper hangouts back into shallow waters to feed. This shift presents excellent opportunities for consistent fishing success.

It’s crucial to understand the seasonal patterns during this early fall period and adjust your tactics accordingly. The Ultimate Guide To Walleye Fishing On The Red River in Minnesota provides valuable insights and tips specifically tailored for fishing walleye during this time of year.

Late Fall Cold Water – Late September until freeze-up

As the temperatures begin to drop and the leaves change color, late fall signals a shift in walleye behavior on the Red River in Minnesota. From late September until freeze-up, these elusive fish adapt to the cooling water conditions.

This time of year is known for offering some of the best walleye fishing opportunities. As veteran fishing guides have observed, early fall holds great promise for anglers seeking walleyes.

The cooler water temperatures trigger feeding frenzies as walleyes stock up on food before winter sets in. It’s during this period that experienced fishermen can truly maximize their chances of landing trophy-sized walleye.

How to Fish for Walleye – Beginners Guide on How to Catch Walleye

Learn the basics of walleye fishing with our beginner’s guide, covering everything from choosing the right rods and reels to using live bait and lures effectively.

Walleye Fishing for Beginners

If you’re new to walleye fishing, we’ve got you covered. Learning how to fish for walleye can be made easier with the right gear and lures. The key is to start with the basics and build your skills from there.

Experts who have been fishing for walleye for years suggest using live bait or jigs as effective techniques. Additionally, understanding seasonal patterns and knowing the best lakes for walleye fishing in Minnesota will greatly increase your chances of success.

Walleye can be challenging to catch, but with the right knowledge and techniques under your belt, you’ll soon be reeling in these prized fish like a pro.

Remember that ice fishing for walleye requires specific tips and techniques, so it’s important to educate yourself on this aspect as well if you want to fully enjoy all seasons of this exciting sport.

Walleye Rods & Reels

When it comes to walleye fishing, having the right rods and reels is essential. To maximize your chances of landing a big catch, it’s crucial to choose equipment that is specifically designed for targeting walleye.

Look for medium-action spinning rods in the 6 to 7-foot range, as they provide the perfect balance of sensitivity and strength needed for detecting subtle bites and reeling in those hard-fighting fish.

Pair your rod with a quality spinning reel that has a smooth drag system to handle the runs and surges of walleye. Opting for a reel with a gear ratio between 5:1 and 6:1 will give you greater control when retrieving your lure or battling against stubborn fish.

How to Catch Walleye on Live Bait

Looking to catch walleye using live bait? Here’s a guide on how to do it effectively:

  • Use a slip bobber rig: Attach a slip bobber stop and bead to your line, followed by a slip bobber. Tie a small barrel swivel to the end of the line, then tie a 2-3 foot fluorocarbon leader with a size 4 or 6 hook. Add live bait such as nightcrawlers or minnows onto the hook.
  • Choose the right spot: Look for areas with structure, such as drop-offs, weed beds, or rocky points. Walleye tend to hang out near these spots in search of prey. Also pay attention to changes in water temperature or current, as walleye are often found in these areas.
  • Adjust your depth: Start by setting your slip bobber at about 1-3 feet above the bottom. If you’re not getting any bites, try adjusting the depth until you find where the walleye are feeding.
  • Vary your presentation: Experiment with different techniques to see what works best on that particular day. Try jigging the bait slightly or giving it occasional twitches to attract the attention of nearby walleye.
  • Pay attention to bite detection: When using live bait, it’s important to be alert and ready for subtle bites. Keep an eye on your slip bobber for any signs of movement or slight dips indicating that a walleye is nibbling on your bait.
  • Be patient and persistent: Walleye can be finicky at times, so don’t get discouraged if you’re not catching anything right away. Keep trying different locations and presentations until you find what works.

Walleye Jigs

Walleye jigs are a go-to lure for many walleye fishermen, and it’s easy to see why. These versatile lures offer the perfect balance between speed and stability, making them highly effective for catching walleye in a variety of conditions.

Whether you’re fishing from the bank or trolling in your boat, walleye jigs can be your secret weapon.

When it comes to fishing with jigs, precision is key. Make sure to choose a jig that matches the current water conditions and the depth at which you’re targeting walleye. Cast along rocky banks or near weed beds, allowing the jig to sink slowly before starting your retrieve.

The subtle action of a jig mimics natural prey movement, enticing even the pickiest walleyes to strike.

Additionally, don’t be afraid to experiment with different colors and sizes of jigs until you find what works best for you on any given day. Walleyes can sometimes be finicky, so having a variety of options in your tackle box will increase your chances of success.

Walleye Fishing Rigs

  1. The Slip Bobber Rig is a versatile and effective rig for walleye fishing. It allows you to suspend your bait at a desired depth, making it perfect for targeting walleye in deeper waters.
  2. The Live Bait Rig is another popular choice among anglers. This rig is great for trolling and allows you to slowly present a leech, minnow, or nightcrawler along the bottom, enticing hungry walleye to bite.
  3. If you want to attract walleye with some extra flash and action, the Spinner Rig is the way to go. With its rotating blade and flashing colors, this rig imitates a small fish or prey and can be highly effective in triggering strikes.
  4. When ice fishing for walleye, using jigs or tip – ups is essential. Jigs tipped with live bait such as minnows or wax worms are often successful in attracting walleye under the ice.
  5. Trolling along drop-offs with crankbaits, worm harnesses, or bottom-bouncer rigs is an excellent strategy for covering a lot of water quickly and finding active walleye.

Remember, each rig has its purpose and should be used methodically based on the fishing situation you’re facing. Whether it’s suspending bait with the Slip Bobber Rig or presenting live bait with the Live Bait Rig, understanding how each rig works will increase your chances of hooking into some trophy walleye.

Best Walleye Lures

When it comes to the best walleye lures, there are several options that have proven to be effective in enticing these elusive fish. One popular choice is using minnow-imitating lures, as they mimic the natural diet of walleye.

Colors like whites, chartreuses, and reds are recommended for overcast skies or muddy water conditions. Another option is jigs, which can be casted or trolled at varying depths to attract walleye.

Additionally, casting crankbaits and spinners can also be successful in triggering a strike from these prized fish. Whether you’re a beginner or an experienced angler, having the right lures in your tackle box can significantly increase your chances of landing that trophy walleye on the Red River in Minnesota.

Walleye Fishing Techniques

To catch more walleye on the Red River in Minnesota, here are some effective techniques to try:

  1. Experiment with different depths: Walleye can be found at various depths depending on the time of year and water conditions. Start by fishing shallow areas during low light periods, such as early morning or late evening. As the sun rises, move to deeper water where walleye may seek shelter.
  2. Use a slow trolling speed: When targeting walleye, it’s important to keep your boat moving at a slow speed of less than 1 mph. This allows your bait or lure to stay in the strike zone longer and entice bites from these cautious fish.
  3. Focus on structure: Look for areas with rocky bottoms, weed beds, drop-offs, and current breaks. Walleye often hide around these structures as they provide cover and ambush points for feeding.
  4. Opt for live bait presentations: Nightcrawlers, leeches, and minnows are all popular choices when it comes to live bait for walleye fishing. Rig them on a slip sinker rig or bottom bouncer to keep your bait near the bottom where walleye like to feed.
  5. Try vertical jigging: Jigging can be highly effective in triggering strikes from walleye. Choose a jig head weight that matches the depth and current strength you’re fishing in. Cast out your jig and let it sink before using short, upward jerks of the rod tip to make the lure dance enticingly.
  6. Experiment with crankbaits: Crankbaits can mimic injured baitfish and are great for covering large areas quickly. Choose diving depths that match the depth you’re targeting and vary your retrieval speed until you find what triggers strikes.
  7. Pay attention to weather conditions: Walleye tend to be more active during overcast days or when there is choppy water due to wind. Keep an eye on the weather forecast and plan your fishing trips accordingly.
  8. Be patient and persistent: Walleye can be finicky, so don’t get discouraged if you don’t get immediate bites. Keep trying different techniques, adjusting your presentation, and staying on the move until you find what works.

Walleye Fishing E-Book

The “Walleye Fishing E-Book” is your ultimate guide to mastering the art of catching walleye. Whether you’re a beginner or have been fishing for years, this comprehensive e-book offers valuable insights and expert tips on how to land that prized walleye.

It covers everything from the gear and equipment you’ll need to locating walleye in different fishing environments. The e-book provides specific advice on catching walleye during the summer season when their behavior can be unique.

Plus, it may even include innovative strategies and hacks for maximizing your success. So if you’re looking to up your walleye game, this e-book is a must-have companion that will take you from novice to pro in no time.

Best Lakes for Walleye Fishing on the Red River in Minnesota

Some of the best lakes for walleye fishing on the Red River in Minnesota include Leech Lake, Lake of the Woods, The Rainy River, Rainy Lake, and Mille Lacs Lake.

Leech Lake

Leech Lake, located in Minnesota, is a walleye fisherman’s dream come true. Covering an impressive 111,527 acres, it is the third largest lake in the state and attracts anglers from far and wide.

Renowned as one of the top five walleye lakes in Minnesota, Leech Lake offers fantastic fishing opportunities for those seeking the prized catch. With its diverse fish species population and excellent walleye numbers, this lake stands out among others in the area.

Its expansive waters provide plenty of room to explore and find prime fishing spots. So grab your gear and get ready for an unforgettable walleye adventure on Leech Lake!

Lake of the Woods

Lake of the Woods, often hailed as the Walleye Capital of the world, is a must-visit destination for walleye enthusiasts. This majestic lake, with its vast expanse and over 14,000 islands, offers an unparalleled fishing experience.

Located in Minnesota near the Canadian border, Lake of the Woods provides some of the best walleye fishing opportunities in the world. Anglers flock to this stunning international waterway year-round to test their skills and reel in trophy-sized walleye.

With its reputation for producing massive catches and its breathtaking scenery, Lake of the Woods should be at the top of every walleye fisherman’s bucket list.

The Rainy River

The Rainy River in Minnesota is a legendary destination for walleye fishing. This picturesque river, running along the border of Minnesota and Ontario, offers exceptional fishing opportunities throughout its 85-mile stretch from International Falls to Lake of the Woods.

Known for its spring and fall walleye run, the Rainy River attracts anglers from near and far who are eager to reel in these prized fish. In addition to walleye, you can also expect to catch sauger and northern pike in this prime location.

With its world-class reputation and stunning natural beauty, it’s no wonder that the Rainy River is considered one of the top destinations for walleye fishing in Minnesota. Whether you’re an experienced angler or new to the sport, this renowned river will not disappoint when it comes to landing some impressive catches.

Rainy Lake

Rainy Lake is a walleye fisherman’s dream come true. Known as one of the best walleye lakes in Minnesota, it offers nonstop action for anyone who visits. Located in the northern part of the state and associated with the Red River, Rainy Lake is truly a gem.

It’s part of the 10 largest walleye lakes in Minnesota, often referred to as the crown jewels of the state’s lake resource. The Rainy River flows into Lake of the Woods after a 90-mile course defining the Minnesota-Ontario boundary and is known as a mythic walleye hotspot.

If you’re looking for world-class fishing opportunities, especially during spring and fall walleye runs, look no further than Rainy Lake. Even ice fishing enthusiasts can find valuable information about fishing conditions from January 2019 reports on this incredible lake.

Mille Lacs Lake

Mille Lacs Lake is a true gem for walleye fishing enthusiasts in the Red River area of Minnesota. Known as a “walleye factory,” this lake offers some of the best walleye fishing experiences you can find.

With special fishing regulations that provide unique opportunities, Mille Lacs Lake attracts anglers from all around. While the decline in the walleye population has been a concern, it’s important to note that factors like invasive species and climate change have contributed to these challenges.

Nonetheless, Mille Lacs Lake remains a bucket-list destination for those seeking the thrill of catching walleye. Plus, if you’re also interested in wildlife observation, this lake offers exceptional birdwatching opportunities as well.


In conclusion, fishing for walleye on the Red River in Minnesota is a rewarding and exciting experience. With its diverse fish population and beautiful landscapes, it’s no wonder anglers flock to this area.

By understanding seasonal patterns, learning effective techniques, and exploring the best lakes for walleye fishing, you’ll be well-equipped to make the most of your time on the water.

So grab your gear and get ready for an unforgettable adventure on the Red River!

FAQ The Ultimate Guide To Walleye Fishing On The Red River In Minnesota

1. What is the Red River?

The Red River is a major river that flows through the states of Minnesota and North Dakota. It is known for its excellent walleye fishing opportunities.

2. Where can I find walleye fishing spots on the Red River?

There are various fishing spots along the Red River that offer great opportunities to catch walleye. Some popular spots include East Grand Forks, Fargo, and Grand Forks.

3. Are there any special regulations for walleye fishing on the Red River?

Yes, the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources and the North Dakota Game and Fish Department have specific regulations for walleye fishing on the Red River. It is important to familiarize yourself with the regulations before you start fishing.

4. What other fish can I catch while fishing the Red River?

Apart from walleye, you may also have the opportunity to catch channel catfish, sturgeon, pike, smallmouth bass, and other species while fishing on the Red River.

5. Can I go ice fishing on the Red River?

Yes, ice fishing is a popular activity on the Red River during the winter months. However, always ensure that the ice is thick enough to support your weight and follow all the necessary safety precautions.

6. Are there any specific tactics or techniques recommended for fishing walleye on the Red River?

When fishing for walleye on the Red River, it is recommended to use jigs, live bait rigs, or crankbaits. Focus on areas with current breaks, such as deep holes or eddies, as walleye tend to gather there.

7. Do I need a fishing license to fish on the Red River?

Yes, you will need a valid fishing license from the respective state authorities (Minnesota and North Dakota) to fish legally on the Red River. Make sure to check the current licensing requirements and regulations.

8. Is there a specific time of year when walleye fishing is best on the Red River?

Walleye fishing on the Red River is good throughout the year, but the spring and fall seasons are considered to be the prime times.


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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