Walleye Fishing from a Pontoon Boat: A Complete Guide

Pontoon Boat PIC


Fishing for Walleye can be a rewarding experience, but finding and catching these elusive fish from a pontoon boat presents its own set of challenges. Did you know, Walleye are most often found in water deeper than 10 feet, making them relatively harder to locate? This comprehensive article will serve as your guide – providing essential information about setting up your pontoon boat, the best practices for fishing Walleyes and critical insights into their behavior.

Ready to embark on an exceptional angling adventure?.

Key Takeaways

  • Understanding the basics of Walleye fishing, including their preferred habitat and feeding habits, is crucial for success.
  • Choosing a pontoon boat for Walleye fishing offers numerous benefits such as stability, ample space, and versatility in gear storage.
  • Setting up your pontoon boat with essential equipment like rod holders, a live well, and a fishfinder is key to optimizing your fishing experience.
  • Techniques like jigging, using live bait and various rigs, as well as selecting the right lures, are effective methods for catching Walleye from a pontoon boat.

Understanding Walleye Fishing

Walleye fishing is a popular sport that requires an understanding of the fish’s behavior and habitat.

The basics of Walleye Fishing

Walleye fishing offers a unique mix of challenge and reward that reels in anglers far and wide. This pursuit involves understanding the preferred habitat of this elusive species, which is usually deeper than 10 feet.

Using a solid spinning combo for bait casting or trolling can greatly enhance your success rate when fishing for Walleyes. Live baits such as minnows, nightcrawlers, and leeches are commonly used to attract these finicky feeders.

Techniques like jigging have proven effective due to their ability to mimic the natural movement patterns of prey in water. While locating Walleye might prove daunting, mastering their navigation according to structure will give any recreational angler an upper hand.

Why choose a pontoon boat for Walleye fishing

Choosing a pontoon boat for Walleye fishing opens the door to numerous benefits. Pontoon boats, like the luxury Bennington SXAPGP 22′ tri-toon, offer ample space and stability – crucial for angling success.

They provide added comfort during extended fishing trips, even in varying weather conditions or rough water situations such as on Lake Erie or Saginaw Bay. Additionally, these vessels are versatile and can be optimized with gear storage options like rod holders, live wells and additional amenities such as changing rooms and gas grills for an enjoyable day of fishing.

Whether you’re trolling cranks along weedlines or jigging in deep waters, a well-set-up pontoon can serve as an efficient ‘fishing machine’. These advantages make them popular among both recreational anglers aiming to catch Monster Smallies right off their back rails and Charter Captains guiding clients towards prime Walleye habitats.

Setting Up Your Pontoon for Walleye Fishing

To properly set up your pontoon for walleye fishing, make sure you have all the essential equipment such as rod holders, a live well, and a graph like the Piranha Max 4 to locate fish.

Choose the best walleye fishing rods and reels that are suitable for medium power and medium light power for optimal performance. Set up your pontoon boat with square or round rails using heavy-duty zip-ties or two-sided tape to secure them in place.

Essential equipment for Walleye fishing

Equipping yourself with the right tools is crucial for a successful Walleye fishing expedition. Here is a list of the essential equipment you’ll need:

  1. solid spinning combo, such as a medium power 6-7 ft. spinning rod and a medium-sized 35 reel.
  2. Medium – light power rod for more finesse tactics like jigging and rigging live bait.
  3. Live bait options including minnows, nightcrawlers, and leeches.
  4. Fireball style jigs which are recommended for jigging live bait.
  5. Various fishing rigs such as slip bobber rigslive bait rigs, and spinner rigs.
  6. Range of lure options including crankbaits, grubs, paddle tail shads, and ring worms.
  7. Terminal tackle essentials like red octopus hooks, bronze baitholder hooks, split shot sinkers, and walking weights.

Best Walleye fishing rods & reels

Choosing the right fishing rod and reel is critical when it comes to Walleye fishing. Here are some of the best options available on the market.

ProductDescriptionWhy it’s Best
Medium Power 6-7 ft. Spinning RodA spinning rod with medium power is ideal for delivering large baits and handling big Walleye.This rod provides the perfect balance between sensitivity and strength, making it one of the best Walleye fishing rods available.
Medium-sized 35 ReelA medium-sized 35 reel is recommended for Walleye fishing. This reel size perfectly handles the line weight required for Walleye fishing.It provides excellent control and has a smooth drag system that’s perfect for managing Walleye’s aggressive bites.
Medium-light Power RodThis rod is specifically for live bait fishing. It is lighter than a medium power rod but provides enough strength for larger Walleye.Its use with live bait provides versatility when targeting Walleye. The rod’s sensitivity allows anglers to detect even the slightest nibble.

Remember, when choosing the best rod and reel for Walleye fishing, consider the size of the fish you’re targeting, the type of bait you’re using, and your specific technique. Having the right gear can make all the difference in your fishing success.

Ideal setup for a pontoon boat

Setting up your pontoon boat for walleye fishing requires careful consideration of the equipment and layout. Here’s an ideal setup to ensure a successful fishing experience:

  1. Fishing platform: Create a designated area on your pontoon boat specifically for fishing. This could be at the back of the boat or on one side, depending on personal preference.
  2. Rod holders: Install rod holders along the sides of the fishing platform to securely hold your rods while you fish. This keeps them organized and easily accessible.
  3. Live well: A live well is essential for keeping your live bait fresh and healthy during your fishing trip. Make sure it is properly aerated and has enough space to accommodate your bait.
  4. Fishfinder: Invest in a quality fishfinder that can help you locate schools of walleye underwater, as well as show you important information like depth, temperature, and structure.
  5. Trolling motor: Attach a trolling motor to your pontoon boat for precise control and maneuverability while fishing. Opt for an electric motor like the Ulterra, which offers quiet operation without scaring away fish.
  6. Bimini top: Consider adding a bimini top to provide shade and protection from the elements during long days on the water.
  7. Comfortable seating: Choose comfortable seating options that allow you to relax while waiting for bites. Cushioned seats with armrests are ideal for extended periods of time on the water.
  8. Storage space: Opt for a pontoon boat model that offers ample storage space for all your fishing gear, including tackle boxes, extra rods, and other essentials.
  9. Safety features: Ensure that your pontoon boat is equipped with necessary safety features such as life jackets, fire extinguisher, first aid kit, navigation lights, and anchor.

Techniques for Catching Walleye

Mastering different techniques is key to catching Walleye. Whether you’re a beginner or an experienced angler, there are various methods you can try, including using live bait, jigging, and using the right fishing rigs and lures.

How to fish for Walleye: A beginner’s guide

  1. Choose the right equipment:
  • Use a solid spinning combo with a medium power rod for artificial approaches.
  • Use a medium – light power rod for live bait.
  1. Select the right bait:
  • Minnows, nightcrawlers, and leeches are the most common live bait options for Walleye fishing.
  • Match the size of your bait to the size of the fish you are targeting.
  1. Try jigging:
  • Jigging is the most popular technique for targeting Walleye.
  • Use fireball style jigs when jigging with live bait.
  1. Consider using different rigs:
  • Slip bobber rigs, live bait rigs, and spinner rigs can be effective setups for Walleye fishing.
  • Experiment with different rig styles to see what works best in your location.
  1. Experiment with lures:
  • Crankbaits, grubs, paddle tail shads, and ring worms are popular lure options for Walleye fishing.
  • Vary the colors and sizes of your lures to find what attracts Walleye in your area.
  1. Pay attention to water temperature:
  1. Fish during optimal times:
  • Early morning and late evening are the best times to fish for Walleye.
  • During these times, Walleye tend to be more active and feeding.
  1. Understand seasonal habits:
  • Walleye have different habits throughout the year.
  • Learn about post – spawn behavior, summer slumps, and ice fishing techniques.

Remember these tips as you embark on your journey to catch Walleye from a pontoon boat!

Using live bait for Walleye

Live bait is a highly effective method for catching Walleye. Minnows, nightcrawlers, and leeches are all popular choices that can entice these elusive fish to bite. When using live bait, it’s important to present it in a natural and enticing manner.

This can be achieved by using appropriate hooks and sinkers, such as red Octopus Hooks or bronze Baitholder Hooks, and adjusting the weight according to the depth you’re fishing at.

Remember that Walleye are often found deeper than 10 feet during the day, so adjust your setup accordingly. By harnessing the power of live bait, you’ll greatly increase your chances of landing that prized Walleye catch.

Jigging for Walleye

Jigging is one of the most popular techniques for targeting Walleye. It involves using a weighted jig lure and imparting a bouncing or hopping motion to mimic the movement of prey.

A solid spinning combo, consisting of a medium power rod and a quality reel, is recommended for this type of fishing. When it comes to selecting jigs for Walleye, fireball style jigs are often considered the best choice as they work well with live bait.

By combining an attractive jig presentation with the right technique, anglers can increase their chances of enticing Walleye to bite.

Best fishing rigs for Walleye

Two popular fishing rigs for targeting Walleye from a pontoon boat are slip bobber rigs and live bait rigs. Slip bobber rigs consist of a weighted float that allows you to suspend your bait at the desired depth, while live bait rigs involve hooking a lively minnow or leech onto a jig head or spinner rig.

Both these setups can be highly effective in enticing Walleye to bite. Additionally, using spinner rigs with colorful blades can attract their attention and increase your chances of success.

Experimenting with different rig setups is essential when fishing for these elusive freshwater predators.

Top Walleye lures

Walleye lures are an essential part of every angler’s toolkit and choosing the right one can significantly increase your chances of a successful catch. Here is a list of top Walleye lures that have proven effective in attracting and catching these elusive fish.

Lure NameFeatures
CrankbaitsThese are ideal for trolling in deeper waters where Walleye are commonly found. Crankbaits mimic the swimming action of small baitfish, making them irresistible to Walleye.
GrubsGrubs are versatile lures that can be used in various fishing conditions. Their wiggling action perfectly imitates the movement of a baitfish, luring in Walleye.
Paddle Tail ShadsPaddle Tail Shads are excellent for casting and retrieving. They mimic the natural swimming behavior of prey, making them a favorite among Walleye anglers.
Ring WormsRing Worms are effective for Walleye fishing due to their lifelike appearance and movement in the water. They can be used in various fishing techniques, including jigging and rigging.

Remember, these lures are versatile and can be used in a variety of fishing situations. However, always make sure to adapt your lure choice to the specific conditions on the day of your fishing trip. Having a variety of these top Walleye lures in your tackle box will give you a significant advantage in landing your next big catch.

Where to Fish for Walleye from a Pontoon Boat

From the comfort and stability of your pontoon boat, you can target Walleye in a variety of locations such as points along the shoreline, mid-lake structures like flats and sunken islands, and even deeper water during the day or shallow water at night.

Understanding Walleye habitats

Walleye can be found in a variety of habitats, with their preferences changing throughout the day and during different seasons. They are typically found in deeper waters, usually deeper than 10 feet, but they can also be found along shorelines and structures such as points and drop-offs.

Walleye tend to navigate and hold according to the structure present in the water, including flats, holes, humps, saddles, and sunken islands. During low light conditions like early mornings or late evenings is when they often move closer to shore to feed on baitfish.

It’s important to note that water temperature plays a significant role in their feeding habits; they prefer temperatures between 65-75 degrees Fahrenheit. Overall, understanding these various aspects of Walleye habitat will greatly increase your chances of finding them during your fishing expeditions.

Best times and seasons for Walleye fishing

  • Walleye are most active during the transition from spring to summer.
  • Early morning and late evening are the prime times for Walleye fishing.
  • Post – spawn is the most effective time to target Walleye as they are actively feeding after spawning.
  • During summer, Walleye tend to move deep due to an increase in baitfish population.
  • The fall season is great for Walleye fishing as water temperatures drop and they bulk up for winter.
  • It’s important to note that water temperature affects Walleye feeding habits, so monitoring it can help determine the best times to fish.

Additional Tips for Successful Walleye Fishing

To increase your chances of successful Walleye fishing, try using different techniques such as trolling crankbaits, fishing weedlines, and targeting specific depths based on the season.

Experiment with various lures and bait options like shiner minnows or nightcrawlers to see what works best in your fishing location. Also, pay attention to factors such as water temperature, light conditions, and the time of day when planning your fishing trips.

Techniques on how to fish for Walleye

To successfully fish for Walleye, you need to use the right techniques. Here are some effective techniques to help you catch Walleye:

  1. Use live bait: Walleye are known to be attracted to live bait such as minnows, shiner minnows, nightcrawlers, and leeches. These baits can be fished on a slip bobber rig or a live bait rig.
  2. Try jiggingJigging is a popular technique for catching Walleye. Use barbed jigs in various colors and sizes, such as fireball style jigs, and experiment with different jigging motions to entice the fish.
  3. Use fishing rigsFishing rigs like the slip bobber rig and spinner rig can be effective in attracting Walleye. The slip bobber rig allows you to adjust the depth at which your bait is suspended, while the spinner rig attracts fish with its spinning blade.
  4. Use the right lures: Crankbaits, soft plastics like curl tail grubs and ring worms, and paddle tail shads are all great lures for targeting Walleye. Choose lures in colors that mimic their natural prey.
  5. Pay attention to your hooks and sinkers: Opt for red octopus hooks or bronze baitholder hooks when fishing for Walleye. Split shot sinkers or walking weights can be used to adjust your presentation’s weight.
  • Fish around structure and cover where Walleye are likely to hold.
  • Consider factors like depth, temperature, light conditions, and seasonal habits when choosing your fishing spot.
  • Experiment with different techniques until you find what works best for you.
  • Be patient and observant – locating Walleye is often a challenge but pays off when successful.
  • Adjust your fishing techniques based on changes in water temperature and light conditions, as these factors affect Walleye feeding habits.

Understanding Walleye behavior

Walleye behavior plays a crucial role in successful fishing. These fish are known for their preference to feed during low light conditions, such as early morning and late evening. They have a high sensitivity to light, which makes them more active during the transition from spring to summer when the water is still relatively cool.

Walleye tend to seek deeper water during the day and move towards shallower areas at night to feed on baitfish that congregate close to shore. The optimal temperature range for their activity is between 65-75 degrees Fahrenheit, making it important for anglers to keep an eye on water temperature when targeting these elusive fish.

By understanding these behavioral patterns and adapting our fishing techniques accordingly, we can increase our chances of landing some impressive Walleye catches.

Benefits of Pontoon Boats for Walleye Fishing

Pontoon boats offer several benefits for Walleye fishing. They provide comfort and ample space for anglers, making it easier to relax and enjoy the fishing experience. The versatility of pontoon boats allows them to navigate various types of water bodies, including lakes, rivers, and even rough waters.

Additionally, their stability on the water provides a solid fishing platform, ensuring that anglers can fish with confidence.

Comfort and space

Pontoon boats offer unmatched comfort and ample space, making them the preferred choice for anglers. With their spacious layout, anglers have plenty of room to move around freely while fishing.

The comfortable seating options allow for long hours on the water without any discomfort. Additionally, pontoon boats can be equipped with additional features like a changing room, bathroom, and even a gas grill on the rail for added convenience and enjoyment during fishing trips.

This makes pontoon boats not only practical but also provide a luxurious experience for recreational anglers and families alike.


Pontoon boats offer an incredible level of versatility for walleye fishing. These fishing pontoons can be transformed into fully-equipped machines, allowing anglers to have everything they need for a successful day on the water.

With options like rod holderslive wells, and even gas grills on the rails, pontoon boats provide all the amenities necessary for a comfortable and convenient fishing experience. Additionally, these boats are suitable not just for walleye fishing but also for targeting other popular species such as pike, smallmouth bass, and Cisco.

Whether you’re looking to fish inland lakes or brave rough waters in search of monster walleyes, a well-equipped pontoon boat offers the flexibility to adapt to different styles and locations with ease.


Pontoon boats offer excellent stability, making them a great choice for Walleye fishing. With their wide deck and multiple pontoons, pontoon boats provide a solid platform that minimizes rocking and ensures a comfortable fishing experience.

This stability is particularly important when you’re casting or reeling in a big catch, as it reduces the risk of losing your balance or stumbling overboard. Whether you’re navigating rough waters or dealing with choppy conditions, the stability of a pontoon boat provides reassurance and allows you to focus on what’s really important – catching those prized Walleye!

Choosing the Right Pontoon Boat for Walleye Fishing

When it comes to choosing the right pontoon boat for Walleye fishing, factors such as comfort, stability, and versatility are key. Discover the top pontoon boat models and what to look for in a fishing pontoon that can enhance your Walleye fishing experience on our blog.

Start reeling in those monster Smallies with the perfect fishing platform! Read more..

What to look for in a pontoon boat for fishing

When choosing a pontoon boat for fishing, it’s important to consider several factors. Here are some key features to look for:

  1. Size: Opt for a pontoon boat that is large enough to accommodate your fishing gear and provide ample space for maneuvering.
  2. Engine Power: Choose a boat with an engine that has sufficient power to navigate various water conditions and handle the weight of your equipment.
  3. Stability: Look for pontoon boats with reinforced undercarriages or tri-toons, as they offer enhanced stability on the water, especially in rough conditions.
  4. Durability: Inspect the construction materials and quality of welds on the pontoon boat to ensure it can withstand frequent use and resist potential metal fatigue or cracks.
  5. Fishing Features: Consider features such as rod holders, rod lockers, live wells, and fish finders that can enhance your fishing experience and make it more convenient.
  6. Comfort: Opt for a pontoon boat with comfortable seating options, ample storage space, and amenities like a changing room or bathroom if desired.
  7. Versatility: Choose a boat that can be easily customized or adapted for other recreational activities besides fishing if you plan on using it for other purposes as well.
  8. Reputation: Research reputable brands known for manufacturing high-quality fishing pontoons that meet your specific needs and preferences.

Top pontoon boat models for Walleye fishing

For walleye fishing, certain pontoon models stand out due to their features and design. Referencing from the Michigan Sportsman Forum, here are the top pontoon boats for Walleye fishing.

ModelKey FeaturesUser Endorsement
Angler Quest Tri-toonsExcellent for walleye fishing, endorsed by Charter Captains Lance Valentine and Jay NeimanMichigan Sportsman Forum users
Bennington SXAPGP 22′150hp Mercury 4S and a 112lb ulterra, described as a luxury fishing pontoonMichigan Sportsman Forum users
Partial set-up fishing pontoonGreat for pike and Cisco fishing, offering positive experiencesUser “reddog1”
Tri-toonsCan handle 3-foot waves on Saginaw Bay and still go 20 mphUser “magnum lure”

Each model offers unique features, from handling conditions on Lake Erie to providing a comfortable fishing experience for families transitioning to full-time water living, like user Butter13. Choosing the right one depends on your fishing style, needs, and preferences.


In conclusion, fishing for walleye from a pontoon boat offers a unique and rewarding experience. With the right equipment and techniques, you can have success in targeting these elusive fish.

Whether you’re a beginner or an experienced angler, this complete guide provides all the information you need to make your next walleye fishing trip a memorable one. So grab your pontoon boat, get out on the water, and enjoy the thrill of reeling in those prized walleye!


1. What is the best time of year to go walleye fishing from a pontoon boat?

The best time for walleye fishing from a pontoon boat varies depending on location, but generally, spring and fall are considered prime seasons as the fish tend to be more active during these times.

2. What equipment do I need for walleye fishing from a pontoon boat?

Essential equipment for walleye fishing from a pontoon boat includes rods and reels suitable for medium to heavy action, tackle box with various lures and bait options, landing net, fish finder or sonar device, life jackets and safety gear.

3. How can I locate walleye while fishing from a pontoon boat?

To locate walleye while fishing from a pontoon boat, it’s helpful to look for areas with underwater structures like rocks, weed beds, drop-offs or points near deep water. Using fish finders or paying attention to bird activity can also provide clues about where the fish might be congregating.

4. What techniques work best for catching walleye when using a pontoon boat?

Some effective techniques for catching walleye while using a pontoon boat include trolling with crankbaits or spinners at varying depths, jigging near structure or drop-offs with live bait or soft plastics, and casting towards shorelines during low-light conditions such as early morning or evening. Experimenting with different presentations can help determine what works best in your specific location and conditions.


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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