Winter Walleye Fishing Tips

Winter Walleye Fishing TipsWalleyes are found in Canada and the northern United States and are fished both commercially and recreationally. These freshwater fish receive their name as a result of a thin layer of eye tissue that improves vision in darkness. As a result of their popularity as a source of food, walleye habitat is protected in some areas and limits on catch numbers and size are strictly enforced. For anglers brave enough to drop their lines during the winter, walleye tend to feed somewhat more aggressively. A few considerations may make the job easier.


Difficulty: Moderately Easy

Step 1
Start with a fast and medium action ice fishing rod with a cork handle and at least five large guide holes for maximum sensitivity to biting walleyes and less accumulation of ice. Opt for fiberglass over graphite rods as fiberglass is less fragile in the cold.
Step 2
Fish near sunrise or sunset for best results as walleyes feed most aggressively during periods of low light.
Step 3
Seek clear water and muddy-bottomed areas near formations such as submerged islands--a common grouping area for walleyes.
Step 4
Bore all of your fishing holes at once well before sunrise and sunset. Do not cut holes immediately prior to dropping lines or the fish may be frightened away. Keep your vehicle a fair distance away too. Sit still and avoid too much extraneous movement.
Step 5
Choose flashy lures that will grab the attention of passing walleyes. Pick a glowing lure for best results such as an LED lure. Hook a piece of bait fish, such as minnow, to further draw the interest of the fish.
Step 6
Choose lures that rattle as walleyes can sense vibration and out of curiosity will swim closer. Use a piece of bait fish for greater effectiveness.
Step 7
Focus on jigging the line vigorously and continuously. Do not leave the line simply hanging. Aim for rapid, short vertical movements followed by an occasional larger movement or brief pause.

Tips & Warnings

Safety should remain your first priority when fishing on ice--especially when daylight fades. Drive off of ice along the same path you took to arrive at your location. Also, keep your area well lighted and keep spare fuel or batteries on hand.

Article Written By Mike Biscoe

Mike Biscoe has been writing since 2009. Focusing on travel, sports and entertainment topics, he has credits in various online publications including LIVESTRONG.COM and Trails. He often writes articles covering uncommon travel destinations from firsthand experience. Biscoe holds a Certificate of Completion in acting from the Pacific Conservatory of the Performing Arts.

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