How Do I Catch Walleye in the Winter?

How Do I Catch Walleye in the Winter?Fishing for walleye in the winter can be a challenge, but the payoff can be huge. Some of the biggest walleye you'll find are found beneath the cold northern ice, though finding them can be a whole different story. Since you can't troll, which is a popular method of fishing for walleye, you have to drop your line and hope for luck. Most often you will experience long dry spells and quick bursts of heavy feeding. The good news is that when walleye do run across your bait in the winter, they're usually starving.


Difficulty: Moderate

How to:

Things You’ll Need:
  • Fishing rod
Step 1
Choose areas near the mouths of tributaries where gravel and other sediments build up.
Step 2
Get onto the ice as quickly as possible. Walleye are most active under the water after the first ice-over.
Step 3
Fish using both jigging and tip-up forms, and bring slip bobber rigs, split shot and a light-to-medium action rod out onto the ice.
Step 4
Use live bait when fishing for walleye. During the winter, nothing beats minnows as bait.
Step 5
Be aggressive and patient. Mixing strong tapping into a more subtle approach will catch the eye of walleye, which are less picky about their food in the winter.
Step 6
Fish upstream along a tributary toward the end of winter, if the water begins to run. Walleye frequently travel up these streams and creeks to spawn.

Article Written By Jonathan Croswell

Jonathan Croswell has spent more than five years writing and editing for a number of newspapers and online publications, including the "Omaha World-Herald" and "New York Newsday." Croswell received a Bachelor of Arts degree in English from the University of Nebraska and is currently pursuing a Master's of Health and Exercise Science at Portland State University.

Don't Miss a Thing!

All our latest outdoor content delivered to your inbox once a week.



We promise to keep your email address safe and secure.