Wisconsin is peppered with rivers and lakes that consistently produce large walleye populations. Wisconsin fishermen hunt walleye throughout the year--from boats in the spring, summer and fall to ice shanties in the winter. The state's numerous cold water lakes are the ideal environment for walleye, with nearly every major lake in the state, including Lake Michigan, boasting a healthy walleye population.
Each spring, Wisconsin walleye travel out of lakes and up small, shallow streams to spawn. By fishing at river mouths, you increase your chances of catching walleye on the way to their spawning grounds. If a stream or river is not available, as is the case with many Wisconsin lakes that were formed by glaciers, walleye will seek gravel ledges and submerged humps surrounded by deep water. Fish these areas from a distance using small crankbaits and jigs or plastic worms.
Summer and Fall Walleyes
During summer and fall in Wisconsin there often are major temperature shifts from the morning to mid-day to the evening. These changes in temperature have a big effect on where you can find walleye. Fish shallow water in the morning and evening when walleye are feeding on the shoreline. Move to deeper water when the temperatures rise. When it's warmer, walleye seek crawfish crawling along the bottom. Use crankbaits, jigs and plastic worms. Add spoon lures to your tackle box in the fall.
Walleye are not as aggressive during the cold Wisconsin winters. Their activity slows considerably. During the winter, it's about presenting the lure in a way that will attract fish. Spoons are popular with Wisconsin ice fishermen because the flash of a metallic lure is visible from a greater distance in the clear water. Walleyes don't venture far from their resting place on a whim.
Top Walleye Lakes
Several Wisconsin lakes are known as excellent walleye destinations. Lake Winnebago is a shallow lake in east central Wisconsin that is part of the Fox River chain. Look for walleye on rock reefs, weed beds and mud flats.
Lake Puckaway, on the opposite end of the Fox River chain, is a shallow lake with a maximum depth of 6 feet. Fish the mouth of the Fox River on the west side of the lake as well as the surrounding areas.
The Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources also stocks Green Bay with walleye every year. Whether you are fishing with a charter or on your own, Green Bay is productive throughout the season.