Walleye and Pike Fishing Methods in Minnesota

Walleye and Pike Fishing Methods in Minnesota
Minnesota is nicknamed the Land of 10,000 Lakes for a reason. The state has thousands of lakes, rivers, small ponds and estuaries, many teeming with fish. Two of the more popular sport fish species in Minnesota are northern pike, often just called pike, and the walleye. Use some tips and techniques to enhance your walleye and pike fishing days in Minnesota.


The All About Fishing website suggests trying Big Stone Lake, Cass Lake, Kabetogama Lake, Lake Mille Lacs, Lake of the Woods, Lake Pepin, Lake Traverse, Lake Vermilion, Lake Winnibigoshish, Lake Minnetonka, Lake Minnewaska, Lake Superior, Lac Qui Parle, Leech Lake, Lower Red Lake, Otter Tail Lake, Rainy Lake and Upper Red Lake for walleye and pike. Lakes produce the better options for these species, however the state record walleye was taken out of the Seagull River, and weighed in at 17 lbs., 8 oz.

During the spring, head to the shallows for walleye, as they will seek out the warmer waters for their spawn. Use small crank-baits, jigs and plastic worms during this time of year for walleye.

Pike are not as fussy during the spring spawn. Find them along the shallows, or where river confluences give a current to the water, as the pike do flock to this. Use crank baits, and even a plain barbed hook with a little peanut butter on it during the spring spawn, as this toothy fish will strike on near anything during this time.


Head to the deeper sections of your lake during the summer to find the walleye. Walleye will go to the darker and cooler waters during the heat of summer. Set your rig up with bottom jigs along with one or two sinkers and hand jig along the bottom of the lake to entice the walleye into a strike. Go out in the mid- to late evening for maximum strikes, as the walleye become more active as the light recedes for the day.

Pike will be near the confluences, dams and moving waters on lakes during the summer. Look for them along the lake and river banks, in water between 1 to 4 feet deep. Set your rig up with spinner baits, such as a Reed-Runner or a Colorado blue, suggests Game and Fish Magazine.


When the colors begin to change the on the leaves, and the mercury begins to dip during fall, head to the lake's mid-depths and fish in the early morning or late evening for the walleye. Set your rig up with spoons or jigs with light crank-baits. Jig off the bottom during the evening, setting up the line with one or two sinkers with your jig.

Pike head to the vegetation along the lakes banks when fall comes around, waiting to ambush their prey under the cover of the weeds and aquatic plants. Bring a large diameter rod during the fall, and set it up with 1/2-oz. jig head tipped with a scented plastic body for pike success, say the anglers at Game and Fish Magazine. Go out for pike during the mid-morning and afternoon.


When the lakes freeze over and the snow covers the ground, walleye fishing in Minnesota continues. Due to the walleye moving much slower during winter, move your fishing rod more frequently and keep it set with a bottom jig and some sort of smelly bait, such as a shad tail or frozen shrimp. Move the jig routinely to bring the bait to the fish, instead of waiting for the slow-moving fish to try to get to the bait.

Mike Dombroske, a fisherman and writer from Minnesota, reports success in winter pike fishing using a small to mid-size spoon, hand jigged in the mid-depths of the lake. Dombroske suggests trying Lake Mazaska in Rice County, as this lake is known to yield stellar winter pike catches.

Article Written By Eric Cedric

A former Alaskan of 20 years, Eric Cedric now resides in California. He's published in "Outside" and "Backpacker" and has written a book on life in small-town Alaska, "North by Southeast." Cedric was a professional mountain guide and backcountry expedition leader for 18 years. He worked in Russia, Iceland, Greece, Turkey and Belize. Cedric attended Syracuse University and is a private pilot.

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