Walleye are a very popular freshwater sport fish in the United States and Canada, and their mild taste makes them a popular eating option. They can be a very difficult fish to catch for amateur anglers because they are only active feeders during certain times and conditions. Anglers should concentrate their fishing on those periods.
Anglers will find walleye bite best from about a half hour before sunrise to a few hours after. In the evening, the bite is best from a few hours before sunset to right after complete darkness. It is during these lower light-level periods that walleye feed. During dark and cloudy days, walleye sometimes feed all day because they are confused by the low light conditions.
When the sun is at its brightest and most intense, walleye should be fished for in waters 20 feet or deeper because the sunlight is weak past that depth.
Spring and fall (April, May, September and October) are the best seasons to catch walleye in most areas of the U.S. and Canada.
Walleye breed during the spring and feed aggressively to make up for the lack of food during the winter months. During the late fall, the fish are trying to build the fat stores they need to last through the winter, so they go into an intense feeding period.
In addition, spring and fall weather conditions are often cloudy, creating the low light conditions that walleye love. Summer months are the slow time for walleye fishing as the heat and bright sun make the walleye seek deeper water and bite less aggressively.
Walleye are known to be a foul weather fish because they bite the best when weather conditions are unfavorable for the angler. Windy conditions often create a choppy condition on a lake, and it is in these conditions that most walleye are caught. Rain and snow are also factors that do not adversely affect walleye as much as other species. Walleye anglers will find that the worse the conditions the better the fishing. The days most anglers think the weather is too bad to fish are the days the walleye angler fishes.