Just like most species of fish, walleye tend to behave in a different way throughout the year. Every season brings one of a kind fishing challenges and opportunities, and as an angler, it is your job to adapt accordingly for you to catch your limit.
You also have to take note that the geography also plays a crucial role when it comes to locating the best areas for walleye fishing. Sticking to northern states during winter comes with issues but you will still be able to fish for lots of walleye even amidst adverse conditions.
Walleye Fishing in Winter
In most of the north’s walleye fisheries, winter walleye fishing in general means ice fishing using your hand or with a power auger. In the southern states wherein reservoirs and lakes don’t really ice over, most principles for fall walleye fishing are also applicable in winter. The fishing is often much slower and it is also more challenging to identify patterns. Have an open mind during winter walleye fishing. You should be prepared to experiment and celebrate once you hook into your winter walleye!
Walleye Fishing in Spring
During springtime, water temperatures start to rise, with the walleye beginning to span as well. This spawn brings walleye to sandy-bottomed shallows near the shore wherein they make their nests to lay eggs. This is also the season when the fish get really aggressive as they strike at almost anything that gets close to their nests.
When walleye are near the shallows, retrieve and cast fishing with crankbaits or the shad imitation lures are most productive. Dawn and dusk are hot times for catching bigger female walleye since they usually leave their nests to swim to the shallows to feed. Cast the lure close to structure where baitfish is expected to hold. Retrieve it slowly and be prepared to set your hook.
Walleye Fishing in Summer
Once spring transitions to summer, the water gets warmer with the walleye heading to deeper water. it can be really effective to try vertical jigging in the deeper waters. Basic silver jigging spoons or white curly tail grub jigs are perfect summer lures.
As the summer season progresses, walleye head to the deepest areas of a reservoir or lake and a quality fish finder can come in handy. When looking for fish during summer, trolling techniques using heavy bottom bounders, deep-diving crankbaits, or diver and planer boards are usually your best option. Once you spot a pod of walleye, you can stop trolling to switch over to the vertical jigging with curly tail grubs, live bait, or spoons.
Walleye Fishing in Fall
Fall is among the toughest seasons for walleye fishing for many walleye anglers. The secret for successful walleye fishing during fall is versatility and the willingness to experiment with various techniques, lures, and locations until you locate fish that is willing to take a bite.
Once the walleye transition from the deep water dwellings for summer into their winter and fall locations, they also have a slowed down feeding activity. No matter what your fishing methods might be, try to slow down. If this still doesn’t work, speed up by all means.