Most experienced anglers will tell you the same thing, the best of most fishing is done in the early part of the year. This is the same for Walleye. They tend to like deeper murky waters for the remainder of the year (non-spring season such as July-Oct).
In general they feed when its dark, cloudy and murky. If it’s a bright sunny day they will not be anywhere near the surface and may not be even in the mood for biting your bait. In the spring season you are best to use a jig and minnow combo, working it with a slow pace across the bottom.
How to Find the Prime Areas Where Walleye Thrive
Walleye have a sensitivity to light, so the darker the better. They are fond of gravel beds, rocky spawning areas and those which have good water current during the spring season. When it starts to get warmer and spring season ends, you will find them out at drop offs (hanging out at the drop) and near islands and weed beds. They can be found 60 feet down in the deeper parts of the lake, but you should be able to catch them down at 5’-10’- around the islands and drop offs.
Walleye in Late Season
Once the water gets a little cooler, they will be out in full force with their aggressive eating style. However it can be sporadic and tough to gauge exactly what time of day would be ideal to fish them. I’ve had times in September where I’ve caught 10 in an hour easily and then nothing for the rest of the day! You have to be willing to be patient, but when they bite start reeling them in, because it may be your only chance that day.
Use the Right Bait!
When it is in summer and later months, its best to use some attractive baits. The reason would be the murky waters which walleye thrive in. When walleye fishing, try a fluorescent yellow or green lure. Run it across the bottom with perhaps a pickerel rig. A pickerel rig is designed to allow a weight to drag the bottom and 2 hooks (or more) come off the main line. I’ve had lots of success with leeches and leech products (fake leech – with smell) catching walleye. But this only works if they are hungry, as they are hard to see. I would be more inclined to use something colorful.
Recommended Gear For Walleye Fishing:
· 6′ – 8’ medium-light spin rod with 7lb mono-filament works well early-late season
· 6′ – 7′ medium to medium-light bait casting combinations with a 10-12lb line works well particularly for trolling techniques in later season