Ice fishing Walleye isn’t as hard as you think, Walleye are some pretty tasty fish, and they are one of the most popular fish for anglers to go for during the winter months. They aren’t too large, and aren’t too hard to catch.
That being said, you still need to use the right equipment and ice fishing techniques to bag a few walleyes on your next ice fishing trip. Today we want to go over some tips and advice on how to ice fish for walleyes.
Ice Fishing Lures For Walleye
One of the most critical components of ice fishing walleye is what kind of bait or lure you use and your technique.
One of the best techniques to use for walleye is jigging, which involves using an ice fishing jig. Jigging is more or less like yo-yoing the bait up and down to entice the fish to bite. Wait a few seconds between each jig. At the low point, the jig should be a couple of feet from the bottom, such as the lakebed.
Another popular type of bait and fishing method for walleye in the ice is to use swimming baits. These are baits that look like real fish, and you might even want to use real minnows. Movement, especially the swimming motion of smaller fish, will attract walleye and entice them to bite. Any bait or lure that can produce a lot of realistic movement is ideal.
You also need to consider if you are ice fishing walleye in clear or dark water. In clear and bright waters, silver-colored bait tends to work well, especially spoons, which spin and reflect a lot of light. However, you might want to try using really brightly colored baits and lures for darker waters to attract walleyes.
The Right Rod
Something else you need to make your walleye ice fishing trip a success is the right rod. Generally speaking, for ice fishing, you want a relatively short rod that is easy to maneuver in a tight space; a rod between 24 and 30 inches is ideal.
Next, getting a rod with a graphite blank isn’t a bad idea either, because graphite blanks tend to be quite strong and sensitive to nibbles. Walleye aren’t too big, so being able to feel small bites is essential. Moreover, you also want to go for a rod with a moderate to fast action rating, which will help with hook setting speed and sensitivity to strikes.
Drill 5 to 10 Holes
Something about walleyes you should know is that they are quite active and avid swimmers. Many ice anglers will only drill 1 or 2 holes and then wonder why they are not catching anything. Well, walleyes swim back and forth.
Moreover, the hole you drilled in the ice might not be at the ideal location, plus if you try fishing from a single spot too much, all species of fish are instinctively going to become suspicious.
To increase your chances of making a catch and reduce suspicion and caution by the fish, drilling many holes a fair way apart from each other is recommended.
The Right Location and Time
Ice fishing walleye can be a rewarding experience, but success depends on choosing the right location and time. Even if you have the best gear, if there are no walleyes in the area, you won’t catch anything. That’s why it’s crucial to start by selecting the right location for ice fishing walleye.
To increase your chances of catching walleyes, look for shallow waters with plenty of plants, rocks, and wood stumps for the fish to use as cover. While some walleyes may swim in deeper waters, it’s more common for them to stick to shallower areas. If fishing in deeper waters, be sure your lure is within a couple feet of the bottom, as walleyes will swim close to the bottom in deeper waters during the day.
It’s also important to keep in mind that walleyes are most active during feeding times, during low light hours, but not in total darkness. Therefore, the best time for ice fishing walleye is at dawn and dusk.
By choosing the right location and time, you’ll increase your chances of a successful ice fishing experience for walleye.
At the end of a long day of ice fishing walleye, if you follow all of the tips and techniques described above, you should have a cooler teeming with fresh walleye.
Remember to be patient; fishing, especially ice fishing, is all about patience, and don’t forget to bring warm clothes.