What’s the Best Time to Fish for Walleye?


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If you’re new to walleye fishing, then you may have just realized that walleye are a moody bunch. Even with the best walleye reels in your arsenal, there are days when you might still not reel in a single catch. There are also times when this fish bites almost anything thrown in the water, which can make catching them effortless.

As far as you know, you’re fishing in the right spot and using the correct lures. So, what’s the problem? Apparently, the time of day and season are also important considerations for walleye fishing.
Today, we’ll look at the best time to fish for walleye and the best spots to find them. This should help you navigate these fish’s temperamental nature effectively.

What Time of Day Should You Fish for Walleye?

Gloomy conditions are when walleye come out in full force to feed. The period called the “golden hour” provides the best time to fish for various species, including white bass, sheepshead, and yellow perch.

It happens once when the sun rises and once when it sets and shines just enough light to fish effectively. This window of time is when fishing for walleye should be maximized because it gives the best chance to reel in some great catches.

If you’re looking to get things going at sunrise, start fishing at least an hour before the sun rises through a couple of hours after. So, get out of bed early, prepare your morning perk-me-up, and load your fishing gear in your truck. This should have you catching some walleye by the dozen.

On the other hand, those who prefer to fish at night should be prepared to stay out late. We’re talking beyond 9 pm in summer and after 7 pm in winter. Of course, these windows of time can vary, depending on how far north or south you are from the equator. The farther you are up north, the longer the days are in summer and the shorter they are in winter.

Then, you should note how walleye almost always favor overcast conditions over clear sunny days. Cloudy days contribute to fainter light conditions, which increase walleye prey activity.

What Time of the Year Should You Fish for Walleye?

You already know that walleye favor low light conditions. This follows that spring and fall are the best times of the year to fish for them. These months tend to be the most fruitful when fishing for walleye.
Walleye have also been known to favor water temperatures that cause a surge in their eating patterns. Spring brings about a rise in water temperatures that make feeding more comfortable for walleye. The drop in water temperatures during winter also has the same effect since it makes these fish want to increase their reserves of fat.

Consider these changes in temperature that directly impact the walleye’s feeding habits so you have a better chance of catching them. Though this is not to say that walleye can’t be caught during wintertime. They can still be caught with the right winter fishing gear and setup.

Where Are the Best Walleye Fishing Spots?

Now that you know when to fish for walleye, it’s time to discuss where you should fish for them. The following are spots walleye like to frequent and feed.

Weeded Areas

Weeded regions in the water are usually where walleye patrol for food. You want to do your own patrolling of these areas when fishing for walleye at sunrise. This gives you the perfect opportunity to bring out that weedless lure that works just as well for catching bass. Do this during the early summer mornings and you’ll rarely end up empty-handed.


Inlets have an abundance of nutrients that lure in baitfish. In turn, these baitfish attract walleye that end up swimming around these areas whenever the urge to feed strikes them. Inlets become especially more productive for walleye fishing after a big downpour.

Deep Holes

Walleye like hanging out in parts where the current doesn’t interfere with their hunting habits. If a river is where you go fishing for walleye, pick spots where the water moves slowly. Faster currents usually don’t allow walleye to sneak up on their prey.

Transition Zones

The areas where there’s a sudden change in water depth are where you’re likely to find a bunch of walleye hanging out. They offer the perfect hiding spots from baitfish that frequent the water’s shallow parts.

How To Hunt for Walleye Effectively

Knowing the specific time of day and season to fish for walleye can mean the difference between a fulfilling fishing adventure and one you wish you didn’t pursue at all. Walleye are quite temperamental and have feeding patterns that depend on the lighting and water temperatures.

How frequently and voraciously walleye feed impacts how catchable they are. So, we hope you consider all these tips the next time you head out for a walleye fishing excursion.


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