Winter Walleye ice fishing tips that will help anglers get some bites and enjoy their winter fishing. Walleyes (yellow pike or yellow pickerel) can be caught year-round on some lakes, especially those where there are plentiful bass and panfish to feed on.
Winter Walleye Ice Fishing Tips
A common question that arises in the mid-winter is whether it’s worth fishing through the winter months. The answer to this question varies, as it depends on a number of factors specific to each angler. I love winter fishing and even enjoy the challenges it presents.
On many other lakes where the walleye population is lower, open water angling can be a good option from late Fall through early Spring.
Anglers who are willing to brave the cold will likely have better success than those who cower in their cabins all winter long.
The first step toward successfully fishing walleye through the winter is to brush up on the basics.
Winter Walleye Fishing Rigs
Most anglers will find that those who had some luck fishing through the winter are utilizing a combination of jig and minnow, spinner, and waxie/crawler presentations.
The use of tip-ups can be very effective in setting multiple lines at once. You can also use baits such as sucker minnows or fathead minnows that are also deadly choices.
The size of the jig is critical in winter fishing, as it should be small enough to entice strikes without wearing out the angler’s arm from constantly winding them back in.
The goal when jigging is to find a depth where walleyes will suspend during mid-day. In most cases, this ideal depth will likely be deeper than that which was fished successfully in the summer months.
When jigging, it is a good idea to fish with both a slip bobber and a split shot 6 to 18 inches above the hook. Nymphing can also be effective during the winter under the right circumstances. If one technique or bait is not working, try changing things up.
Walleye Location During Winter
As discussed earlier, knowing where the walleyes are is the key to catching them in winter. Bass and panfish provide a good resource for anglers who wish to keep track of these suspending fish, as they will venture out into open water at times.
Winter Fishing Gear
Another factor that can be quite influential during cold months is wind. Anglers should consider how windy it is on the ice and how windy it has been recently.
This will help determine whether or not conditions are prime for catching walleye through the ice. Cold fronts can produce strong winds that frequent the lakes, so anglers should be prepared to protect their gear from these gusts.
Winter fishing often requires long periods of time away from the comforts of home, so anglers should be prepared for this. A high-quality sleeping bag is important, as are portable heaters and a shelter from the wind.
Winter fishing can require an investment in certain gear that isn’t needed during warmer months; most notable among these are ice augers, tip-ups, and foot warmers.
Winter Fishing Posts:
Winter Walleye Fishing
In closing, there is no doubt that winter fishing can be rewarding to the dedicated angler who has taken the time to research the best spots and tactics for late fall through early spring walleye fishing.
When done right, winter angling provides many exciting hours on the ice. However, when done wrong, it can leave someone with a severe case of frostbite.
I hope this post on winter walleye ice fishing tips gave you some motivation to go fishing this winter. Don’t forget to follow me on FishBasics Pinterest for more on winter fishing.