Unveiling the Best Techniques: How to Successfully Fish for Walleye in Michigan

How to Fish for Walleye in Michigan


Fishing for walleye is a popular pastime in the beautiful state of Michigan. Known for its abundance of lakes and rivers, Michigan offers fantastic opportunities to catch this desirable game fish. In this detailed guide, we will walk you through everything you need to know about walleye fishing in Michigan.

Gear and Equipment

Fishing Rods and Reels

Choosing the right fishing rod and reel combo is crucial for effectively targeting walleyes. Opt for medium-light or medium-action spinning rods that are around 6-7 feet long. Match your rod with a high-quality spinning reel known for its smooth drag system.

Fishing Line

When it comes to fishing line, monofilament or fluorocarbon lines with a test strength between 6-12 pounds are recommended. These lines offer excellent sensitivity and sufficient strength to handle both aggressive strikes and fighting walleyes.

Baits and Lures

Walleyes have diverse feeding habits, so it’s important to bring an assortment of baits and lures with you on your fishing trip. Some popular choices include jigs tipped with minnows, plastic grubs or worms, crankbaits, jerkbaits, spinnerbaits, and live bait rigs with nightcrawlers or leeches.

Best Time of Year to Fish Walleye

Understanding the seasonal patterns can significantly increase your chances of catching walleye in Michigan.

Spring (April – June)

During springtime when ice melts away from lakeshores, walleyes move into shallow waters near spawning grounds. Focus on casting around rocky points or submerged structures during low-light periods such as dawn and dusk.

Summer (July – August)

As the water warms up, walleyes tend to move deeper. Look for them near drop-offs, underwater humps, or weed edges. Use vertical jigging techniques or troll with deep-diving crankbaits to target these elusive fish effectively.

Fall (September – November)

During fall, walleye feed heavily in preparation for winter. Concentrate your efforts around reefs, rocky areas, and river mouths where they migrate in search of food. Casting jigs or live bait rigs can yield great results during this season.

Top Walleye Fishing Spots in Michigan

Michigan is blessed with numerous fantastic fishing locations that are ideal for targeting walleyes.

Lake Erie

Renowned as one of the top walleye fisheries in the country, Lake Erie offers excellent opportunities to catch trophy-sized fish. The western basin is particularly productive due to its abundance of reefs and shoals.

Saginaw Bay

Located on Lake Huron’s eastern side, Saginaw Bay is known for its exceptional walleye population throughout the year. The bay provides a mix of shallow and deep-water fishing spots suitable for various angling techniques.

Burt Lake

Situated in Northern Michigan’s beautiful Inland Waterway region, Burt Lake boasts not only stunning scenery but also an impressive number of walleyes. Target the lake’s structure-rich areas such as drop-offs or submerged points for successful catches.

Regulations and Licensing

To ensure sustainable fishing practices and preserve Michigan’s natural resources:

– Obtain a valid fishing license before casting your line into any public waters.
– Familiarize yourself with size limits and bag restrictions imposed by the Department of Natural Resources (DNR).
– Stay updated on seasonal closures, special regulations, and any changes to fishing regulations.


Fishing for walleye in Michigan is an exciting adventure that promises memorable experiences. By equipping yourself with the right gear, understanding seasonal patterns, exploring prime fishing spots, and adhering to regulations, you’ll be well-prepared to embark on a successful walleye fishing journey in the great state of Michigan. So grab your rod and reel, head out onto the waterways of Michigan, and get ready for thrilling walleye action!