Spring Walleye Fishing: A Comprehensive Guide

How to Fish Walleye in the Spring: A Comprehensive Guide


Springtime brings an abundance of opportunities for walleye fishing enthusiasts. As the water temperatures rise and the days grow longer, these elusive freshwater predators become increasingly active. In this guide, we will explore some effective techniques and strategies to help you make the most out of your walleye fishing adventures during the spring season.

Finding Ideal Locations for Spring Walleye Fishing

1. Targeting Shallow Water Areas

During the spring, walleyes tend to migrate towards shallower areas such as bays, flats, and shallow points. These locations provide them with warmer water temperatures and a bountiful food supply. Look for areas that offer a mix of weeds, rocks, or submerged structures where walleyes can hide or ambush their prey.

2. Focusing on Transition Zones

Transition zones are key areas where deeper water meets shallower regions like drop-offs or underwater humps. These spots act as natural highways for migrating walleyes during the spawning period in springtime. Focus your efforts around these transitional areas to increase your chances of catching more walleyes.

Selecting the Right Equipment

1. Choosing Your Rod and Reel Combo

Opt for a medium-power spinning rod paired with a reel capable of holding at least 150 yards of line suitable for 8-12 pound test strength. This setup offers both sensitivity and strength needed to handle fighting large walleyes while providing accurate bait presentation.

2. Picking Appropriate Line Types

While monofilament lines work well in most situations due to their versatility, consider using fluorocarbon lines when targeting clear-water conditions or when fish are particularly finicky. Fluorocarbon lines are virtually invisible underwater, increasing your chances of fooling wary walleyes.

3. Essential Terminal Tackle

Use a variety of hooks, sinkers, and swivels to adapt to different fishing techniques and conditions. Jig heads in various weights (1/4 – 3/8 oz) with sharp hooks are essential for vertical jigging or casting presentations. Carry a selection of slip bobbers as well for presenting live bait at specific depths.

Effective Techniques for Spring Walleye Fishing

1. Jigging

Jigging is an efficient method for targeting walleyes in the springtime. Experiment with different jig colors and sizes until you find what triggers their bite. Start by casting towards shallow areas and slowly retrieve the jig back to imitate injured baitfish or bottom-hopping crawlers — incorporating occasional pauses to entice strikes.

2. Live Bait Rigging

Using live bait rigs allows you to cover a large area efficiently while enticing hungry walleyes into biting habits during their spawning season in spring. Popular live baits include minnows, leeches, or nightcrawlers hooked onto snells tied with spinners that provide added attraction.

Tips & Precautions for Successful Walleye Fishing

1. Be Patient and Persistent

Walleye angling requires patience as they tend to be more elusive than other species; persistence is key when searching for active fish during the spring season.

Avoid Overlooking Small Fish:

Remember that smaller-sized walleyes can often outnumber larger ones near shorelines—be ready for unexpected bites from junior members of this highly sought-after species.

Paying Attention to Weather Conditions:

Monitor weather patterns, as walleyes become more active during overcast days or periods of low light conditions. Adjust your fishing tactics accordingly.

2. Practice Catch-and-Release

Support the conservation efforts by practicing catch-and-release whenever possible. This ensures sustainability and allows future generations to enjoy the thrill of catching walleye in their natural habitat.


Spring presents an exciting time for walleye enthusiasts, with ample opportunities to hook into these prized freshwater game fish. By targeting shallow water areas, focusing on transition zones, selecting appropriate equipment and employing effective techniques like jigging or live bait rigging—you increase your chances of having a successful springtime walleye fishing experience. Remember to be patient, observant of weather conditions, and practice responsible angling practices for a sustainable future both for you and this remarkable species!