While you aren't limited to fishing for walleye only during the evening hours, your chances of catching one are higher if you go at night. The reason your catch rates are likely to be higher after the sun sets is because walleye have extraordinary night vision. This excellent night vision is a result of the walleye's photosensitive eyes, which also make it harder for this game fish to see and pursue prey during daylight hours.
One of the advantages of night fishing for walleye is that they often move up into the shallows during the evening hours. This means that you can fish for walleye from the shoreline, from a fishing pier, or from your boat.
Night Fishing Tips For Walleye
When you are ready to try walleye night fishing, there are a few simple walleye fishing tips you should keep in mind. These tips can make your experience safer and bring more fish to the boat.
- Before you go walleye fishing at night, it is always a good idea to locate your fishing spots during the daylight hours when you can easily see any submerged structure, buoys, or rocky shorelines. If you plan to fish from your boat and have a GPS, you can mark any spots or structures that are likely to hold fish.
- Weed beds are some of the best places to find walleye at night. Baitfish are often found around these weed beds, and walleye can easily hide in the vegetation to ambush prey.
- Keep your walleye night fishing tackle and gear simple to start. Use a 7-foot, medium-action spinning rod and reel rigged with 10-pound monofilament line.
- Start walleye fishing at night in 10 to 20 feet of water, and then gradually work your baits or lures toward shallower areas that are 7 to 8 feet in depth if you aren't getting any bites.
- Some of the best states to visit if you want to go night fishing for walleye are Michigan, Minnesota, Wisconsin, North Dakota, and South Dakota.
Now that you have some fishing tips to help you get started, the only thing left to decide is which baits or lures you should bring along. Don't worry, that part isn't hard either.
Walleye Night Fishing Lures
Since walleye feed primarily on baitfish, try fishing with live minnows or minnow-imitating crankbaits. Two of the best types of lures to use when fishing at night for walleye are minnow-tipped jigs and minnow-imitating crankbaits.
Minnow-tipped jig: If you are learning how to catch walleye at night in deeper areas, vertical jigging is a good technique to start with. A minnow-tipped jig is one of the easiest and most effective methods of walleye fishing. You can use a 1/4-ounce or 3/8-ounce jig (heavier jig in deeper water or with more current). Drop your jig down to the bottom and then use your rod tip to lift it up about a foot or so.
Minnow-imitating crankbaits: Shallow-running crankbaits can be used when casting or trolling. These types of lures are one of the best options when night fishing for walleye because they allow you to cover a large area and locate the fish quickly. You can start at water depths of about 20 feet and work your way into the shallows.
Before you pack up your gear, be sure to read the fishing regulations for your state that apply to walleye and get your freshwater fishing license if you don't already have it.