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Ice Fishing: Walleye Under The Ice

Updated on November 29, 2012

Ice Fishing Walleye Basics

Catching walleye during the winter months can be a lot of fun and make a fine dinner if you are successful at ice fishing. Walleye are usually aggressive but like any other fish slow down during the winter months. Even with a great presentation, if you are not where the fish are, it will result in a bad day of ice fishing.

Walleye can be caught anytime during the day but changing light conditions can influence your results. Fishing either around sunup or sundown will probably be your best time of the day for ice fishing.

Walleye fishing tactics during the winter months will differ during other times of the year but the first and most important factor is location with structure being a top priority.

Productive walleye fishing spots will factor in structure such as gravel bars and rocky shorelines which makes good fishing all year long including when ice fishing. Walleye do like points, rock piles, humps and structure which would all be good fishing spots.

Ice Fishing Walleye Tips

When you think you have a good spot drill your holes where you want to fish. Walleye fishing in the winter months is far different then other seasons. Most anglers prefer using a jig for ice fishing for walleye. The fish move very slowly in cold water so don’t make it hard for the fish to catch the bait. Walleye ice fishing methods do vary from fall fishing but where the walleye are located in the fall is a good place to start your ice fishing. Walleye lures should be dropped to the bottom and worked upwards. There is a good chance your best results will be about a foot and a half off the bottom. Walleye usually only move a very short distance after striking and most times will strike when the lure is sinking.

One technique you may want to try is to simply move the rod tip up and down an inch or two very quickly. It is advisable to use lighter line and if using a bobber, use the smallest practical to reduce resistance. Walleye ice fishing tactics are very basic and besides moving from one hole to another you may want to change the size and shape of your lure along with the color and the type of bait you are using.

Where Do Walleye Hang Out?

As winter progresses towards spring many walleyes will move toward mid-lake humps as the water there would most likely be a little bit warmer. The walleye would be a little more comfortable and in turn be more active. The game plan for many anglers is to drill holes in between shallow and deeper waters. By fishing various depths, fisherman hope to catch some fish in the depths where they are and take home what will be a good dinner. Basically ice fishing for walleye is a two step process. Find the structure with the aid of any electronics. Then have fun fishing and change depths and techniques until you start catching walleye. Good Luck!

Ice Fishing Walleye
Ice Fishing Walleye


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    • profile image

      Walleye Lures 6 years ago

      Love this article. I wish I could try this out myself.

      However there isnt any frozen lake near me....

      Not even in winter. :(

    • nicomp profile image

      nicomp really 7 years ago from Ohio, USA

      This is very interesting and I enjoyed reading it. I've always wondered how active the fish are when the lake if frozen enough to drive out onto it and build a hut.