Those who want to be successful when it comes to ice fishing for walleye will definitely need to make a point of learning as much as they possibly can. The more you know about this type of fish your targeting, the more fish you are likely to catch them. Especially when they are under a slab of ice.
Walleye are naturally aggressive fish, which is one reason why so many people find them so hard to catch. Fishing for walleye can be a lot of fun because of the immense challenge when it comes to reeling them in, but there are some tips that can help. If you want to start catching more of these fish, you will need to focus on the locations you fish as well as presentation of your bait. That is because it is most difficult under the ice to mimic a swimming injured fish without trolling.
It doesn’t matter how appealing your bait is to the fish if you aren’t in the right area to catch them. You also have to make sure that you are presenting the right bait so that you can increase your chances of catching them.
Location is Everything
It is important to keep in mind that walleye can typically be found within a couple feet of the bottom of the body of water you are fishing in. These fish prefer breaks, points, humps and rock piles. When you are out on the water you will want to go towards steep breaks around points and bars, because they can often be found in deep water.
Walleye are usually in the same place during an early ice that they were before the water froze over, so you will need to remember that as well. Look for shallow water near points and shoreline bars, because these areas will give you your best chance of catching these fish. A great tip is to make a running tally of all the walleye caught during the summer and at what depths. Be sure to check your gps (if you have one) and make note of all the spots that are buzzing with walleye.
As the winter starts to move on, Walleye tend to move toward mid-lake humps. The water is a little bit warmer in deeper water, which is why these fish move towards those areas when the weather starts getting colder. When spring approaches, these fish start moving back into the shallower water into pre spawning areas. It’s still a good idea to look for these fish at shoreline points and breaks, but you will also want to go near river mouths to look for them.
Locating Walleye is really half the challenge, so you will need to remember these tips next time you go out on the ice to target them.
Choosing the right Presentation
The second half of catching these fish is presentation, which means how you choose to present your bait to them. You will find that most effective presentation for these fish to be jigging. Jigging is essentially when you raise the tip of your rod about a foot and drop it back down to where you started with it. These fish are going to be at the bottom, so you will need to make sure that you are jigging within a couple feet of the bottom.
When you are fishing for walleye, don’t be afraid to touch the bottom with your bait. This will stir up the bottom and attract fish, but you won’t want to do it too often. You will give yourself the best chance of catching fish by keeping your lure slightly above them as opposed to on the bottom of the lake.
Jigging will attract fish unless they are extremely active. A walleye will not take the bait you have for them until they stop. Try raising an dropping the tip of your rod, wait about three to ten seconds, and repeat the raising and dropping motion.
There is another jigging technique that a lot of professional ice fishermen use, and it’s called pounding the jig. This involves jigging your rod tip up and down very quickly above an inch or two.
It’s also very important that you take the time to look into some of the different lures that you have to choose from. There are some lures that are better than others for walleye, such as swimming lures and flash lures. The more time you take to choose the right lures, the better your chances are going to be of catching these fish next time you go out on the water. In the end you will be glad you decided to follow these tips.