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Andrew Martinsen's Walleye Fishing Update

Cold Water Walleyes

Catching More Fish in the Winter on Unfrozen Lakes

Walleye are cold blooded fish, and this will have an effect on their movements and feeding habits. When the water temperature drops, so does the body temperature of the fish.

The temperature of the water will directly affect the metabolism of the fish, including the amount of energy used and how much and how often the fish will get hungry and feed.


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Cold water Walleye fishing without any ice can be challenging if you do not understand how the fish behave, feed, and react under these conditions.

There are some techniques that will not work well in water that is thirty eight degrees, even though these same techniques may be wildly successful in the summer.

Trolling is not effective, and neither is casting normally. To catch the Walleye in these conditions think slow and succulent.

One method that can be very effective in cold water Walleye fishing is to use bait that is smaller. Large worms and jumbo sized lures and bait will not work as well during colder temperatures. Use small worms and lures instead.

Leeches may work well, too. Using bait on a smaller scale can help make sluggish Walleye want to bite.

Jigging may work well in cold water that has no ice. Slip bobbing can also be effective, because it can be slow enough. Watch your line closely, because some bites may not be very aggressive at first, reflecting the lethargic walleye. A stinger hook can be a great way to catch Walleye in cold water that is around thirty eight degrees Fahrenheit.

Because Walleye can be sluggish, many times their strike may fall short and just rip the tail or end off of the bait.

A small hook, either single or treble, can be attached to the bend, and then one hook can be attached to the tail or end of the bait, you may be able to land the Walleye even if it is a short strike. When combined with a jig and either a minnow or crawler, this can be very effective. A lighter line can also make a big difference when Walleye fishing.

A four to six pound test line can help you feel the vibrations from a nibble much better during the cold weather.

Fish at a shallower depth if the water is cold. The thermocline will be much higher in the water, and so will the Walleye.

The fish can be found in as little as two or three feet of water, very close to the shore. There is no reason to go twenty or thirty feet down when the water temperatures are so chilly.

Spinners and light jigs which are put right in the shallows close to shore can be extremely effective in colder water temperatures as well.

Cold water Walleye fishing means changing the way you think and fish. Walleye can be found all year long, but their movements and patterns will change.


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