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Andrew Martinsen's Walleye Fishing Update

A Walleye for All Seasons

Where to Find Walleye All Year Long

Walleye are creatures of habit and have very specific movement patterns. These patterns are heavily influenced by the change of season. The key to successful walleye fishing all year long is being in the same place as the walleye are.

Spring is a busy time of year all over. Animals, plants and anglers alike are all starting to stir from a long winter's rest. In the spring walleye have two things on their mind: food and repopulation.

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Walleye leave the safety of deep waters and move toward spawning beds. If the option is available, walleye will head inland up rivers and tributaries. If they can't, walleye will seek out shallow rock beds or reefs instead.

During the pre-spawn, walleye will often hold up in deep holes adjacent to the spawning beds. Once the spawn is on, the males will move into the beds and patrol them fiercely. The females will typically stay deep until the sun begins to set.

After the business of reproduction is over, walleye will slowly make their way back to deeper waters. Spawning takes a lot out of them. It usually takes two to three weeks for walleye to recover post-spawn.

Once they are rested, walleye don't waste much time getting back to eating. In late spring, walleye are fairly aggressive about food. They haunt emerging weed beds, rock humps and underwater structures. Any place that has forage fish will typically have walleye nearby.

Walleye will hang out in deeper waters adjacent to these spots. As the sun begins to set, walleye will move into shallower waters in order to catch a meal. For this reason, nighttime is usually the best time to fish for walleye.

Summer heat and sunshine bring forth a slow down in walleye activity. Since walleye are not fans of either, they will head deep and suspend for most of the day. They are still eager to eat but the prey needs to be easy to catch. Slow presentations are the best bet this time of year.

Fall is another season of change that comes in second only to spring. As the weather begins to cool, walleye become more active hunters. There are several reasons for this. The females need to stock up on energy in order to produce their eggs for next year's spawn.

The thick vegetation that has hidden forage fish all summer also begins to die. This leaves the forage fish more exposed. They are on the move in the hunt for better hiding spots. Likewise, walleye start to move more in order to catch them.

In addition, both the water temperature and light levels begin to fall. This creates an ideal situation for the walleye. Walleye are more active throughout the day than any other time of year.

As winter temperatures take hold, walleye activity slows down to almost nil. The walleye typically find deep areas to suspend in once the ice forms. They prefer to suspend below a group of forage fish if possible. Just because winter is in season does not mean that eating is out. Walleye just don't invest as much energy in obtaining a meal.

Seasonal changes play a big rule in the life of walleye. Their movement patterns are correlated strongly to Mother Nature's annual dance. Understanding how walleye move will make being in the right spot at the right time all the easier.

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