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Andrew Martinsen's Walleye Fishing Update

Southwestern Walleyes

Where to Find Walleye in the Beautiful State of Arizona

Arizona is a gorgeous state full of wonderful mountains, canyons and deserts. There are even some bodies of water where walleye can be found.

While the waters of this state may not have large populations, walleye fishing is still a possibility. There are several places where you can get some walleye fishing in.

Although marble-eyes are not native to the state, the Arizona Game and Fish Department have been trying to develop a productive walleye fishery in central Arizona. It has been a challenge because the warm waters of the state aren't exactly suited for this cool-water species. Still, there are several reservoirs that walleyes call home.

Lake Powell, Saguaro Lake, Canyon Lake, Apache Lake, Upper Lake Mary, Show Low Lake and Fool Hollow Lake all have populations of walleye, but the condition of the fish varies. Many of these lakes are connected to the Salt River and their nutrients primarily enter the system upstream in the Salt River shed. As water moves downstream, it is filtered by each reservoir. Therefore, lakes at the start of the system receive more nutrients and their fish population reflects it. Lake Apache, which is the furthest upstream, has walleye with better condition and growth rates than those in Saguaro Lake, which is at the end of the system. This is important to consider if you want a better chance of catching a walleye you can keep.

Walleye in these lakes primarily feed on threadfin shad, but will also eat crayfish, worms and insects. Although they share water with populations of bass and catfish, they avoid munching on these spiny species. Due to this preferred diet, many anglers successfully catch walleye using minnows and nightcrawlers. Be aware that the use of minnows is illegal in Lake Powell, Lake Mary, Showlow Lake and Fool's Hollow Lake.

There is some variation in seasonal behavior patterns of Arizona walleye. Spawn runs from March until May when the water temperatures range from 39 to 61 degrees Fahrenheit. Like most walleye, they seek out spawning beds with gravel or rocky bottoms. These populations are struggling to maintain themselves, so you won't see large concentrations of fish like you would in other regions of the county.

Summer time is hard on Arizona walleye because many of the reservoirs stratify. This leaves a very narrow band of water for them to remain in. The overlaying water can be too hot to maintain their energy levels and the underlying layer does not have enough oxygen available to sustain life. All other fish populations have to share this band, which makes competition for food intense.

Winter is the best time for walleye. With dropping temperatures, food becomes more abundant and the fish can move more throughout the water. This is the optimal growth period for these fish and the time when they will be in peak condition. This is also a great time for anglers, because the fish are more active and willing to bite.

Live bait, crankbaits, spoons, and small spinner baits do well in Arizona waters. Since walleye are so light sensitive, they are the most active early morning, late evening, or at night. The best time to catch walleye is from sundown to midnight, especially in the summer.

Walleye aren't found everywhere in Arizona, but that doesn't mean you have to do without. Visiting any of the reservoirs that are part of the fishery project can yield satisfactory action. There are indeed walleyes in some of these Arizona waters for you to catch and make it a great day out on the water.

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25 Inch Walleye Caught at Lake of the Woods

Walleye Fishing Secrets Student Shares an Awesome Catch


Here's a 25 inch walleye caught at Lake of the Woods, Ontario. The picture is a great memento for me.

I caught it drifting. We caught it amongst some smaller ones that ended up on the dinner table.

Your advice was helpful in making my trip successful. Thank you!"

- Russell K.

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Great Fishin' to You! (Always),


Andrew Martinsen