Walleye are a cool-water fish, favoring water slightly warmer than what a trout might prefer, but not as warm as the waters where bass and pan fish thrive. Lakes and large rivers with cool, clean water, and a sandy or gravel bottom are ideal habitats for walleye.
Kayak anglers and twin kayak anglers may want to stick to bass, sunfish and crappies and grab a regular boat for fishing walleye due to the depths they commonly reside in.
Here are a few things to consider:
Deep Water During the Day:
During the day, walleye spend most of their time in deep water, from depths of 15 to well over 30-feet. Depending on the season and conditions, walleye either stay close to the bottom in deep water or move higher up in the water column to feed on schools of bait fish.
Shallow Water at Dusk and Dawn:
Late in the evening and early in the morning, walleye often move into the shallows to feed, eating their fill of bait fish before retreating to deeper water. You’ll find them cruising along the shore near weed lines, rocky points, and other structure as they use their excellent eyesight to hunt.
Overcast Days and Choppy Water:
There are two conditions where you’ll often find walleye feeding throughout the day: overcast days and choppy water. Since dark, cloudy days and choppy water, dubbed “walleye chop” by anglers, both limit the amount of light that can penetrate the water, these conditions give walleye the advantage over prey with lesser eyesight.
For most walleye anglers, minnows are the live bait of choice. You can use minnows year-round, but they are typically most productive in the spring and fall when the water is colder.