Spring walleye fishing is almost upon us and walleye fishermen will be hitting the lakes in search of monster walleye. Walleye in the spring are generally easy to find and you have a reel chance of catching a trophy walleye. When the lakes begin to thaw walleye move to shallow water due to its warmer temps to feed and search for areas to spawn. Walleye tend to gravitate to rocky bottoms in the spring such as rocky flats, bays, and around riprap.
Weather conditions can play a big part of where and how deep walleye will be found in the spring. If it's a warmer less windy day walleye will often move out of the extremely shallow water, if it's overcast and cooler walleye will move to very shallow water to feed. A lot of anglers search for spring walleyes without a boat and wade the shallow flats casting jerk baits such as a husky jerk or Rapala floating minnow.
Springtime Walleye Tips
- Rocky Flats - Walleye love flats and most of us just pass them by but fish will move to a flat to feed on baitfish that call flats their home. One of my favorite ways to fish flats in the spring is trolling crankbaits, you will want to play with speed from slow to fast to determine how the walleye want the bait.
- Riprap - It's easy to find and walleye will flock to riprap in the spring, often due to many lakes don't have a lot of rocky areas and these are prime spots for walleye. Fishing riprap can be done in several ways but I prefer to parallel the bank with my boat and cast a jerk bait up the bank and working it back. I will make a series of cast up the bank one being close to shore, then out some, then out further to try to locate the walleye. Also riprap can be a great location to use live bait rigs like a slip bobber and minnow.
- New Emerging Weedbeds - Walleye will also relate to weebeds during the spring and I often target these areas with jigs tipped with minnows and then slowly drift the boat through the weedbed and jig in the weeds. If the wind is blowing to hard you may want to use a drift sock to slow your drift or if there is no wind your trolling motor can be used to move slowly through the area.
- Woody Bottoms - Walleye love wood and are one of the best springtime walleye locations, I always jig these areas but keep in mind your going to loose a lot of jigs, but you will probably pick up some real monster walleye in wood. Some of the best areas are stump fields and areas where Christmas trees have been put in the lake.
After the spawn walleye will move out to deep structure to rest and not feed this usually is 7 to 10 days then the walleye will move back to the shore to feed heavily. When the walleye move back to the shore this is when I will target them with bottom bouncers and crawler harness trolled quickly with the trolling motor. After the water temps begin to warm up walleye then will move back out to the deep structure during the day times and then move into the shallow water at night to feed.