Are you looking for some walleye ice fishing tips to help you catch these monsters of the deep? If you are, you have come to the right place. In this article, I will explain to you five proven tips that work wonders for catching walleye through the ice.
We all know walleye can be a tricky fish to catch especially when you are ice fishing. So I won’t bore you with fluff let’s get right into those five proven tips and get you out ice fishing for walleye while the fishing is good.
Tip #1 – Dead Stick Fish When The Walleyes Aren’t Biting
If you have never heard of dead stick fishing, it’s easy to do and will help you catch those walleyes when you are ice fishing. First, you need to drill a hole next to the hole that you are fishing in. Next, you want to rig up the rod that you’re going to dead stick the walleyes with. You want to rig them up with a stick float. Here’s how you rig a dead stick.
On your braided mainline, you slide a small rubber bobber stop. Next, you want to slip a dead stick float onto your braided line and tie a micro swivel #12 onto the line. After that, you want to take an 18” fluorocarbon leader and tie it to the micro swivel on one of the ends and whatever lure you are using to the other end.
Then you want to slider your bobber stopper to the depth you want to fish at and let your lure go down the hole. The dead stick float will slide until it hits the bobber stopper and your off and fishing. If you need to adjust the depth, you are fishing at slide the stopper to whatever the desired depth is.
Not much to it. You let that dead stick rod sit there and jig aggressively with the other rod-like you usually would do. The rod that you are actively fishing with will lure the walleyes in and if they don’t bit on that rod they will go for the dead stick rig set-up and hopefully bite on that one.
We do this dead stick fishing method because most fish in iced-over cold water will be lethargic because their metabolism slows way down and will naturally go for the bait that’s easiest for them to capture.
Tip #2 – Fish Over Rock Structures
In the mid-winter when the walleyes are being picky on the bait and lures, you use you want to find a spot on the lake that you are fishing over rock structures that are around 16 feet deep. I don’t know why it is, but walleyes will bite more often in this terrain in the dead of winter.
To know the depth and the terrain that is below you will want to get yourself a fish finder. These come in real handy for ice fishing not just to know the depths and topography below the ice but to know if there are fish where your fishing as well.
It helps to have two people when you are looking for rocky bottom areas. One person will drill the holes along a dropoff, and the other person will go behind with the fish finder and measure the depth of the water and see if there is any rock structure underneath the ice. If you do this and pick the right holes to fish, you should come up with some nice walleye.
Tip #3 – Leave Room To Set Your Hook
This tip is for when you are fishing in an ice shelter, and it’s a tip for whatever kind of fish you are fishing for. Your ice fishing shelter might be 5 to 6 feet in height on the inside and if you are holding your rod a foot or more above the hole that doesn’t give you enough room to set your hook effectively.
To remedy this, you will want only to hold your rod about 3 inches above the fishing hole. Doing this will ensure that you have enough room to hook that walleye and bring him home to the frying pan.
Tip #4 – Best Time To Catch Walleye Is During Sunrise and Sunset
Like most fish, the best time to catch walleye is when the sun is rising in the morning and when the sun is setting in the evening. These times of day is a fish’s natural feeding cycle. During these hours of the day the walleyes are swimming out from under the weed bed covers, and you have a more significant area that you can fish and catch walleye. And because you can fish a wider area of water, you won’t have to drill so many holes because the walleye will be just about anywhere you can think.
You will want to drill your holes ahead of time. Don’t be drilling holes during the peak walleye fishing hours of sunrise and sunset because this will disrupt the natural flow of the fish. Have the holes already drilled and then do some sampling of the holes until you find a few spots that are ample with walleye and then focus on those areas during the peak time.
Tip #5 – Vibration Gets The Walleyes Attention
The last tip in this walleye ice fishing tips article is to use vibration to get the walleye’s attention. To do this, you want to hit the bottom of the lake with your lure and raise the lure slowly. Doing this will stir up the mud and sediment on the bottom. It also causes the vibration necessary to get the walleye’s attention. And when stirring up the bottom sediment, your lure will be mimicking a live creature that the walleyes would be used to feeding on.
You also might want to use a vibrating blade lure when you fish walleye with this method. When using a vibrating blade lure, you want to move the bait up and down about 3 feet. Make sure to keep aggressively jigging the lure. This will attract the fish in. If the walleye are active and ready to strike it will either grab your vibrating blade lure or the walleye if it is not prepared for a fight will go after your dead stick if you have one set up close by.
Put These Walleye Ice Fishing Tips To The Test
Now that I have shown you these effective walleye ice fishing tips it’s time for you to put them to the test. We all know that walleyes can be finicky when it comes to their eating habits especially in the winter. But if you put all five of these tips to good use, you should start catching some nice healthy-sized walleye.
To recap when the walleyes aren’t biting start by dead stick fishing. This is where drill a hole close to the hole you are actively fishing. Put your dead stick fishing lure down the other hole and let it sit there.
With the second tip, you will need a fish finder. Use your fishfinder to look for depths of the water and what structures are beneath the ice. I recommend you get yourself a Vexilar fish finder. Vexilar Fishfinders work best because they give you a clear reading of what’s underneath the ice.
Drill a bunch of holes along a drop-off and find the best spots to fish. For walleye, you want about 16 feet of depth with rock structure.
The third tip is when you are fishing in an ice shelter leave plenty of room to set your hook. To do this hold your rod about two to three inches above the fishing hole. Holding your rod close will allow you enough room. Otherwise, you will be hitting the roof of your shelter when you are hooking the walleye.
The Best Time To Catch Walleye
The peak time to catch walleye is either in the early morning hours and or late in the evening when the sun is setting.
The fifth and final tip for walleye ice fishing is to use vibration to get the walleye’s attention. Aggressively hit the bottom of the lake with your lure and bring it up slowly. Doing this will get the walleye’s attention by stirring up the bottom sediment and causing vibration through the water. The stirring up of the sediment and the vibrations mimics the living creatures that the walleye are used to feeding on.
I hope these walleye ice fishing tips help you catch more walleye. If you have any questions or comments, please leave them below. Good luck ice anglers and Happy Fishing!
Cory is a content writer-editor and founder of Tackle Box Talk. Favorite Quote: "Give a man a fish, and you feed him for a day. Teach a man to fish, and you feed him for a lifetime."