By Gary Hendry

Walleye are native to Canada and the northern region of the United States but have been introduced in waters across the world.  Walleye are the most sought-after freshwater fish for sport and their delicious fillets. They are an elusive fish species, but that’s what makes fishing for Walleye so enticing. With the right fishing tackle, fishing for Walleye doesn’t have to be a complicated affair. In addition to having the necessary fishing gear, you must first learn about their feeding patterns, habitats, and unique biology.  If you’re just starting out, this article covers the basic steps you can follow to help you fish for Walleye like a pro.

Where to find Walleye

Walleyes are cool-water fish that thrive in clear rivers and lakes. Sandy or gravel beds are ideal habitats for walleye, and their favorite spots vary based on the water temperature, time of the day, and season. During the day, walleye prefer to hang out in deep water and move higher up in the water column to feed when the light level drops. Therefore, dusk and midnight to dawn are the best times to fish for walleye, and you’re more likely to find walleye active on a cloudy day than on a sunny day.

Fishing tackle for Walleye

A solid spinning combo is often used when fishing for walleye. A medium-power spinning rod is preferred as it is more versatile. It can be used for many walleye fishing techniques. A standard fishing line with a capacity ranging between 8-12 lb works well for most walleye fishing techniques. Your choice of fishing tackle may depend on the season, but live bait such as minnows, leeches, and night crawlers are generally preferred. 

Trolling for Walleye

Trolling is one of the best ways to fish for walleye over a large water body using a trolling motor. This technique is executed with trolling rods to spread your offerings off the back of your boat as you slowly motor around with the lines about 50-100 yards behind you.  You may bounce the baited hooks from time to time to entice the fish.


Jigging is another effective technique to fish for walleye. Simply set up your fishing tackle and bounce a weighted jig near the bottom from dock or shore by casting. Make sure to bounce the jig every 3-5 seconds through lifts, drops, and pauses.  

Ice fishing for Walleye

Like other fish species, walleye tend to harbor under layers of ice during the colder winter months when the water freezes due to extremely low temperatures.  Despite the low temperatures, walleye can still be active enough to catch. During winter, walleye move to deeper water which is warmer than shallow water. If you live in an area where water bodies freeze during winter months, then ice fishing for walleye is something you may want to consider.