Six Tips For Tight Lipped Winter Walleyes

Posted by Chris Larsen on 21st Jun 2023

Six Tips For Tight Lipped Winter Walleyes

Ice fishing for walleyes can indeed present its own set of challenges. However, with the right strategies and equipment, you can increase your chances of a successful catch even when the bit is ice cold. Here are six tips for catching tight-lipped winter walleyes.

Let Their Predator Instinct Take Over

Ice Fishing For Walleyes Tips

A lot of ice anglers will use consistent jigging strokes until a mark appears on their sonar. Then they drop the lure right down into the face of the fish. It’s unnatural. Real bait never swims into a predator. The walleye was attracted to the lure because of what you were doing and where you were doing it. Keep using your jigging setup as an attractor but combine it with a deadstick minnow. If the walleye wants to bite a less aggressive presentation, it will hit the minnow. A Catch Cover Rod Holder or Catch Cover Rattlesnake Reel is perfect for rigging your deadstick.

Change Up The Cadence

Sometimes finicky walleyes want some movement and will turn up their noses at deadsticks. Instead of dropping the jigging spoon, rattlebait, or other lures in front of their face, keep jigging at the depth you are but change up how you’re jigging. If you’re using long sweeping motions, switch to shorter strokes. Look for something different to trigger a strike. Sometimes you have to raise the fish up and make them chase it. Once you figure out what they like, replicate that motion on the next fish. There’s a good chance, the same thing will work again.

Work The Night Shift

If walleyes are sluggish during the day, change up your schedule and try to fish the evening and nighttime hours. A permanent fish house can really come in handy when it comes to fishing overnight. Keep baits active while you’re awake and drop lines with rattle reels during sleeping hours. Activity generally starts to pick up again about an hour before sunrise.

Make Some Noise

Rattlebaits and blade baits are perfect for when the fishing is slow. The noise and vibration created by these lures bring fish in from far away. When fish are negative and don’t want to eat you can often elicit a reaction bite by creating vibration, flash, and sound with rattlebaits and blade baits. Don’t forget to move your bait throughout the water column. Ice anglers often focus on the bottom 12 inches of the water column. Presenting your lure higher can often bring in more aggressive fish.

Get Mobile

Most people don’t think of being mobile with a fish house. But today’s houses are designed to be easier to move around on the ice. During low light periods, walleyes often cruise shallow haunts in search of food and will move out into the depths. Set up your house closer to shore during low light hours and then drive out over basins and fish deeper water during peak daylight. Hole hopping can also be extremely productive. On days when moving around is required, use your fish house as a base camp. It’s great to have a place to go in, warm up, and enjoy a hot meal.

Throw In The Hat

There are days when no matter what you do, it’s just going to be a tough bite. You can keep grinding it out and try to put one or two in the bucket or grab a different rod and go find some crappies or bluegills. Sometimes giving the walleyes a break and just finding some bites with panfish will break the slump and reinvigorate you as an angler. 

Privacy Settings