Four fishing tips for walleye ice fishing

Many anglers hang up their fishing gear when the cold weather sets in but if you’re not ready to hang up your rods just because it’s cold outside, ice fishing is for you. Walleye ice fishing can be some of the most exciting you’ve ever had the pleasure of doing and with all the modern technology available, you won’t freeze as long as you get prepared.
Technology is a wonderful thing that has made it possible to be outside in the freezing cold and still stay warm and comfortable. There are many winter outfits designed from lightweight material that makes it easy to stay warm and still move around without restrictions. You can also purchase icehouses and portable heaters to keep you more comfortable while you’re fishing. These are fast and easy to set up and take down so you won’t waste time fooling around with them but they will keep you comfortable and make ice fishing more enjoyable.
Before you go ice fishing, get prepared. Not only do you need to make sure you have all your gear together but it takes a little extra time getting them ready. Clean and oil your gear before you leave and this will help them perform better in the cold environment. Make sure your drill is working properly and that you have all of the essentials.
Walleye Ice Fishing Tips
Ice fishing is peaceful and relaxing because there are not a lot of other people around making noise. The fish are hungry because it’s harder to find food this time of year so when you find them, they will usually strike. Ice fishing is a lot different from fishing in the spring and summer so it takes a little more planning. Along with preparing your gear, you need to plan where you want to fish. You don’t want to be drilling a lot of holes that don’t produce any walleyes.
Ice fishing is more challenging than fishing other times of the year but that’s what makes it so thrilling. As long as you have a good attitude, some determination and a few good tips, you should find it to be a very enjoyable way to fish for this amazing species.
Here are four fishing tips for walleye ice fishing:
1. The first thing that you need to remember is that even walleyes will slow down in the winter so you need to slow down your presentation and make it easier for the fish to take the bait.
2. Go fishing a couple of hours before sunset or after sunrise for the best results. This is when the fish will be most active and when you will get the best results ice fishing.
3. Use a mobile depth finder when ice fishing to help you locate the walleyes and you won’t have to drill as many holes.
4. After fishing the same hole for about 20 minutes without any bites, it’s time to move on. The walleyes will still move around even in the winter so if you haven’t gotten any bites by now, you probably won’t get any unless you move.
Vertical jigging is the technique used when ice fishing because you have limited space to work in and because it makes it easy to get the bait down near the bottom where the walleyes will be located. Drop your bait near the bottom of the water, then move the tip of your rod up and down a little to create movement.
You can hit the bottom but don’t leave it there, the fish will see it better if it’s slightly above them and wait several seconds between each movement to give the walleyes a chance to strike. When choosing your location be sure to look for a place where underwater structures are located because they will still be hanging out around these even in the winter.
Ice Fishing Safety Tips
Never go ice fishing unprepared and always let someone know where you plan to be and when you will return. It’s recommended that you go fishing with a partner. In case of an accident, there would be someone with you to help. Follow all safety rules and never take unnecessary chances.
When fishing in early winter when the ice is just forming or in early spring when it’s beginning to thaw, you must be aware of thin ice. If you step in a place where the ice is too thin to hold your weight you can fall through to the freezing water so you must pay close attention to what you’re doing. If an area looks unsafe or if you have any doubts, avoid it.
Always pay attention to your surroundings and be aware of any changing weather conditions. If new snow begins to fall or a sudden drop in temperatures are expected, it may be time to head home for the day.


Dan Eggertsen is a fellow walleye fishing enthusiast to the point of obsession. :) He's been providing solid advice on walleye fishing since 2004.

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