When speaking about walleye specifically, fall temperatures will often force these fish to slow down and conserve more energy. While they may usually be found swimming around searching for prey during warmer parts of the year, once the water temperatures drop, so do their activity levels. Walleye will tend to conjugate in areas that keep them from expending more calories than they are consuming. Cold water temps will usually push most fish to shallower water, so start your search here. As a general rule of thumb, the colder the water is the slower and more sluggish the fish will be.
But even if you can find walleye in cold water, catching them can be a different story entirely! Things like trolling or long casting will not work here. To catch walleye in these types of conditions, think slow and steady. One important tip that you can try is to downsize your baits and lures. Things like large worms, lures, and baits will not work as well in colder water temperatures, so use smaller worms and lures instead. Using baits on a smaller scale can help convince a sluggish walleye to strike. They will see it as an easy meal that will not cost them to spend too much energy to eat.
Another popular fishing method for many fish species in cold weather (including walleye) is jigging. Jigging takes the same principle of sizing down on bait size and allows you to target specific areas for fish, such as structures like rocks and bluffs. Once you find the right area, keep fishing it. Amazing catches of walleyes can be made during this time of year not only because they love to hang out together, but because they do tend to bite well once you find the right bait. Just remember, they won’t chase down your lure so you have to find them first!
No matter where you find yourself fishing, targeting walleyes during the fall months can be a little tricky. They are not in their summer patterns and routines, nor are they where you might find them during the coldest parts of winter. With a little bit of work and the right tactics, you can not only find the walleye but successfully catch them again and again. Hopefully now you are better prepared for when the cold water temperatures hit your area, and can capitalize on the great walleye fishing!
Looking for more Walleye tips? Try our article about Shore Fishing for Walleye.
Need some Walleye lures? Check out our Elite Walleye box.