If you want to catch more walleyes this season, try staying up at night. Walleyes are adept nocturnal hunters best caught by night fishing.
While most anglers are sleeping, walleyes are pursuing and feeding on unsuspecting prey that cannot see as well in low-light conditions. This nocturnal activity offers a prime opportunity for walleye anglers.
Night fishing for walleyes is especially effective during the warmest months of the year, especially in lakes or rivers with very clear water. Here are some tips to help you catch walleyes at night.
During the warmest months, walleyes are usually found in deep, cooler water during the daylight hours, barely moving and often not feeding. But when the sun goes down and the temperatures drop, the walleyes move into shallow water in search of prey.
When night fishing for walleyes, you want to concentrate you efforts on shallow water. In many cases, walleyes will be found in less than 6 or 7 feet of water. You may have to go deeper, but usually not any more than 15 feet. Focus your efforts on the weed flats. The fish will be actively searching for food and spread out, so you will need to cover a lot of water, quickly. The best flats to concentrate on are those adjacent to deep water. If you know of deep water areas that typically hold walleyes, go to a flat nearby when night fishing.
While stealth is important in many types of fishing, it is especially important when you are night fishing for walleyes, because the fish are in shallow water. Keep noise levels to an absolute minimum and use as little light as possible. Bright lanterns and flashlights can quickly alert walleyes to your presence. Loud outboards will also spook the fish. Creep in to a potential location with your electric motor to help you keep noise to a minimum.
Crankbaits are one of the best bait choices when night fishing for walleyes, because the fish are on the move and actively chasing prey. Crankbaits allow you to cover a significant amount of water in a short period of time, which helps you locate the fish more quickly. You can present your crankbaits by casting or trolling.
Another effective bait for night fishing is a jig, tipped with a minnow. Active, vertical jigging can be deadly for night fishing.
Dark colors are the best choices, because these are the colors walleyes see best during low-light conditions. Also, glowing baits can be effective for night fishing. They provide that little extra that will help the fish better see your bait.
It is important to remember that walleyes approach their prey from below, so you will want to run your baits about three or four feet deep, so the fish can come up and attack them. Whether you are using a jig or a crankbait, try to keep your bait at the mid-level for the best results.
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