Walleye fishing is a year-round sport and thanks to Georgia DNR’s walleye stocking program there’s plenty out there. Anglers must change their game plan in the cooler months of the year to be successful though. Just like leaves, walleye habits change too with the cooler seasons.

If you’re like most of our anglers, you don’t want to put down the rod and reel just because it’s cold outside. So, grab your coat, your fishing license and check out these tips on how to keep your fishing game strong even when Jack Frost is nipping at your nose.

ZachMoran_walleye_shocking_2019
DNR Biologist Zach Moran with a walleye sampled during electrofishing survey.
  1. Go in the evenings.

Walleye have huge eyes which allow them to feed well after dark.  During the fall months, walleye move into the shallows to feed on small bream and yellow perch.  Casting artificial lures imitating their fall food favorites is a good way to draw the attention of a hungry walleye. Try casting live baits like minnows and nightcrawlers into the shallows and flats. Keep in mind moon phases can impact your success. Night fishing is at its best when there’s a full moon.

 

  1. Patience is an angling virtue.

    Angler with 27 inch walleye
    Academy Jack with a 27 inch walleye caught in December 2018.

From December to February, fish “lose their appetite” due to the colder water temperatures. Anglers may have to have a little more patience when waiting for a strike. Live bait is hard to pass up as an easy snack. Live herring, medium shiners, and jigging spoons are all great options to coax a bite out of a fish.

 

 

 

  1. A little rain is a good thing.

As late winter rolls around, watch for warm rains. Tributary runoff is warm and causes cloudiness in the water attracting baitfish. Walleye will gather in the tributary areas in hopes of an easy meal.

 

  1. Slow and steady catches the walleye.

Carters HAYES_WALLEYE Feb 2018
Carter Hayes with his February walleye.

Be sure to drag your bait slowly around every nook and cranny of bottom structures. Walleye are hanging out at 30-60 feet depths, especially near dams in the fall and winter. If you’re able to hook one fish, there are sure to be others nearby.

 

 

 

 

  1. Check out the Walleye Fishing Seasonal Calendar.

This helpful chart tells anglers where walleye fishing is best throughout the year. Lake Tugalo and Lake Yonah offer great walleye fishing year round while some of the other lakes fluctuate on how well the fish bite. Be sure to check out the fishing tips included in the formal Georgia DNR Walleye Fishing Guide.

walleye seasonal fishing chart

 

Looking for more walleye fishing tips and tricks? Check out our complete seasonal walleye fishing guide.

You may also be interested in 6 Tips for Spring Walleye Fishing