Set Your Hook

Fall Fishing For Walleye

Walleye illustration

Walleye are considered one of the finest tasting fish available. The meat is white, flaky and has a very mild flavor. So, this week’s Set Your Hook article gives you some general fishing techniques for catching walleye.

Do you know where to find walleye in your area? Are you looking for a lake where you can fish from shore or go out in the boat? Find lakes, rivers and streams on

Walleye Description

Walleye are known by their yellow-olive back with a brassy cast. The sides are brassy-yellow with dark mottling, and the belly is white; there is a dark spot at the rear of the spiny dorsal fin. The eyes of a walleye are opaque-silver in color. The fish have moderate canine-like teeth. They range in length from 12 to 29 inches and can weigh between 10 oz. and 12 pounds or greater.


Walleye Location & Habitat

Walleye are a bottom oriented fish, due to their sensitivity to light, preferring to stay in deep water during the day, moving to shallow waters during the night. The walleye prefers moderately deep lakes with gravel, rock or sandy bottoms. It is found primarily in cold water lakes but has proven to survive in some warmer water impoundments. They spawn in spring, in relatively shallow water, over clean gravel or rocky bottoms.

There are eight lakes in Arizona that have walleye, but you can only eat the walleye from 6 of them (mercury issues!) Before you consume ANY fish, be sure to check your local Game & Fish to see if there are any restrictions.

Walleye’s Favorite Foods

Walleye will eat virtually anything they can catch and get in their mouths. They prefer small fish and will eat crayfish, worms and insects.

Angling For Walleye

Because of light-sensitive eyes, walleyes feed more actively early in the morning, late in the evening, or at night. Effective lures and baits include, minnows, night crawlers, jigs, crankbaits, spoons, small spinner baits, and minnow imitating plugs, as well as plastic worms and grubs. (Be sure you can fish with live bait in the lake!)

Fall Fishing For Walleye


This fish can be somewhat wary and prefer the safety of deeper, darker water. Try fishing for walleye from sundown to midnight, particularly during the heat of summer.

Fall Fishing For Walleye

Top Baits: Jigs, crankbaits and spoons. Fish shallow to moderate depths in the mornings and evenings. As the sun rises, move deeper and use small spoons or jigs.

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