Shallow Water Walleye Fishing in Spring
Spring walleye fishing means chasing down shallow water walleye that are roaming the flats and feeding in and around cover like rocks, weeds and wood.
Shallow water is relative to the body of water you’re fishing. In some lakes, you might be fishing as shallow as 2-4 feet, which is the case in the video above where Al Lindner and James Lindner are targeting walleye way up in the shallows on a flat calm day. They’ve never fished this lake before, but they know early in the season to search the up in the skinny water for post spawn walleye. This particular lake has walleye and white bass, which is a great combination for action and eaters!
Fishing shallow on a calm day with no wind might not be the best way to catch a boatload of walleye, but it is really helpful for understanding how the underwater structures of the lake are laid out. You easily see unique depth changes, cover elements that might hold fish, and other key features with your eyes and a pair of polarized sunglasses.
Shallow water walleye tend to feed in very specific locations. Although they like to spread out and wander this time of year, you’ll find that certain cover elements or transition areas will hold the majority of the “biters”. This might be a group of large boulders, patches of weeds, a gravel transition, a hard-to-soft-bottom transition, etc.
When you’re fishing shallow water walleye like this, sometimes a two foot ledge will be just as important for these fish as a 20 foot drop-off in the main lake areas they inhabit in the mid-summer and fall periods.
Shallow water walleye fishing means more “target fishing” with the spot-on-the-spot being smaller and more defined. Once you’ve identified and learned the spots that hold fish this time of year, you can fish quickly, running and gunning from spot to spot, looking for active fish. This might be a pocket, a little point with two or three boulders on it, a row of stumps running alongside a river channel.
In many ways, this is very similar to shallow water cover fishing for bass. These walleye are doing the same thing in these systems.
Wind is a big bonus for the shallow water walleye bite. It will funnel fish into these key shallow feeding locations. That’s when the bite really fires up, but it’s nice to “scout” these areas out beforehand on a flat calm day when you can identify and mark down these walleye-holding hotspots ahead of time!