There are several methods I use to catch walleye under the summer sun. Though I used to struggle catching the fish during this time, I’ve quite a few summer walleye techniques that have helped my all-round fishing game develop.
Here’s a secret: the key to catching more walleye is to diversify your fishing areas and not sticking to one area of the water.
It’s because summer walleye love variety – they’re hungry fish, for sure, and will leave no stone unturned to find their next meal.
Table of Contents
- Summer Walleye Fishing Tips
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Summer Walleye Fishing Tips
Venture to the River Mouth to Catch More Walleye
Water temperatures are at their highest in the summer and baitfish love to migrate near river mouths as the temperatures tend to be a lot cooler here.
This is where the warm, stagnant waters of the deep mix with the free-flowing springs of the shallow. This provides a desirable temperature for plankton (the base of the aquatic food pyramid) to congregate, which in turn will attract baitfish, and then larger predatory fish.
But how do you take advantage of this?
It’s simple – time your exploits to perfection and, if you can, troll crankbaits on planer boards, as this will increase the amount of water you can cover.
Trolling crankbaits are perhaps my most-used summer walleye tactic. It allows me to (literally) cast a wide net and cover more ground during the day.
Whilst it’s possible to catch walleye at any time of day, their large eating habits tend to be at their zenith at both dusk and dawn. Of course, you’ll need plenty of natural light, so finding out your preferred time depends on the weather habits of your area.
Venture into the Deep
I know I just waxed lyrical about exploring the shallower parts of the water, but here’s the thing – walleye can be found everywhere, and realizing this is key to perfecting your early summer or late summer walleye fishing technique.
As I stated before, water temperatures are at their highest during the summer months, so be sure to take full advantage of this by exploiting the cool depths, too. Walleye gorge themselves during the summer and can eat up to three percent of their total body weight in a single day.
They can be found in both deep and shallow water as they look to maximize their food intake.
Adjust Your Speed
One of my favorite late summer walleye tactics is to experiment with different trolling speeds.
If the water temperatures are sufficiently warm, I like to be bold and increase my trolling speed accordingly.
Sometimes I’ll troll at or above two miles per hour, and sometimes I’ll see what happens going below. Doesn’t sound like much, but it makes a huge difference over the course of a day.
That’s the beauty of trolling crankbaits, I guess, and I make sure to pay particular attention to the biting speeds of the fish.
Explore the Grassy Areas
My fourth tip for summer walleye fishing techniques is to get down and dirty in the grassy areas of the water.
Lake vegetation is at its peak during the summer, and I’ve noticed there’s always a surge of activity around these areas from every level of the marine food pyramid.
Walleye tend to head to these areas in low-light conditions, and I find utilizing a swimbait is pretty productive in grassy areas. If this fails, I use a subtle live bait rig to entice the fish even more.
If your fishing hours are limited to the early morning or late evening, you can find a lot of joy exploiting the grassy areas of the water.
How deep do walleye go in the summer?
If there’s enough oxygen for them, walleyes tend to gravitate towards deep water in the summer months. The cooler water temperatures and abundance of deep-lurking food sources provide a temptation too great for the walleye to resist.
Depth, though, is subjective and depends on the body of water you’re fishing in. Some lakes are deep at 40 feet, others at 15. Walleye are capable of reaching up to 50-60 feet in some instances.
However, their feeding habits dictate how deep they venture and walleye don’t stay in one area of water all day. During low-light conditions, they’re known to explore shallower areas of water.
That being said, you’re probably doing your fishing during daylight hours and taking full advantage of the summer sun. In that case, head to the deeper areas to find walleye.
How do you jig for walleye in the summer?
Snap jigging is a great tactic for catching summer walleye. The rapid, jerky motion of the lure gets the walleye’s attention, and their deep-nature in the summer provides the perfect environment for you to practice your snap jigging in. You just need to make sure you have the right lure.
I’ve noticed that heavier jigs are definitely the way forward here. If it’s windy, I find that going up as heavy as ⅜ of an ounce is effective for summer walleye catching.
However, if you only have one eighth of an ounce jigs lying around then don’t worry as these can be pretty effective, too, especially if you’re fishing in moderately deep waters.
This aggressive fishing tactic is a lot of fun and definitely gets results. I’ve caught walleyes in both shallow and deep water this way, but it does require some practice. The rapid wrist motions and quick reflexes can prove difficult if you’ve never fished this way before, so don’t beat yourself up if you can’t master it immediately.
What do walleye eat in summer?
Learning what walleye eat in the summer is key to catching them. Yellow perch, shiners, insects, and crayfish are all on the walleye’s summer menu.
Adult walleyes will feed on snails, frogs, mud puppies, and small insects if they’re deprived of options.
What are the best baits for walleyes in the summer?
I’m partial to using leeches and worms when baiting walleye. However, these can easily be stolen by other hungry fish in the vicinity, so make sure you bring a large supply with you.
Minnows are also very popular and are great for catching summer walleye. Aim for slightly larger minnows (in the 4 to 6 inch range) when targeting larger fish to bypass other, smaller fish in the water.