Some people might think that fishing for walleye during the spring is a poor idea. While it is true that strikes can be few and far between, particularly during spawning, springtime is also one of the best times of year to catch a trophy fish. As long as you are using the appropriate walleye fishing lures for the situation and season, you could be landing a lunker on your next springtime fishing endeavor.
The reason why springtime can be one of the best walleye fishing seasons in terms of catching trophy fish is because pre-spawn, the females are very large. Pre-spawn is characterized by water temperatures reaching the low 40s. Baitfish are not prevalent during this time of year, so walleyes will swim to the shallow areas to find precious food. You can adapt to this behavior by fishing the shallows, especially at night. While trolling is a great technique to use in the summer, during this time doing so might scare away a vulnerable fish. It is better to cast than to troll pre-spawn.
In order to eliminate frustration out on the water, anglers should avoid fishing during spawning because the fish just will not bite. The time in which spawning occurs depends on each lake’s geographic location, but fish in warmer climates will spawn first. It takes a little while for walleyes to recover from the spawn, so it is recommended to avoid fishing for a couple weeks to a month and to resume fishing when the fish will be more active.
After the spawn is when you can land a walleye, but you must realize that they will be rather lethargic and will not work too hard for a meal. Females will not be eating much post-spawn but you can hook a hungry male if you are patient and allow your bait to rest in the water without much movement. Using live bait such as a shiner on a jighead will help you to fish slowly. Try fishing rock beds and weedy areas; do not fish too deep because the water temperatures will not yet have warmed to an appropriate temperature for walleyes to congregate there.