Walleye action about to heat up

It has been a long winter in Sunset County. We’ve received an over-abundance of cold weather and plenty of snow but, as anglers, we have good things to look forward to: longer days, some hot ice-fishing bites and, hopefully, some milder weather.
Walleyes—probably more than any other fish—show increased activity levels, make predictable late-season movements, and provide the best late ice-fishing opportunities.
Walleyes spawn in the spring, shortly after ice-out, so it makes sense that the late-season feeding binge is necessary to prepare walleyes for the rigours of this event.
They spawn in areas with current, or sand and gravel areas in bodies of water without significant amounts of current, and this is what makes their late-season movements so predictable.
If you know of creeks or current areas that are known walleye-spawning areas, then you have a starting point in where to start looking for fish. Walleyes are not going to be waiting in the current yet, but as March progresses, fish are going to start moving and staging close to these areas.
Fish will set up on structure like long extended points and humps at the mouth of the bays or channels where spawning action is going to go down.
As we progress in March, fish activity levels will increase and anglers will experience better fishing during the traditionally slower mid-day hours. They also will see a really hot prime-time bite just before dark.
The quality of the fishing is amplified from what it was throughout January and February.
The fishing will get better and better until the ice deteriorates enough that it is no longer safe to be out there. Then it’s time to start getting the boat ready!
Some years we are able to target walleyes on the ice until the season closes on April 15, but in other years we may be kicked off the ice in early April because of warm temperatures.
I love ice-fishing, but let’s hope for the latter.
Lures and baits are not nearly as important as finding the fish. Walleyes are going to be bingeing so if you are not catching fish or seeing them on your electronics, keep moving and looking.
My number-one bait is a quarter-ounce Northland Buckshot Rattle Spoon. I’m usually not to picky about colours, and let the fish tell me which is best because colour preference of the fish changes on a daily basis.
Usually I experiment with chrome, gold, and chartreuse colour options.
The reason the spoon is so effective is that it has the ability to call fish in from long distances because of its rattle and flash characteristics.
I will jig the spoon aggressively if no fish appear on my electronics and slow down to a more subtle jigging motion when fish move in close enough that they appear on the screen of my flasher.
Other bait options, like the traditional jig and minnow combo, Jigging Rap, and Puppet Minnow, will put walleyes on the ice, as well. When I am using spoons or horizontal baits like the Jigging Rap, I usually tip these baits with a minnow head just to give walleyes a little bit of scent, but this is not necessary on some days.
Be mobile and experiment with different bait options on the ice this month—and you will enjoy some fantastic walleye fishing.

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