Walleye Fishing in February: Tips and Tactics for Success

Walleye Fishing in February: Tips and Tactics for Success

Jodie Paul February 26, 2024

Walleye fishing in February can be challenging, but also rewarding. Walleye are cold-blooded fish that slow down their metabolism and activity in the winter. They tend to stay in deeper water, where the temperature is more stable, and the oxygen level is higher. However, as the days get longer and the ice begins to melt, walleye start to move up the water column and become more aggressive. They also prepare for their spring spawn, which makes them more likely to feed on baitfish and other prey. Here are some tips and tactics to help you catch more walleye in February.


The first step to successful walleye fishing in February is finding the right location. Walleye are structure-oriented fish that use underwater features such as points, humps, drop-offs, reefs, and weed beds to ambush their prey. They also follow migration routes that lead them to their spawning grounds, such as river mouths, dams, inlets, and gravel bars. Depending on the lake or reservoir you are fishing, you may need to drill several holes in the ice to locate the walleye. A good strategy is to start from the deepest part of the basin and work your way up to the shallower areas, checking different depths and structures along the way. You can also use a map, a GPS, or a sonar device to help you find the best spots.


The second step to successful walleye fishing in February is choosing the right presentation. Walleye are opportunistic feeders that will eat a variety of baits and lures, depending on the conditions and their mood. Some of the most popular options for ice fishing are spoons, jigs, minnows, and tip-ups. Spoons are metal lures that flash and rattle, attracting walleye from a distance. Jigs are weighted hooks that can be tipped with live or artificial bait, such as minnows, worms, or plastics. Minnows are natural baits that can be hooked through the lips, the back, or the tail, and suspended under a bobber or a tip-up. Tip-ups are devices that set the hook for you when a fish bites, allowing you to fish multiple holes at once.

The key to presenting your bait or lure effectively is to match the walleye’s activity level and mood. Walleye generally are more active and aggressive during low-light periods, such as dawn and dusk, and less active and finicky during midday. Therefore, you may need to adjust your presentation accordingly. For example, during peak feeding times, you can use more aggressive techniques, such as jigging a spoon rapidly or using a large minnow. During slow periods, you may need to use more subtle techniques, such as lifting and dropping a jig slowly or using a small minnow. You may also need to experiment with different colors, sizes, and shapes of your baits and lures until you find what works best.


The third and final step to successful walleye fishing in February is having patience. Walleye fishing in February can be frustrating, as the fish can be unpredictable and elusive. You may need to drill many holes, move around frequently, and try different baits and lures, before you find and catch the walleye. You may also encounter periods of inactivity when the walleye are not biting at all. However, if you are persistent and patient, you may be rewarded with some trophy-sized walleye to make your efforts worthwhile. Walleye are known for their excellent taste and quality, making them one of the most sought-after fish among ice anglers.

Walleye fishing in February is not for the faint of heart, but it can be a fun and rewarding experience. By following these tips and tactics, you can increase your chances of catching more walleye in February. Remember to stay safe, dress warmly, and enjoy the beauty of nature. Good luck and tight lines!

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