Fishing at night can be challenging, yet very rewarding for walleye fishermen. Walleye can be found feeding on the flats in shallow water, around points, weed lines, mid-lake humps and any other shallow water area with deep water access nearby. Casting shallow water crankbaits is probably the most effective way to fish for walleye at night. Trolling can be productive, but it’s definitely a skill to control your boat and multiple lines at night. If you can find some deep water fish, vertical jigging may be the easiest way to fish at night for walleye. When jigging for walleye, you may not even need to cast your line. Just drop your line into the water, let the jig free fall to the bottom and then jig your bait near the bottom as you control your boat with your trolling motor. Fishing this way will help you avoid tangles while still catching plenty of fish.
Go With a Buddy
Simple. Be safe. Go with a buddy.
Have the Proper Lights
No lights and you’re asking for trouble. You may be fine, but just wait for the tangles.
Know the Water You’re Fishing
Scout out the areas you plan on fishing at night during the day. This is one of the best tips for staying safe.
Check the Weather
You don’t want to be on the water at night if bad storms are coming in. Even if you know what you’re doing and you have all the required safety gadgets, it won’t matter if something happens and you need the help of someone else. There is a good chance that nobody will be out there to lend a hand.
Fish During the Full Moon
The full moon offers more light at night which makes fishing easier on the angler, which is great. The fishing is usually also better, so it’s a win-win.
First Nightfall Can Be Awesome
Walleye will usually go on a feeding frenzy from sunset through the first part of the night. Depending on the day, this bite may last a few minutes or up to an hour or longer. When the bite is on, it’s usually pretty aggressive, but it won’t stay steady for long. A lot of times, you’ll catch more fish over a half hour stretch then you will in the next couple of hours once that feeding frenzy ends.
Fish Later in the Night
After that first initial feeding frenzy that occurs right around sunset to about a half hour into night time, the bite can really slow down. So, if you’re looking to spend a lot of time on the water doing some night fishing, you can usually have a lot more success by waiting a few hours. For example, if it gets dark at 8 p.m., you may have better luck fishing from midnight to 4 a.m. than from 8 p.m. to midnight. You will usually find more walleye in the shallows and more fish that are now hungry again by waiting and fishing later in the night.
Fish 2 Hours Before Sunrise
This stretch of the night time usually offers some very good fishing opportunities for walleye you can carry right into the day time and fish during that peak morning bite as well.
A lot of walleye will move into the shallows at night time. Try fishing the shallower water similar to how bass anglers would work the shallows for bass. Fish with crankbaits, ring worms and grubs and cover some water.
Troll at Night
Trolling can be very effective to help you cover water and find more active fish. Many of the better walleye guides will troll at night and they have a lot of success doing it. At night, you can usually just troll with crankbaits and have a lot of success.