Walleye are known as more of a deep water fish, but they can often be found in the shallows. For walleye, shallow water would be considered 10 feet deep or less. The main times that you will find them shallow is in the spring, early morning, late evening, at night or in murky water or on rivers. You may experience a nice shallow bite when you are targeting walleye, however, understanding how to catch them deep is key to consistently limiting out on walleye.
Spring Time is Best for Shallow Water Walleye
In the spring, you can often find plenty of walleye in the shallows along rocky shorelines or weed edges as water temperatures are just starting to warm up.
Low Light Conditions Drive Some Walleye Into the Shallows
Some anglers report good catches of walleye in just a few feet of water throughout the entire open water season even when it gets hot. The key is to target these fish when they move up to feed on bait fish. This will be early in the morning, late evening and at night.
Murky Water Will Hold More Shallow Water Walleye Than Clear Water
Murky water always gives you a better chance of finding shallow water fish. Compared to clear water, you will almost always find walleye shallower in murky water. In spring and fall, you may be catching walleye in just 3 to 6 feet of water. It all depends on the body of water you are fishing.
Rivers Will Hold More Shallow Water Walleye Than Lakes
Rivers typically will hold more walleye in shallow water than on lakes. The current helps position fish and the moving water helps create more oxygen in the water and cooler water temperatures which helps keep some walleye much shallower compared to lakes the same time of year.