temp 53

level -6ft

clarity 7 feet

Even in cold weather, fishing can be rewarding. Understanding fish behavior during the coldest times can be enjoyable. Vertical fishing is key for walleye—using spoons, jigs, minnows, and soft plastics presented directly in front of the fish. Triggering a reaction strike requires subtle movements compared to the aggressive presentations of the fall season. To locate fish, focus on areas with bait and look just below for fish near the bottom, typically within the 50 to 60-foot range. Maneuver your boat for the best vertical presentation based on wind and cover the area thoroughly.

If you’re not getting bites, don’t linger too long, keep moving and keep fishing sometimes you’ll catch fish that weren’t even marked on your graph because they’re too close to the bottom. Walleye behavior is influenced by light and weather conditions; cloudy, overcast, or windy days tend to yield better catches. Adapt your bait colors to match the weather for successful fishing. We have seen plenty of 22 to 23-inch fish, and occasionally larger 25 to 26-inch ones.

As for stripers, they’re found in the backs of creeks ,up river in the channel bends and by the boat ramps feeding on smaller baits before moving into deeper waters as the sun rises. Follow the depth of bait balls with your baits for success. Been some nice schools of striped fish observed recently, Pull baits slow watching the graph and watch for bird activity like loons or gulls. 35 to 50 feet has been the consistent depth But have caught suspended fish 80 feet deep under feeding loons during daylight hours using artificial baits. Key areas are not specific as similar bait scenarios exist in various creeks.

Capt.Eric Crowley
Head Guide
Lake and Stream Guide Service