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The Best Baits for Catching Walleye at Night

Fishing for walleye at night can be a rewarding experience, with a whole different range of species active and feeding once the sun sets. One of the secrets to successful night fishing is having the right bait on your line. Certain baits are more effective than others when it comes to catching walleye at night, so it’s important to know the different baits that make walleye bite after dark. In this article, we’ll take a closer look at some of the best baits for catching walleye at night.

Location Considerations

Walleye can be caught during the day, but for the best results, anglers should consider fishing for walleye at night. While there are many different types of walleye bait that can be used to catch walleye, the right bait and fishing technique will be critical to a successful night fishing trip.

Choosing the Right Walleye Bait

When choosing bait for night walleye fishing, anglers should consider factors like the size of the bait, the action of the bait, and the color of the bait. Smaller walleye baits work better in dim light, while larger baits can be used when there is more moonlight. Flashy and brightly colored baits can be used to lure walleye in deeper waters. Anglers should choose baits that imitate the forage of walleye in their area.

When and Where to Fish for Walleye at Night

The best time of day to go night fishing for walleye is between two to four hours after sunset. This is when the water temperature is close to its highest. Walleye can be found in shallow, medium, and deep depths, depending on the season, temperature, and daylight. During the warmer months, walleye can be found in shallow waters, while in the colder months, they will be in deeper waters.

Location Considerations

When choosing a location to fish for walleye at night, anglers need to consider the type of cover and structure in the water. For example, walleye will typically congregate near points, drop-offs, and weed beds. Shallow flats, shorelines, and bridge pilings are also popular night fishing spots for walleye. Anglers should also take the wind direction into consideration, as it can have an impact on the bite.

Tips and Techniques for Night Walleye Fishing

In addition to choosing the right bait, anglers should also pay attention to their technique. When fishing for walleye at night, anglers should use a slow, jigging motion with their bait. This creates a realistic, natural appearance that walleye will be attracted to. In addition, anglers should keep their bait within a few feet of the bottom of the lake or river. This will help them to target the walleye that are most likely to be feeding.

Fishing Gear for Night Walleye Fishing

When fishing for walleye at night, anglers should consider using a rod and reel combo that is specifically designed for night fishing. A spinning reel is generally recommended, as it offers more accuracy and control when casting. Anglers should also use braid or fluorocarbon line, as these lines are less visible in the water and will help reduce line tangles.

Appropriate Equipment

Night fishing for walleye (also known as a pickerel) can be an incredibly rewarding experience. To have the best success, you’ll need the right gear and equipment. Knowing what gear is appropriate for night fishing for walleye is key to a successful and enjoyable fishing trip.

Lure and Line

For maximum success, it’s essential to select the right lure and line. Because walleye feed primarily on small fish, some of the best bait to use are small crankbaits, spinners and jigs. A good rule of thumb is to use a lure that is about the same size as the smaller bait fish in the area. Taking into consideration the size of the bait you’ll be using, choose a line that is 6-20 lbs. in strength.


When walleye fishing at night, you’ll need appropriate lighting in order to see what you’re doing. A spotlight or flashlight will help you identify the lures and lines, and allow you to spot any fish that may be around. You’ll also want to bring a lantern to illuminate your work area, and perhaps a headlamp to keep your hands free.

Hook and Sinker

The hooks and sinkers you’ll use for night fishing for walleye should be sized appropriately for the type of bait that you’re using. Walleye tend to have quite a large mouth, so use a larger hook, such as a 6-10 size. You’ll need to select a sinker that’s appropriate for the type of line that you’re using, and also one that’s not too heavy that it will scare away the fish.

Net and Landing Device

When fishing for walleye at night, you’ll need to make sure you have a net and a proper landing device for securing the fish. A landing net is essential for quickly and safely securing the fish and removing them from the water. You’ll might also need a pair of long nose pliers or a set of forceps to help remove hooks from the fish.

Weather Protection

When fishing for walleye at night, you’ll need to be prepared for any type of weather. Invest in a quality raincoat, as well as life vests for everyone in your boat. And, if your boat doesn’t have heaters, you’ll need to bring appropriate blankets and clothing to stay comfortable during the colder hours of the night.

Other Essentials

Other key pieces of equipment include a first aid kit, spare parts and lures, a watertight container for storing snacks and drinks, a wire stringer for keeping your catch, and a high-quality cooler to store your catch in. With the right gear and equipment, you’ll be ready to head out for a successful night of walleye fishing.

Types of Lures

Walleye are some of the most sought-after game fish in the United States. Anglers have a variety of baits they can choose from to tease walleye out of their hiding spots and into the boat. Fishing for walleye at night often requires a different approach, as the fish tend to feed more actively in the darkness. Knowing the right bait to use when fishing for walleye at night can help improve an angler’s success rate.

Live Baits

Live bait is considered one of the best baits for catching walleye at night. Many anglers use minnows and leeches, as these are natural food sources for walleye and often attract larger, more aggressive fish. Jigging minnows is also a popular technique for fishing for walleye at night. Using jigs of different sizes and colors, anglers can often entice walleye to take the bait.

Artificial Lures

Artificial lures can also be effective when fishing for walleye at night. Crankbaits, spinnerbaits, and jigs are all commonly used. Adding some glow paint to the lure can give it an extra flash underwater that may be the difference between a catch and a miss. Anglers should experiment with different colors, sizes, shapes, and types of artificial lures to find the one that works best for their area.

Plugs and Spinners

Plugs and spinners are two other types of lures that are popular for night walleye fishing. Plugs are worked along the bottom of the lake and mimic the way baitfish swim. Spinners offer more of a flash that can be seen from a distance in the dark and often attract larger walleye. Again, anglers should experiment with different sizes, colors, and shapes to find the right combination for their area.

Light Attraction

Using lights to attract walleye is another popular method for catching walleye at night. Anglers can use a headlamp or a lantern to draw in walleye from a distance. The light will attract baitfish, and the walleye will follow. This tactic works best when paired with live bait, as walleye will usually feed more actively when they can see the bait.


Jigging is another technique that can be effective for night walleye fishing. Using a jighead tipped with live bait, anglers can work the jig around rocks, weeds, and structure. Varying the speed of the jigging and imitating a natural swimming motion with the rod can induce strikes from walleye. Different weights of jigs can be used depending on the depth of the water and the current flow.

Techniques to Maximize Activity

When it comes to catching walleye at night, the right kind of bait can make all the difference. The best baits to use for night fishing include worms, minnows, crankbaits, jigs, and spoons. Live worms are one of the most popular and effective baits, as they can be easy to find and attract walleye with their movement and scent. Other great choices are minnow imitations, as they can give off a helpful vibration that will draw the attention of nearby walleye. When choosing baits to use, think about the specific features of each one to ensure you’re getting the most success possible.

Fish During the Right Times

In order to be successful when fishing for walleye at night, it’s important to fish during the right times. The best times to catch walleye at night are the hours just after the sunsets and until midnight. Walleye are known to be more active during these twilight hours, as they prefer the cooler water temperatures that come with the night. When fishing for walleye at night, anglers should also be sure to bring along a good headlamp or flashlight to help navigate the waters safely.

Use Strategic Techniques

Successfully catching walleye at night requires anglers to use the right techniques. One of the best techniques to maximize activity is trolling. Trolling consists of dragging lures and bait behind your boat, which attracts walleye with the vibration and helps to cover more ground. Additionally, anglers should utilize their electronics to increase their chances of catching walleye. Sonar and GPS can be invaluable in locating walleye at night and helping to ensure that you’re fishing in the right spots.

Monitor the Weather

Weather can have a big impact when it comes to fishing at night. Windy or rainy nights can be difficult times to fish, as walleye can be harder to find. Plan your trips accordingly and if possible, try to wait for a calm and clear night when walleye are more likely to be active. Additionally, making sure to check the local weather forecast ahead of time can be helpful in ensuring you’re planning your fishing trips when conditions will be favorable.

Catch Walleye at Night with the Right Gear

When it comes to fishing for walleye at night, having the right gear is essential. An experienced angler will want to bring along the right rod and reel combination, along with the necessary lures and bait. Additionally, if you’re planning to fish from a boat, it’s important to make sure that you have a good quality flashlight or headlamp. Finally, it’s important to always wear a life jacket, even if the weather looks calm, as you never know what might happen on the water.

By following the tips discussed in this article, anglers can increase their chances of successfully catching walleye at night. With the right baits, techniques, and gear, walleye can be easily found in the evening hours, providing anglers with a great way to enjoy the outdoors.

Strategies to Maximize Success

If you want to maximize your success at night-fishing for walleye, one of the best strategies is to become familiar with the local waters. Understanding the environment and the waters in which you’re fishing will give you the knowledge and confidence to try different baits and techniques. Knowing the depth and temperature of the water and the type of terrain will give you an advantage when you’re choosing the right bait to attract walleye.

The Right Bait and Presentation

Using the right bait is essential for success when night-fishing for walleye. Live or prepared bait is the best option for attracting walleye at night. Popular choices for bait include minnows, worms, leeches, salmon eggs and cut bait. When it comes to presentation, choose something that looks natural and keeps the fish interested. Make sure to vary the speed and direction of your bait regularly, as walleye are opportunistic feeders.

Try Different Locations

To achieve the best results, try different locations and depths. Walleye are usually found in shallow water near the shoreline during the day, but they tend to move out into deeper water and suspend in the middle of the lake at night. Try fishing near drop-offs, points and humps, as well as any other structure that may attract walleye.

Go with a Guide

If you are new to night-fishing for walleye, it might be beneficial to go out with a professional guide who is experienced in this type of fishing. A guide can introduce you to the best spots and the right techniques, giving you the best chance of maximizing your success.

Catching Walleye Under the Natural Light of the Moon

When it comes to angling for walleye, night fishing is an exciting way to capitalize on the feeding habits of these freshwater predators. To successfully catch walleye at night, anglers should equip themselves with the right baits such as crankbaits, live worms, and spinner rigs. Specifically, fire tiger crankbaits, large worms, and copper and gold Colorado blades work best for walleye. Additionally, anglers should be sure to choose lures with the right sizes and weights that correspond to the depth of the water they are fishing in. Lastly, anglers should always remember to keep their baits near the bottom of the water and to pay close attention to the current and weed beds. With the right equipment, anglers can have a successful night fishing outing by catching walleye under the natural light of the moon.

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