Minnesota Walleye Fishing
Walleye prefer moderately deep lakes with gravel, rock or sandy bottoms. It is found primarily in cold water lakes but has proven to survive in warmer impoundments. Ice fishing lakes can be found across the state. It is prized for its great tasting filets. Click here to learn all about walleye fishing.
Walleye, Sauger & Saugeye
Residents of MN are very fortunate to have excellent walleye fishing throughout the state. Many of the smaller lakes have healthy populations of walleye as do the vast majority of larger impoundments including Big Stone Lake, Cass Lake, Kabetogama Lake, Lac Qui Parle Lake, Lake Bemidji, Lake Mille Lacs, Lake Minnetonka, Lake Minnewaska, Lake of the Woods, Lake Pepin, Lake Traverse, Lake Vermilion, Lake Winnibigoshish, Leech Lake, Lower Red Lake, Otter Tail Lake, Pelican Lake, Rainy Lake and Upper Red Lake. Rivers flowing to and from many of these lakes also have a few walleye for the persistent anglers.
World record: 25 lbs 0 oz
State Record: 17 lbs 8 oz
World record: 17 lbs 7 oz
State Record: 6 lbs 2 oz
World record: 15 lbs 6 oz
State Record: 9 lbs 13 oz
Click the images and links above for species details.
Top lures for walleye in Minnesota
Jigs with a variety of trailers and bait work well in virtually any depth water. When walleyes are shallow, spinnerbaits, small crankbaits and rip baits are the often very productive. As they move deeper, spoons are ideal for active walleye. Jigs and ice jigs are very productive when ice fishing. Understanding the seasonal movements of walleyes improves your odds of selecting the right lures for conditions on local waters.
Minnesota State Walleye, Sauger & Saugeye Records
The state record walleye was caught out of the Seagull River.
The state record sauger came from the Mississippi River.
The state record saugeye was taken out of the Mississippi River.
This toothy fish will eat virtually anything it can catch and get in its mouth. They prefer small fish and will eat crustaceans, worms and insects. They tend to be somewhat wary and prefer the safety of deeper darker water. Trolling for walleye with deep diving crankbaits, jerkbaits, spinners and live bait provides a way to cover vast areas and locate concentrations of fish. Use of planer boards allows anglers to cover water out both sides of the boat while trolling. Try fishing for walleye from sundown to midnight, particularly during the heat of summer.
Closely related to the walleye and similar in appearance, sauger are generally smaller than walleye, reaching 4 to 5 pounds (or more) and up to about 20 inches. Often found in muddier rivers, it thrives in larger, silty lakes. They spawn in the shallows at night, without creating or guarding specific nests.
This hybrid is created by mating sauger with walleye. The walleye influence allows the hybrids to grow larger than sauger, often to sizes equaling walleye. Saugeye tend to survive best in turbid/silty water and are caught in the same general areas and habitat populated by walleye and sauger.
Minnesota walleye spawn in spring and when they have the option will choose to migrate from the lake up into feeder streams to spawn. If this option is not available they seek out shallow bars or shoals with clean bottom surfaces near deep water.
Watch this video for walleye tips and tactics.
Also find information about walleye, sauger or saugeye fishing in these states.
Learn the migration patterns of walleye
Walleye become active in spring and begin the spawning process in medium-depth water. As summer arrives they move to deeper, cooler water. In fall walleye migrate into shallower water again and feed aggressively preparing for their move to deeper water where they will spend winter.