Walleyes in most clear water lakes have two peak feeding periods per day, with one in the morning and the other in the evening.
All of the walleyes do not feed at the same time. The number of walleyes participating in any feeding movement depends on many factors including the weather, the availability of food and how much the walleyes ate in previous feeding movements.
Generally speaking, more walleyes will participate for a longer amount of time when the conditions are favorable than when they are less favorable.
Walleyes may decide to feed at any time of day or night, with individual fish taking advantage of opportunities to feed that are too easy to pass up.
Any flurry of walleye activity during the day usually depends on the weather conditions. Cloudy days with an approaching front are usually better than days after a front with bluebird skies, high winds and cold temperatures.
Regardless of the weather conditions, fish can still be caught at any time of day or night. Anglers can take the conditions into account and adjust their presentations accordingly. Anglers who make changes on what they are doing based on the conditions usually have more success than anglers who do the same thing in the same places every time they go fishing.
A wheeled fish house give anglers a base camp to work out of when they are on the lakes. Anglers should try to put their wheeled fish houses on the best spot they can find where the walleyes are most likely to be when they get active.
Anglers fishing on stained lakes such as Lake of the Woods and Upper Red Lake usually have a much better chance for a walleye day bite for than anglers fishing clear water lakes such as Bemidji, Cass and Leech Lake.
Anglers can bring a portable fish house to the lakes when they use their wheeled fish houses and explore around their location for species like perch and northern pike, which provide a better day bite than walleyes.
Many of the same areas that hold walleyes during prime hours of the day will also have perch somewhere nearby, usually in slightly deeper water.
Walleyes tend to hold over deepwater during the day when they are inactive and then move toward structure to feed when they get active. Some spots have perch during the day and then suddenly have walleyes move through the area as night approaches.
Walleyes often suspend off of the bottom during day at about the same depth they will want to be when they get active. This way they don’t have to adjust their air bladder when they change depths and can swim directly into structure when they get active and swim directly off of structure when they are done feeding.
Perch in many lakes are using deep water with mud bottom, so they can feed on insects like blood worms and mayfly larvae. Perch have poor night vision, so they are day feeders. Walleyes feeding on perch can wait until it gets dark to feed, so they can take advantage of their superior eyesight.
Perch provide a good alternative for walleye anglers during the day while they wait for the walleyes to get active. Northern pike are another alternative and can be found in almost any depth during the winter.
Anglers are allowed two lines during the winter in Minnesota, so anglers can hop from hole to hole for perch while they put out a tip-up with a larger minnow for pike.
Lake of the Woods is still producing good results for walleyes in the mornings and evenings, with some anglers fishing areas with rocks in 12-16 feet of water. They can also catch suspended walleyes while fishing for sauger during the day.
Most sauger in Lake of the Woods continue to be caught in 28-32 feet of water in areas with mud bottom, where they feed on insect larvae. The areas with houses get fished down over time, so spread out and fish the edges of the groups of anglers.