While walleye may be fished year round in Missouri waters, the winter months provide cool clear water that is more likely for you to find several of these toothy fish bunched together. Not only do they put up a good fight, they are delicious too! The taste of a fried walleye and their cousin Sauger, come in a close second only to Crappie for this angler. This is all the motivation I needed as I have been making my way to a few different local waters to fish those deep holes that have been known to hold a walleye or two.
You can catch walleye on a variety of live bait (minnows, shiners, nightcrawlers and leeches) or lures (crankbaits, spoons, jigs, etc). The best choices vary, depending upon the season, water and available prey items. During late winter and early spring months, walleye inhabit lakes and concentrate near or in tributaries and along rocky points and banks in preparation for spawning. Stream fish will congregate in pools near traditional spawning shoals and other rocky structures. During the winter season, try fishing slow-moving stick baits, shiners or jig and minnow combinations.
One of the particular days I was able to break away this winter was Christmas Eve. With the forecast showing a storm front coming in I had my hopes for limiting out early. Using a buck hair jig, I worked my way up and down the river jigging the deep holes and bends as I went. Unfortunately the day didn’t prove to be my best trip to date, but being out on the water a few months earlier than expected and watching a pair of Bald Eagles was well worth it.
If you find yourself hankering for some time on the water this winter, get out and work some of the deep pockets on your local rivers or lakes and you may find yourself hooked up with one of these toothy, delicious Missouri fish. Walleye are a rough game fish in Missouri with a daily limit of 4 per person. The length will vary due to the water you are fishing so be sure to check your local waters regulations. For more information on walleye visit the link below.