Fishing for walleye in the winter weather in open water or through the ice is a wonderful way to spend a day. Walleye remain active through the cold winter months, but their metabolism slows down. However, even with a slower metabolism they will fight and run.
If you are going to fish through the ice, make sure you use a strong ice fishing rod. A light weight rod may be broken by an aggressive walleye. The reel should also be sturdy and loaded with fresh monofilament line. Fishing through the ice requires the line to be clear so it’s invisible to the fish. Walleye, especially the bigger more experienced, can get line shy if they can see the line.
Walleye enjoy feeding on yellow perch. In the winter most the yellow perch they are looking for are small adult sizes. Be sure to use bait that imitates the correct size and color. If possible, use live yellow perch for bait. That insures having the right size and color. Using live bait also gives movement to the bait.
One of the hardest things for fishing for walleye is getting the bait to move in a natural way. Jigging works ok, but having live bait that swims around, moving naturally, is the best way to catch a walleye.
If it’s not possible to use live bait then using swim bait will work with some modifications. Take the swim bait and drill a small hole in the dorsal fin. Feed the line through the hole about six inches above the line. Tie the line securely through the hole. Take the end of the line and tie it through the normal attachment point and trim away the excess line. Now when you jig the swim bait it pivots up and down, more like a natural fish.