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ice walleye on Lindy Quiver Spoon

Top Strategies for Early Ice Walleyes

Fish Ed TV host Jon Thelen offers insights on the factors that influence walleye behavior early in the ice season and how to use that knowledge to find fishing success.

“For the most part, they’re in the same places we left them in the fall when we were in boats,” Jon Thelen said about early ice walleyes. “They tend to be tighter to the shoreline, using main lake points, the first breaks out, and any weeds that are hanging on.”

Two primary factors influence the walleyes’ locations during the first part of the ice season, according to Thelen, who has made a lifelong study of fishing in the North Country and who makes his living teaching others how to catch more fish through Fish Ed TV. First, they follow food sources. As importantly, they are influenced by human activity – specially, fishing pressure – atop the ice.

Early ice offers some of the best opportunities of winter, and it’s a time that many anglers anticipate from the time the safe ice goes away at the end of the previous winter. Ice season will be here soon, so we asked Thelen for insights about how to find and catch the most walleyes during the first part of the ice season.

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