ABC’s of Arizona Walleye Fishing Appetite

As a general rule of thumb, Walleye are toothy fish that will eat practically anything that dangles in front of them. They reside near the surface during times of high activity and feeding. As the sun goes down and temperatures start to cool, they linger in a warm spot between the water surface and the bottom. The deeper the water depth, the safer walleye feel. Ideal times to fish for walleye are during a summer heat wave between the hours of sundown and midnight.

Favorite food items include smaller fish, worms, insects and crustaceans. Keep in line with this food preference by using live bait, crankbait, and small spinner bait along with plastic worms and grubs to coax walleye out of their cozy hiding spots. When fishing for walleye in Arizona, base bait selection on the time of year you are fishing. For example, in the spring walleye tend to move towards shallower waters in order to spawn. Use a selection of small crank baits, jigs and plastic worms.

Typical spots during this time of year are gravel ledges and protected submerged areas. As summer approaches, walleye stick to shallow ground during daylight hours. When night falls, the fish move into deeper territories. This usually leads them into the deep terrain of gravel structures. In this situation, any lure that simulates movement of crawfish is going to be an instant hit. With fall comes the walleyes need for medium depths for most of the day. Let the direction of the sun rise point you to the walleyes favorite outside structures.

Use smaller spoons, jigs or crank baits to reach these depths and lure the fish to your line. Sticking with this game plan, walleye start out shallow and head deeper in the winter as the sun begins to rise. The water temperatures are colder which leads to slower action by the fish. Follow this tempo by keeping line and bait movements slow. Ideal bait for this time of year is jigs, spoons and plastic worms.


Arizona walleye are on the fussy side when it comes to where they chose to hang out. Most of the time, they can be found making their way from lakes into feeder streams. Here is where they go each spring in order to spawn. Any shallow area that resides near deeper water depths is the preferred walleye spot. Outside of this, popular walleye stomping grounds are in deep lakes with gravel or rocky bottoms. Some of the big lakes to seek out walleye are Upper Lake Mary and Show Low Lake. Overall Arizona offers limited spaces for fishing walleye.

One spot that is a big hit with Arizona walleye anglers is Fools Hollow Lake. This is an angler’s paradise. The structures available for fishing are virtually limitless. Every angler is sure to find his or her favorite among this hot spot. Rock ledge structures run rampant here. Timber spots come in all shapes and sizes from lay downs to standing areas. The rest of the lake area is comprised of flats, humps and weed beds as far as the eye can see. All of which are favorite hideouts for walleye.

There are, of course, a few rules to keep in mind when fishing Fools Hollow Lake. Maximum horsepower speeds are ten. The setup of the lake provides ideal conditions for trolling the water surface. In addition to walleye calling the lake home, anglers may run across catfish, rainbow trout, large mouth bass and bluegill in the process. During wintertime, the lake surface partially freezes over from the 6,331 feet of elevation sitting.

Smaller yet still effective walleye fishing lakes are Apache Lake, which is located just to the north east of Apache Junction, Arizona. This lake is 2,600 acres in size. Another one is Canyon Lake ten miles east of the Apache Junction, Arizona. This central state lake is 950 acres in size. Last but certainly not least is the Saguaro Lake northeast of popular Mesa, Arizona. This 1,200-acre lake is a mere ten miles from Mesa.