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Walleye fishing in Missouri

Walleye prefer moderately deep lakes with gravel, rock or sandy bottoms. It is found primarily in cold water lakes but has proven to survive in warmer impoundments. It is prized for its great tasting filets. Click here to learn all about walleye fishing.

Fishing Boats For Rent In Missouri

Missouri provides excellent opportunities for walleye fishing, with both walleye and sauger inhabiting its lakes and rivers. Anglers can enjoy pursuing these prized game fish in various waterways throughout the state, showcasing the popularity of walleye fishing in Missouri.

Many lakes and reservoirs in Missouri are known for their walleye populations. Lake of the Ozarks, Table Rock Lake, Truman Lake, and Stockton Lake are just a few examples of popular walleye fisheries in the state. These bodies of water provide ample habitat and forage for walleye, making them ideal locations to target these elusive fish.

In addition to lakes, Missouri's rivers also offer exciting walleye fishing opportunities. The Missouri River, Osage River, and Mississippi River are well-known for their walleye populations. Anglers can target walleye in river systems by utilizing various techniques such as trolling with crankbaits or jigs, casting with live bait or artificial lures, and vertical jigging near structure or drop-offs.

Sauger, a close relative of walleye, are also popular targets for anglers in Missouri. They are often found in the same habitats as walleye and provide an additional angling opportunity. Sauger are known for their hard strikes and strong fights, making them a thrilling catch for anglers.

Missouri boasts impressive state records for walleye and sauger. The current state record for walleye is over 21 pounds. For sauger, the state record stands at over 5 pounds. These records highlight the potential for trophy-sized catches and the allure of walleye and sauger fishing in Missouri.

Whether fishing on a scenic lake or exploring the flowing rivers, Missouri offers diverse opportunities for walleye and sauger fishing. Anglers can experience the thrill of hooking into these prized game fish, with the chance to reel in trophy-sized specimens. With its abundant fisheries and impressive state records, Missouri is a must-visit destination for walleye and sauger enthusiasts.

Walleye & Sauger Fishing Lakes in Missouri

There is surprisingly good walleye and sauge fishing in MO. Major lakes including Blue Springs Lake, Bull Shoals Lake, Fellows Lake, Forest Lake, Harry S. Truman Reservoir, Lake Jacomo, Lake of The Ozarks, Lake Springfield, Lake Taneycomo, Long Branch Lake, Longview Lake, Mark Twain Lake, Mozingo Lake, Pomme de Terre Lake, Smithville Reservoir, Stockton Lake, Table Rock Lake and other smaller waters have populations of walleye and/or sauger.

Fishing for walleye in Missouri



World record: 25 lbs 0 oz

State Record: 21 lbs 1 oz



World record: 17 lbs 7 oz

State Record: 5 lbs 1 oz

Click the images and links above for species details.

Top lures for walleye in Missouri

Jigs with a variety of trailers and bait work well in virtually any depth water. When walleyes are shallow, spinnerbaits, small crankbaits and rip baits are the often very productive. As they move deeper, spoons are ideal for active walleye. Understanding the seasonal movements of walleyes improves your odds of selecting the right lures for conditions on local waters.

The state record walleye was caught out of Bull Shoals Lake.

Tthe state record sauger came from Osage River.

Fishing For Walleye

This toothy fish will eat virtually anything it can catch and get in its mouth. They prefer small fish and will eat crustaceans, worms and insects. They tend to be somewhat wary and prefer the safety of deeper darker water. Trolling for walleye with deep diving crankbaits, jerkbaits, spinners and live bait provides a way to cover vast areas and locate concentrations of fish. Use of planer boards allows anglers to cover water out both sides of the boat while trolling. Try fishing for walleye from sundown to midnight, particularly during the heat of summer.

Walleye spawn in spring and when they have the option will choose to migrate from the lake up into feeder streams to spawn. If this option is not available they seek out shallow bars or shoals with clean bottom surfaces near deep water.

Fishing For Sauger

Closely related to the walleye and similar in appearance, sauger are generally smaller than walleye, reaching 4 to 5 pounds (or more) and up to about 20 inches. Often found in muddier rivers, it thrives in larger, silty lakes. They spawn in the shallows at night, without creating or guarding specific nests.

Watch this video for walleye tips and tactics.

Walleye Resources

In-Fisherman - Walleye
U.S. Fish & Wildlife - Walleye
The National Wildlife Federation - Walleye


Also find information about walleye, sauger or saugeye fishing in these states.

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Learn the migration patterns of walleye

Walleye become active in spring and begin the spawning process in medium-depth water. As summer arrives they move to deeper, cooler water. In fall walleye migrate into shallower water again and feed aggressively preparing for their move to deeper water where they will spend winter.