Many Kansas reservoirs and lakes are stocked with walleye yearly, bringing anglers from across the Sunflower State and even across state lines to try to land one of these famously bug-eyed fish.
While walleye are caught year-round, spring is one of the best times to catch these toothy and delicious fish as they move into shallow water to spawn. However, it’s best to fish for them during low-light conditions because they are very sensitive to sunlight.
Chances are there’s a lake near you that has good walleye fishing throughout the year, but is it one of the best waterways in the state?
Let’s find out!
Cedar Bluff Reservoir
Cedar Bluff Reservoir, along the Smoky Hill River south of Interstate 70, is a 6,000-acre reservoir primarily surrounded by rock cliffs.
Its location in far-western Kansas and robust fishery brings many Coloradans during the spawn in early spring because the walleye fishing is some of the best in the state. The reservoir allows anglers to land an 8-pound or larger fish.
Cedar Bluff State Park offers locations with boat rams and campgrounds, so you can spend lots of time at the lake if you’re traveling to get here.
Bright-colored jigs and crankbaits work very well when targeting walleye. If you are fishing during the spawn, focus your efforts around the dam before the sun rises and again after it has set.
Located just southwest of the small town of Kirwin in northern Kansas, Kirwin Reservoir has one of the highest densities of walleye in the state.
If you want to have a good chance of catching more walleye than anywhere else, this is the place to do it.
It’s a 5,000-acre lake with a couple of boat ramps and a campground with limited amenities. Fishing from the shore is an good option during the early season, with 35 miles of shoreline.
Live minnows are one of the best ways to catch walleye, no matter the time of year. Fish near rocky shorelines during the spring and brush piles near drastic depth changes in the summer.
As always, walleye fishing when the sun isn’t shining gives you the best chance to catch them.
Waconda Lake (Glen Elder Reservoir)
Known as a top crappie fishing spot in Kansas, Waconda Lake (or Glen Elder Reservoir) also is tough to beat when walleye fishing.
This 12,600-acre lake amid the vast farmlands of north-central Kansas allows anglers to fish from a boat or along the 100-plus miles of shoreline. There are several boat launches and campgrounds around the lake, including Glen Elder State Park on the north shore.
Beginning at the dam or one of the bridges crossing coves on the lake will be best when using crankbaits, jerkbaits, large jigs, minnows, and worms.
Don’t be afraid to fish 25 feet or deeper during the day, and then shift to fish much shallower in the evening and throughout the night as walleye move up to feed when the sun isn’t glaring down.
Bordered to the north by Webster State Park, Webster Reservoir is a 3,700-acre lake east of Hill City on Highway 24 in northwestern Kansas.
The walleye fishing with minnow-tipped jigs is great around the fish attractors placed at the north end of the lake by the KDWP.
During the spawn head for the dam, this is one of the prime spawning locations. Crankbaits, jerkbaits, and jigs are some of the best lures to use while walleye are spawning.
Several campgrounds and boat ramps give anglers loads of access to the lake and the 25 miles of shore.
Located north of I-70 at Wilson, Wilson Lake is home to one of the highest densities of walleye in the state and is capable of producing big un’s!
Trolling and casting, crankbaits, jigs, and swimbaits around rocky main lake points in the late evening or early morning will give you the best chance of landing a walleye.
In the spring, head for the dam, where the highest concentration of walleye spawn at the lake.
With over 100 miles of shoreline, several boat launch ramps, and a few campgrounds, you’ll have plenty of water access to catch your walleye limit. Wilson State Park is on the southeast shore.
Wilson Lake also is a fantastic place to battle smallmouth bass, which earned it a spot on our list of best bass fishing lakes in Kansas.
A 3,000-acre reservoir near the Nebraska border, Lovewell Reservoir is a prime location for walleye fishing year-round. There are several boat launches and campgrounds to stay at the lake, an impoundment on White Rock Creek.
They are generally caught in 20 feet or deeper water using jigging spoons, minnows, and brightly-colored deep-diving crankbaits.
During the winter, fish the deepest holes you can find with good structure and baitfish. In the warmer months, walleye primarily patrol shallower flats loaded with baitfish.
The dam is a great place to start when walleye are spawning, as it’s rocky and has tremendous depth changes.
Lovewell State Park is located on the north side of the reservoir and offers camping and other amenities.
With an excellent population density of walleye, Milford Lake is a great place to fish if you love the challenge of fishing in large reservoirs.
This lake is 15,700 acres, with multiple boat ramps and campgrounds in the Fort Riley and Junction City area.
Rocky points and flats near drop-offs are where walleye spend most of their time, which is why the dam is such a good place to test the waters.
The typical lures, such as jigs, crankbaits, and jerkbaits, work well here, and don’t forget about bottom bouncers rigged with worms when relating to the bottom.
Milford can be treacherous on windy days, so sticking to some of the bigger creeks on those days is safest.
More: Complete Guide to Milford Lake Fishing
Perry Lake near Topeka doesn’t have walleye, but it does have its cousin, the sauger, which some anglers misidentify as a walleye.
This large 11,100-acre reservoir is home to a healthy sauger population, but they’re difficult to catch. The best way to get one to bite is by trolling crankbaits along the dam or casting a jig or crankbait in low-light conditions.
You’ll find lots of boat ramps and campgrounds at this lake, including Perry State Park. If the sauger aren’t biting, you’ll still have plento do.
You might test your luck with bass fishing or catfishing here, as it’s one of the best places in the Sunflower State for both species.
Tuttle Creek Reservoir
The saugeye in Tuttle Creek Lake is the main attraction because there is a very healthy fish population in this 12,500-acre lake with rocky shorelines.
The Kansas Department of Wildlife & Parks’ efforts to stock this walleye-sauger hybrid results in plenty of quality saugeye in the lake, which is near Manhattan and Milford Lake mentioned above.
Dragging a worm, crankbait, or jig will yield the best results for saugeye. Target the shallow water during the night or low-light hours and the deeper holes during the day.
Just below the dam, you’ll find Tuttle Creek State Park and River Pond or Rocky Ford, which also are great places to catch a saugeye. A couple of boat ramps and a few campgrounds give you plenty of access to the water.
Nearby Willow Lake offers some of the better trout fishing in Kansas when it’s stocked during the cooler months.
Pratt County Lake
Despite being a small 51-acre lake, Pratt County Lake in southwestern Kansas is perhaps the most unique fishing holes on this list.
First, it’s built so all campers have their own finger of land jutting into the small lake, which officially is the Pratt County Veterans Memorial Lake and located a little more than an hour west of Wichita.
Second, there are plenty of fish to be caught despite its diminutive size, thanks to the local Pratt Fish Hatchery.
Fishing large jigs and jerkbaits near the rocks in the morning and evening will yield the best results.
Brightly-colored crankbaits also work well; you shouldn’t need anything that dives deeper than 10 feet as that’s the deepest this small body of water gets.
Minnows and worms are great baits if you’re struggling to get a bite.
There is one boat ramp for small boats and kayaks.
Located west of Wichita, Cheney Reservoir is a 9,500-acre lake home to solid walleye fishing with multiple boat ramps and campgrounds around the reservoir.
Bright lures like large jigs and crankbaits work best around depth changes.
Near the dam is a good place to start your search for walleye in the spring.
Creek and river channels are great places to begin searching the rest of the year.
No matter what the calendar says, fish during low-light hours for your best odds.
Walleye are ultra-sensitive to light, so they’ll be deep if you’re fishing during the day. However, you’ll find them hunting for their next meal in much shallower water at night.
Speaking of excellent night fishing, Cheney Reservoir also has some of Kansas’s best catfish fishing.
Cheney State Park is on the south end of the reservoir, near the dam.
El Dorado Lake
In the other direction out of Wichita, this 8,000-acre reservoir near the community of El Dorado attracts many visitors yearly to its waters, including walleye anglers.
During the spawn, rocky ledges, points, and shorelines will be the best in the evening and overnight, using jigs and jerkbaits.
During the summer and early fall, trolling using deep diving crankbaits along the river and creek channels will be the best strategy to locate hungry walleye.
There are many boat ramps from which you can launch a boat and camp at El Dorado State Park.
With several boat ramps and a campground, walleye anglers visiting Marion Reservoir will have plenty of access to the 6,200-acre lake an hour north of Wichita.
This lake, located between Mchpherson and Emporia on Highway 56, has excellent numbers of walleye. Most fish are around the 15-inch range, with a few growing to over 20 inches.
Large hair jigs, crankbaits, jerkbaits, jigging spoons, and minnows are the lures and baits you should stock up on before visiting.
No matter the time of year, fish near depth changes, such as rocky points, creek channels, and river channels.
When the baitfish are in the shallows, walleye will be close behind in low light conditions, so fishing flats early and late is another option in warm water.
Coffey County Lake (Wolf Creek Reservoir)
The cooling pond for Wolf Creek Generating Station, Coffey County Reservoir (a.k.a. Wolf Creek Reservoir), is home to excellent walleye fishing, thanks partly to being a dedicated public fishing lake.
Though it doesn’t have the highest density of walleye in the state, they tend to grow larger because the water stays warmer year-round. This is a great winter fishing location due to warm water releases from the power plant on this Burlington lake located an hour’s drive south of Topeka.
Using the typical walleye lures works well here, such as jigs and crankbaits, but there are special fishing regulations, so be sure to study them before heading out.
There is a boat launch on the west side of this reservoir and camping is available at the neighboring John Redmond Reservoir.
Catch More Walleye
Check out our walleye fishing tips and techniques to catch more of one of America’s favorite game fish.