We're all busy these days, so we need to maximize the hours we can fish with peak hours of fishing activity. For starters, monitor sunrise and sunset times with either the Outdoor News Hunting and Fishing Report or purchase an Outdoor News calendar, which contains this information for all 365 days of the year.
Now, as a general rule for walleyes, the best times to fish this twilight-loving species is about an hour before sunset to two hours after sunset. That's, quite simply, when these fish like to feed. Flip those times for sunrise: two hours before sunrise to an hour after sunrise.
Now, to alleviate the noise factor, you need to complete drilling your holes an hour before prime time. So for fishing shallow walleyes when sunset occurs at 4:45 p.m., you should plan on good fishing to commence at 3:45 p.m., and should have your holes drilled by 2:45 p.m.
Now, these general rules aside, any experienced angler knows you can have sporadic walleye action all day and night. Cloudy days and stable weather provide the best combination, but other factors can help, too. Snow atop the ice means less light underneath, and that translates into more hours of walleyes in their personal twilight zone. An approaching snowstorm often foreshadows a good bite.
If you have all day or night, and love to ice fish, then by all means, sit as long as you like, but if you have limited hours for ice fishing, target the times we've explained above.