Walleye fish, its habitats, characteristics, fishing methods.
The Walleye is extremely popular fighting sport and an excellent food fish. The toothy walleye will eat virtually anything they can catch and get in their mouth. They prefer small fish and will eat crustaceans, worms and insects. Try fishing for walleye from sundown to midnight, particularly during the heat of summer.
A combination of understanding the fish and the techniques used to catch them will help you to hook more fish to the end of your line. Better knowing and understanding of the fish that you are trying to catch will make you a more successful angler, whether you are fishing for trout on a river or surfing on the beach or trolling on the open water.
Walleye - Sander vitreus, is a member of the
perch family, also known as: Yellow Pickerel, Pickerel, Pike-perch, Walleye Pike, Walleyed Pickerel, Walleyed Pike-perch, Yellow Pike, Yellow Pike-perch, Yellow Walleye. It is a freshwater fish native to most of Canada and to the northern United States, from the Hudson Bay to the Gulf coast of Alabama, and northwest of the Hudson Bay from Manitoba to the Beaufort Sea on the border of the Yukon Territory. It occurs from Massachusetts to southern Arizona, the northern portions of Nevada and New México. It is a North American close relative of the European pikeperch.
The largest member of the
perch family, it could reach 25 lb. (11 kg). It has large, glassy, solid eyes that gave the walleye its name. In shallow water at night the eyes glow harshly under lights, eagerly identifying these fishes even before they can be seen. The light on the eyes of the walleyes is the result of a light-gathering layer called the "Tapetum lucidum". This characteristic allows the fish to see well in low-light conditions. The spiny dorsal fin lacks spots, but has a black rear base. The lower lobe of the tail has a white tip. The dorsal sides of the walleye are olive-green with golden hue on the flanks. The olive/gold pattern is broken up by five darker saddles that extend to the upper sides. The color shades to white on the belly. The mouth of a walleye is large and is armed with many sharp teeth. The first dorsal and anal fins are spinous as is the hard bony flap covering and protecting the gills. Walleyes can grow up to 30 inches (75 cm) in length, and weigh up to 15 lb (7 kg). Females grow larger than males. Their typical caught size is usually 18-25 inches.
Habitat and Habits
Walleyes may be found lurking in turbid waters, but their natural habitat is located in clean waters, particularly deep lakes and moderate to low-gradient Rivers. They are usually in large, windswept natural lakes of moderate to low clarity. They can also be found in smaller lakes, reservoirs, and rivers and streams with moderate current. Walleyes prefer clean, hard bottoms and water temperature from 65 to 75 degrees F. This fish can also see well in stained or rough turbid waters, giving them an advantage over their prey. Walleye is often found at the breaking waters.
Spawning occurs at water temperatures of 43 to 50°F (6 to 10°C). Adults travel to tributary streams in late winter or early spring to lay eggs over gravel and rock, some spawn on sand or on vegetation. A large female can lay up to 500,000 eggs. No parental care is given to the eggs or fry. The eggs are slightly adhesive and fall into spaces between rocks. After hatching, the free-swimming embryo spends about a week fascinating the fairly small amount of yolk, and after that the young walleye begins to feed on invertebrates such as zooplankton. Walleye feed heavily on crayfish, minnows, leeches, and earthworms. Male walleyes adult became sexually at age 3 or 4, while females normally grown-up a year later.
This is an extremely popular sport fish. The best fishing is at night when the walleye is feeding. Since walleyes have excellent visual acuity under low illumination levels, they tend to feed more extensively at dawn and dusk, on cloudy or overcast days and under choppy conditions when light penetration into the water column is disrupted. Similarly, in darkly stained or turbid waters, walleye likely are feeding throughout the day.
This is an excellent food fish. The flesh is white to light pink, firm and consider great on the market. Strong fighters, walleyes stay deep and wage a determined battle. Walleyes are light sensitive. They have a layer of pigment in the retina of the eye called the "Tapetum lucidum". Because of their light-sensitive eyes, they bite best around dusk and dawn, at night, or in cloudy weather. Popular baits and lures include minnows, nightcrawlers, leeches, jigs, spinners, and plugs, especially minnow plugs.
Walleyes are best caught when the water temperatures get below 55º F, this is the reason why this fish is the favorite catch during fall, when also the turbidity of the rivers subsides the visual stimulating of walleyes, which can see their food floating, making it easier for the angler to see their activity. Good walleye fishing due to the walleye's increased feeding activity during windy water (rough water typically with winds of 5 to 15 miles per hour).
Always use light line (4-6 lb), thin-diameter lines offer less resistance on a lure, it helps walley to suck. Bounce the bait When you're using live bait, good to use a bottom-bouncer rig. When retrieve the rig, the weight bounces off the bottom and creates slack in the line, which allows the fish to inhale the bait more easily. Shorten the stroke instead of using long vertical strokes that can pull the bait out of a fish's mouth. It is easier for the fish to inhale a big bite, always try to offer a bigger bite. Pumping a crank with crankbaits will retrieves aggressive walleyes, but a stop-and-go technique is better for deliberate feeders. Once the lure achieves proper depth, lift the rod tip, reel in the slack, and repeat. Trolling with the waves imparts necessary slight slack in the line.
During Spring fish shallow to moderate depths as the walleye move into the shallows to spawn. Gravel ledges, points and submerged humps in protected areas are prime holding areas. Better to use Small crankbaits, small jigs and plastic worms.
During Summer fish shallow in the mornings and evenings and move deeper as the sun rises. Use lures that mimic crawfish as this is a favorite food of the walleye. Follow points and rocky or gravel structure deeper until you establish the proper depth. Great to use Crankbaits, Jigs and plastic worms.
During Fall fish shallow to moderate depths in the mornings and evenings. As the sun rises move deeper toward outside structure and use small spoons or jigs. Good to use Jigs, crankbaits and spoons.
During Winter try moderately shallow depths in the mornings then move deeper as the sun rises. Walleyes are less active in cold water, so move your bait in a slow, easy to catch manner and fish deep structure. Use Jigs, spoons and plastic worms.
Great rods for Walleye fishing are:
18ft Telescopic Spinning Rod,
12ft Telescopic Spinning Rod,
12ft Telescopic Casting Light Rod,
18ft Telescopic Carbon Pole,
24ft Telescopic Fishing Pole
Freshwater Fish Species
The Perch family species
Saltwater Fish Species