Walleyes are some of the toughest fish to catch, when you haven't done your homework well. They make for some delicious meat and are completely worth the efforts, when it comes to really going after them.
Fishing for food can be understood but wanton fishing for recreation is unacceptable, as it has brought some species close to extinction. So you need to adhere by the fishing rules set down for specific species of fish, in various catchment areas like lakes and rivers.
About the Fish
Walleyes get their name from the fact that their eyes reflect light in the night, like cats, and they have excellent vision even in low-light conditions. They are endowed with this unique ability, because of a light-gathering layer of tissue in their eyes, known as the tapetum lucidum.
This ability of theirs, makes them formidable predators in murky waters, where they get an advantage over their prey. This enables them to stay deeper down in rivers and lakes. These fish are native to northern part of United States and Canada. They are mostly colored in olive and golden color.
Their bellies are white and they can be identified by the unique feature of white patches on the lower lobes of their caudal fins. Their mouths are large and lined with sharp teeth.
These fish are long-lived, with the longest lived being as old as 29 years of age. The average age is five or six years. They grow to a maximum length of about 75 cm and weigh up to 7 kg, which makes them big game fish. They feed on ciscoes or yellow perch and their staple diet is crayfish, leeches, and other fish.
Know Where To Find Them
Looking in the right areas is the key to increasing the probability of finding these fish. You need to understand their seasonal movement patterns and their feeding habits at different times of the day.
They prefer to stay in shallow waters and rocky areas, preferring cooler waters in summer. Their movement patterns are subject to changes in water temperature and water currents. The guiding principle is their feeding areas, which are reefs, weed edges, and sometimes, deep waters.
Veteran fishermen talk about 'Walleye chop' which is the term used to describe rough water areas, that are characterized by winds at six to sixteen miles per hour. These areas indicate pronounced walleye movement and are the areas that you should probe with your bait.
You need to probe deeper waters with your live baits, which can be any of the walleye's favorite foods like white perch, night crawler worms, minnows, or crayfish even. Artificial baits like rapalas, shaped in the form of live baits can hook more wheeleyes in summer time, in deep waters.
That is why, fishing in the night for walleyes is a good idea, which will certainly give you a better yield. Other than nighttime, they feed heavily during cloudy conditions, evenings, or at the break of dawn.
Jigs Can Be Very Effective
Jigs are particularly recommended, as they can be very effective in hooking these fish. They can carry live as well as artificial bait and can be used at varying depths, which makes them quite versatile.
Go slow in shallow waters and faster in deep waters (with deeper bait) and probe the depths with the jigs as thoroughly as possible. Jigs can increase your yield, once a school has been located. The jigs commonly used weigh around ¼ oz.
When it comes to fishing, persistence and patience, combined with the right technique will put the odds in your favor.