Walleye is a freshwater fish native to most of Canada and to the northern United States. It is a North American close relative of the European pikeperch. The walleye is sometimes also called the yellow walleye to distinguish it from the blue walleye, which is an extinct subspecies formerly found in the southern Great Lakes. In some parts of its range, the walleye is known as the colored pike, yellow pike or pickerel, although the fish is related neither to the pikes nor to the other pickerels. Walleye are a popular sporting fish through North America and Canada.
Walleye Fishing Locations
Walleye is spread throughout the United States and Canada. The Great Lakes claim to be home to the best Walleye fishing in the world, and some anglers would certainly agree. Minnesota uses the Walleye as their state fish as does South Dakota, and the province of Saskatchewan in Canada. Walleye are also a favorite pastime of anglers on the Columbia River system in the Pacific Northwest. Walleye size varies greatly throughout their range with most of the world records being caught in the Great Lakes region.
Walleye Fishing Techniques
Stick to the colors that work: Bright colors in dirty water, more natural colors in clear water. Have the mindset of the pro and be versatile. Let the conditions you find yourself in dictate your fishing strategy. Always adapt. Give the walleyes what they want how and when they want it. Just because a certain lure or technique has worked in the past, doesn’t mean it’s going to work today. Go with what works today, because each day truly is different.
Using bottom bouncers to fish for Walleye can be very effective, Keeping track of the bottom where you are fishing is important when using this tackle, and speed plays a big part as well because of course as the name implies, the most important factor of all when fishing with bottom bouncers is to ensure you have employed enough line so that your presentation is able hit the bottom of the lake, river, stream or reservoir. Hiring a walleye fishing guide or walleye fishing charter is a great way to find out what works for the location you are fishing in.
The walleye is considered to be a quite palatable freshwater fish, and, consequently, is fished recreationally and commercially for food. Because of its nocturnal feeding habits, it is most easily caught at night using live minnows or lures that mimic small fish. Most commercial fisheries for walleye are situated in the Canadian waters of the Great Lakes, but there are other locations as well. Walleye has a white flaky flesh, with a mild flavor. Walleye are great grilled, baked or broiled. Most walleye fishing guides or charter captains have favorite recipes they will be happy to share with you – just ask!
The common name, “walleye,” comes from the fact that their eyes, like those of cats, reflect light. This “eyeshine” is the result of a light-gathering layer in the eyes, which allows the fish to see well in low-light conditions. In fact, many anglers look for walleyes at night since this is when major feeding patterns occur. The fish’s eyes also allow them to see well in turbid waters (stained or rough, breaking waters) which gives them an advantage over their prey. Thus, walleye anglers will commonly look for days and locations where there is a good “walleye chop” (i.e., rough water). This excellent vision also allows the fish to populate the deeper regions in a lake and they can often be found in deeper water, particularly during the warmest part of the summer.