Walleye (Stizostedion vitreum)
- Size 1 to 10 lbs
- Food Value Excellent
- Game Qualities Excellent
- Habitats River, Lake
Walleye is the largest fish in the Perch family, widely distributed and targeted throughout freshwater fisheries of North America. It's excellent to catch and is considered prime table fare.
Walleyes got named after their outwards-oriented eyes, which seem like they're looking at walls. They also have a light-gathering layer in them to help see in scarcely lit and murky waters, which is why they prefer feeding in these conditions, when they have an edge over their prey. However, this mechanism actually has a counter-effect and makes their eyes eerily glow in the dark, giving anglers a chance to spot them from afar.
It's estimated that Walleyes can grow up to 30lbs and over 40'', but can rarely be caught over 10lbs, with the majority between 1 and 4.5lbs.
The species is native to lakes and rivers of the USA and Canada and has been successfully introduced to continental waters it previously didn't inhabit. It's the state fish of South Dakota, Vermont and Minnesota and the official fish of Saskatchewan.
How to catch
Live bait fishing is the most productive for Walleyes. Minnows will work excellently, but, depending on the season, they will go for leeches, night crawlers, redtail chubs, shiners and suckers as well. Many anglers like using jigs, which are also very effective. The best fishing is done at night and when the weather is overcast or the water turbid. Here is an excellent resource on Walleye fishing specifics.
Good to eat?
Phenomenal white/pinkish flesh.
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