Erie produces large walleye. Most fish are over
the 15 inch minimum. The average walleye caught
off shore is in the three to five pound range.
Seven and eight pound walleye are not uncommon.
The smaller fish are better table fare, although
generally walleye make an excellent eating fish,
second only to the yellow perch. The average age
of walleye found in our waters is five to six
years. Some walleye have been found to be twelve
are considered sensitive to light. Generally they
will not be near the surface on a bright day.
At night, they may be just below the surface.
Walleye are not as temperature sensitive as other
fish, like the steelhead. Walleye may be holding
in different temperature zones. Walleye are considered
a schooling fish - if you find one, you may have
found a whole school.
is said there are two distinct walleye populations:
the "resident" population of generally
large fish that stay here all year and are often
closer to shore, and the "migrating"
population that moves into our waters during the
summer and early fall. The resident walleye are
the fish that are caught in the spring and early
summer at night or closer to shore. The migrating
population stays in the shallower western basin
of Lake Erie in the winter and spring. As the
water temperature of the lake rises, these fish
begin to move east into the deeper waters.
Most walleye fishing during the summer is done
offshore. Trolling is by far the most popular
method. About two m.p.h. is considered the ideal
speed to troll for walleye. Early in the season,
when the lake is still warming, the fish are generally
closer to the surface. During these times, trolling
with planer boards or flatlining with a diving
lure is popular. As the lake warms, the walleye
hold deeper. By late July and August, the fish
can be found all the way to the bottom. If the
fish are holding part-way down, divers and downriggers
work best. If the fish are on or near the bottom,
willow leaf rigs with weights and downriggers
can also be taken by drift fishing if the conditions
are right. This method generally works only if
the boat will maintain a reasonable drift speed.
Still fishing for walleye is generally not productive.
Jigging for walleye is not common on Lake Erie.
The most popular method for drift fishing is to
use a nightcrawler rig also known as a carolina
rig, fished near the bottom. Let the rig drift
with the boat and bob with the waves. If a fish
strikes, act fast - there is nothing to set the
hook but you. If you have not experienced drift
fishing, give it a try - it can be a calm and
pleasant alternative to listening to the constant
groan of the trolling motor.
weight forward spinner and the nightcrawler rig
is very popular on the lake. The local bait shops
carry these rigs, or they can be made at home.
No one lure is most popular for walleye fishing.
Popular lures include spoons (the NK spoons are
popular) and stick baits (including Rapalas, Storms,
Bagleys and Hot -N-Tots). Deep diving plugs are
used with flatlines and planer boards.
above from FishUSA.com