Walleye are mostly olive and golden in color. The dorsal area starts as olive and fades to golden on the flanks and then to white on the underside. The mouth of a walleye is large and round and full of many small, sharp teeth. They are also marked with large blackish spots across the dorsal/flank area. The size of walleye can vary, but the largest one ever caught was 36 inches!
Walleye are found throughout Canada and northern United States. However, they have been introduced into many other US states as well. They are sensitive to bright light, so they hang out in deep cloudy water of rivers, lakes, streams, and ponds. They prefer dwelling in the sandy bottoms with a lot of weeds and plants. It’s also very common for them to swim into large logs or pockets where there is very little light.
As previously mentioned, walleye love the dark. Their eyes are especially sensitive to bright lights, so they prefer feeding at dawn and/or dusk when the sun is low. Overcast or rain are also common activity times for these fish since the sun is shielded by cloud. Their sharp teeth allow them to bite and catch other fish, often yellow perch but sometimes minnows, crayfish and leeches.
One of the best ways to catch a walleye is vertically jigging with a jig and twister tail. This proven fishing technique mimics a distressed baitfish. Since walleye are piscivorous, meaning they eat pretty much only other fish, more walleye are caught in Utik Lake using jigs, than are caught on all other lures combined! Additionally, it’s usually best practice to fish early in the morning or late in the day, since these fish are most active at nighttime. At night, they often venture into shallower water since they no longer need to hide in deep water to protect their eyes from the sun.
Walleye are considered a rather palatable freshwater fish, which make them game for recreational and commercial fishing. It’s also common knowledge that windy or choppy days on the water are great for fishing for these fish since that often means it is not very sunny outside. A majority of commercial fisheries for walleye are located in Canadian waters of the Great Lakes.
Utik Lake in northern Manitoba is well-known for having some of the best walleye fishing of anywhere in North America. This is because of the lake’s perfect combination of cool, fresh water, countless hidden bays, steep rocky drop-offs, and vast weed beds, walleye have the perfect habitat to thrive. The lake has the perfect balance of all the criteria required for walleye populations to remain extremely high. Year after year anglers travel to North Haven Resort, the only fishing lodge on Utik Lake, in search of endless numbers of hard fighting walleyes. The largest walleye ever caught at Utik Lake was 76.20 CM/30.00 IN.
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