Walleye

Walleye Common Names: dore, pickerel, pike-perch, wall-eyed pickerel, wall-eyed pike, yellow pickerel.

Without doubt one of the most sought after fish in America. Most fishing gurus agree they are the best eating freshwater fish available, because of their light texture and great flavor of their meat.

Even though this fish has been called a pickerel, the proper name is walleye. The term refers to the fish’s glassy eyes., which are uniquely adapted for night vision. their large eyes help them find prey after dark and in the gloom of deep water.

Because walleyes are popular with anglers, fishing for walleyes is regulated by most natural resource agencies. Management may include the use of quotas and length limits to ensure that populations are not overexploited. For example, in Michigan, walleyes shorter than 15 in (38 cm) may not be legally kept, except in Lake St. Clair and the St. Clair River, where fish as short as 13 in (33 cm) may be taken.

Since walleyes have excellent visual acuity under low illumination levels, they tend to feed more extensively at dawn and dusk, on cloudy or overcast days, and under choppy conditions when light penetration into the water column is disrupted. Although anglers interpret this as light avoidance, it is merely an expression of the walleyes’ competitive advantage over their prey under those conditions. Similarly, in darkly stained or turbid waters, walleyes tend to feed throughout the day. In the spring and fall, walleyes are located near the shallower areas due to the spawning grounds, and they are most often located in shallower areas during higher winds due to the murkier, higher oxygenated water at around six feet deep. On calm spring days, walleyes are more often located at the deep side of the shoreline drop-off and around shore slopes around or deeper than 10 feet.

As a result of their widespread presence in Canada and the northern United States, walleyes are frequently caught while ice fishing, a popular winter pastime throughout those regions.

“Walleye chop” is a term used by walleye anglers for rough water typically with winds of 10 to 25 km/h (6 to 16 mph), and is one of the indicators for good walleye fishing due to the walleyes’ increased feeding activity during such conditions. In addition to fishing this chop, night fishing with live bait can be very effective.

The current all-tackle world record for a walleye is held by Mabry Harper, who caught a 11.34-kg (25-lb) walleye in Old Hickory Lake in Tennessee on August 2, 1960.

Walleyes are piscivorous, meaning they feed mostly on other bait fish.