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How to catch Walleye

Walleyes can act very differently in different bodies of water. For example; on big water such as Lake Erie or Lake Ontario's Bay of Quinte the Walleyes mainly go out into open water and feed on suspended Lake Herring and you need a depth finder to see where they are and you need to troll down at their depth level. In some lakes the Walleyes just disappear into the depths after the spring spawn. The best thing to do is troll down deep with downriggers or with a 3-way swivel rig and use lures that mimic the colors of a Lake Herring or use a worm harness with a big fat worm. I am not going to get into this type of Walleye fishing because it's not found here at Anishinabi Lodge.

In a shallow weedy lake like we have in Northwestern Ontario the Walleyes act very differently. They stay shallow and close to shore, close to shoals or hide in the weeds and are easy to catch. Anishinabi Lodge's backcountry Walleye lakes are so stuffed with Walleye that they basically eat the lake clean and the only place the find food is close to shore or they hang out in stream current waiting for food to float down to them. Guests can get a hit or catch a Walleye almost every cast and it's very common for someone to catch 100 Walleyes in an afternoon.

In the north scented baits do not work as well as unscented or salted baits. Walleyes hit just about anything but the most popular are jigs with white twistertails or fuzzy-grub jigs in a natural worm or transparent green. In the spring or on overcast and rainy days the Walleyes will be feeding like crazy and hit everything. The weather is not always perfect for Walleyes.

Hot Summer Days

Even with 100 Walleyes under the boat there are some hot sunny summer days where they just don't feel like eating and it seems like they have disappeared. There are a few things you can do:

You can tip your jig with a small piece of worm or you can cut out the gullet of a Walleye, scuff it up with your knife and rub the gullet on your twister tail or fuzzy grub. You can also take the rubber off and tip your jig with a tiny salt-cured minnow. If you are still not hitting Walleyes with a normal jigging motion let your jig sit on bottom and give it tiny 2 or 3-inch jigs and make it look like a bug crawling around on the bottom. When fishing this way you have to concentrate and set the hook when you feel any resistance.

Walleye Gullet: Gullet is the soft white flesh under the bottom jaw of the Walleye. It's very smelly and Walleyes go crazy over it. It is illegal to use any game-fish in whole or part for bait in Ontario. You can still cut out the Gullets when you clean a couple Walleye for shore lunch and scuff it up with your knife so it's oozing liquid and rub it on your lures or twistertails. You do not want to be caught with a tiny piece of gullet on your hook.

Salted Minnows: When a fish swims through the water it is generating an electrical current and that current is discharged along the lateral line of the fish in the form of ions. All predatory fish have sensors under the bottom jaw that detect these ions to be able to track their prey. With this in mind salt-cured minnows or salted baits work great for Walleye. If you want to salt cure minnows just go to the local stream and catch some small chub, gut them and then place them on salt and then cover them with salt and stick them in the fridge for a couple of days. Bring them with you still in the salt but keep them cool in a cooler.