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Anglers can find these prized game fish province-wide, from the Great Lakes to shallow cottage-country reservoirs, from deep, powerful rivers to the loneliest waters of the Canadian Shield. And wherever they are, there's a great shore lunch just waiting to be had!
While many anglers believe that walleye are most active during spring and fall, they actually eat up to five-percent of their body weight every day in the summer. Walleyes avoid light, so the very best time to fish is the morning or evening on cloudy and overcast days or in stained water.The walleye is a predator fish; its sharp vision in low lighting conditions allows it to prey in the shadows and at night. On bright sunny days, walleye will venture into deeper waters to avoid the light and move around structures to stay in the shadows.
Walleye are a schooling fish, so it's a good idea to throw out a marker once the first fish is caught. Once located, casting to the school and vertical jigging can be quite productive.
Many anglers catch walleye by trolling after dark with crankbaits and slender minnow imitating jerkbaits along weedlines, rocky points, and over sunken reefs. Some of the largest walleye are caught this way during evenings of a full moon. During the day, look to deeper water over rocks, mid lake shoals, reefs and in weedy cover. At this time, one of the easiest and most effective tactics is to drift and jig just off bottom over likely cover until you locate a school. Some anglers prefer to troll using crawler harnesses, spinners, spoons, and deep-running crankbaits. Others specialize in the delicate presentations of minnows, nightcrawlers, crayfish, or leeches.
Ontario's record catch
Average size: Between 1.5 and 3 lbs (.68 to 1.36 kg). It is, though, common to catch walleye topping 10 lbs (4.54 kg) in Ontario.
Temperature and habitat: Prefers stained waters in the 60 to 70°F (15.5 to 21°C) range, usually on hard, rocky bottoms, but also frequents weedbeds in shallow, fertile lakes.
Biology: Spawns after ice-out in rocky rivers and over wind-swept, rubble-strewn shoals and shorelines. Walleye are prolific and scatter eggs randomly.
Range: Throughout Ontario.
How to fine tune tip ups — targeting winter walleye across Algoma Country.
Top drive-to lakes in Northern Ontario — hotspots that aren’t far off the beaten path and where you can back that big boat down a good launch ramp and enjoy catching that walleye
Wind, cold and walleye — learn how weather controls walleye activity in Ontario.
10 fishing tips for Algoma Walleye — broadcaster and outdoor writer Mark Romanack offers more tips on how to catch walleye