lake erie walleye

The Walleye is a freshwater fish native to most of Canada and to the  Northern United States. The Walleye is sometimes called pickeral. The common name “Walleye” comes from the fact that the fish’s eyes point outward, as if looking at the walls. Walleyes are largely olive and gold and the mouth of a walleye is large and is armed with many small teeth. The first dorsal and anal fins are spinous, so handle these fish with caution!  Walleyes grow to about 32″ in length and weigh up to 20 pounds, the maximum record size for this fish is 42″ in length and 25 pounds in weight. Walleyes may live for decades, the maximum recorded age is 29 years. Walleye are typically caught by drifting, casting or trolling.

Night Walleye Fishing 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.  This externally facing orientation of the eyes gives anglers an advantage in the dark because there is a certain eyeshine given off by the eye of the walleye in the dark.  In fact, many anglers look for walleyes at night since this is when major feeding patterns occur. Adult walleyes eat fish almost exclusively, frequently yellow perch or ciscoes, moving onto bars and shoals at night to feed. Walleye also feed heavily on crayfish, minnows, and leeches.  Because of its nocturnal feeding habits, it is most easily caught at night using live minnows or lures that mimic small fish.

lake erie smallmouth bass

The Smallmouth Bass is a species of freshwater fish in the sunfish family. It is a popular game fish sought by anglers throughout the temperate zones of North America, and has been spread by stock to many cool-water tributaries and lakes in Canada and more so introduced in the United States. . The smallmouth bass is native to the upper and middle Mississippi River basin, the Saint Lawrence River–Great Lakes system, and up into the Hudson Bay basin. Its common names include smallmouth, bronzeback, brown bass, brownie, smallie, bronze bass, and bareback bass. The smallmouth bass is generally brown (seldom yellow) with red eyes, and dark brown vertical bands, rather than a horizontal band along the side. The smallmouth bass is found in clearer water than the largemouth, especially streams, rivers, and the rocky areas and stumps and also sandy bottoms of lakes and reservoirs. Today, smallmouth bass are very popular game fish, frequently sought by anglers using conventional spinning and bait casting gear.  The smallmouth bass is one of the toughest fighting freshwater fish in North America.

lake erie yellow perch

The Perch are carnivorous fish that are most commonly found in small ponds, lakes, streams, or rivers. These fish feed on smaller fish, shellfish, or insect larvae, but can be caught with nearly any bait. They commonly spawn during the spring, when the females lay strings of eggs in covered areas such as near branches or underwater plants. Even though Perch can be found all over the world, they are most likely found in the Great Lakes, Particularly in Lake Erie. Perch are sought-after by fishermen both for sport and for food. The record weight for this fish in America 6lb 4 oz. Perch grow to around 5lb or more, but the most common fish to be caught are around 1lb or less, and anything over 2lb is considered a prize catch.

lake ontario king salmon chinook

The Chinook Salmon are also know as the King Salmon. It is a distinguished by dark spotting on the back and usually on both lobes of the tail, a long anal fin and teeth set in black gums. Chinook feed primarily on fish such as alewives and smelt. Most Chinook have a four year life span. Mature Chinook spawn similarly to Coho Salmon, then die. Some Chinook may live longer than 4 years and reach 40 pounds or more. The elusive Chinook is typically found in deep water except when it starts its fall spawning runs into rivers or harbors. Trolling offshore in July and August is most productive when using spoons, plugs, spinners and flies and squids preceded by dodgers. Even whole alewife and smelt can be successful when trolled.

lake ontario steelhead trout

The Steelhead is distinguished by its white mouth, black spots and entire tail and its 12 or fewer anal fin rays. The rainbow and the steelhead are the same species, differing only in spawning behavior. The rainbow spends its entire life in streams, whereas the steelhead is anadromous in that it migrates to a stream to spawn after living in the ocean or a large lake. Rainbow trout feed on insects and fish. Many spawn in early spring with eggs laid in gravel at the head of a riffle area, but some are fall spawners. Rainbow trout as well as other trout do not normally die after spawning, like salmon (coho and chinook )Rainbow prefer water temperatures of 55-60 degrees F. They are known as great migrators or wanderers. Some rainbow reach a hefty 16 pounds at age six, although the average rainbow caught weighs about five pounds.