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Walleye Eating Habits - Know When They Bite

Jul 23, 2008
The visual capabilities and handicaps of walleye determine to a great degree, the times of day they bite, because they bite best during normal feeding times.

Under low light conditions, the walleye bite more. On sunny days, they may feed only at dusk and dawn, but on cloudy days, they may feed all day and all night. Even on days when the water is choppy (often referred to as a 'walleye chop' when the wind reaches about five to fifteen miles per hour) it seems to disrupt the flow of light down into the water, and put the fish on their feed much more than on normally calm or sunny days. It is more about the fact that the lower light conditions put the walleye at an advantage over their prey during these times than the fact that the walleye are avoiding the light. This holds true even when the waters are stained as opposed to being murky or dark.

When the water heats up the bigger fish tend to slow down metabolically and get off their feed a bit. They just don't feel like actively pursuing their bait, and will choose an easy meal every time. During the hottest summer months, just concentrate your efforts around the edges of schools of baitfish. Even the big walleye will move into the shallows in pursuit of these baitfish, particularly in Western Lake Erie in the month of July. Lots of walleye anglers fail to note the presence of the walleye in the shallows like this. But if you can just pinpoint the location of these baitfish early in the day close to reefs or structure, the fishing really can be very good. The warmer the weather, the more the walleye are going to be affected by things such as boat traffic or light.

Late in May and in the months of June and July two year old walleye become voracious, aggressive eaters. The catches tend to be large at these times as a result. During this time of year, the feeding focus changes to larger forage such as young perch, river shiners, cisco, and chubs. They also tend to continue to feed on such delicacies as frogs, crawfish and even baby walleye. Imitation of the forage is critical in catching walleye in Lake Erie, and for that reason, it is extremely important to be familiar with what the walleye feed on at different times of the year in their natural environment.

In the summertime, the walleye go on a voracious feeding binge. The reason for this is simple. The walleye have to eat more as summertime activity levels escalate. If you concentrate your efforts on areas such as large points and the adjacent flats as well as reefs, you will have good luck locating the larger walleye. The bigger the walleye, the longer their period of such vulnerability continues.

Forage moves to the shallow areas during early fall and turnover, and the walleye follow them there. When you combine this knowledge with the knowledge that the walleye are going to be in low light areas and feeding at low light times of day, you really are armed with the necessary information to maximize your catch potential.
About the Author
Dan Eggertsen is a fishing researcher and enthusiast who is committed to providing the best walleye fishing information possible. Get more information on walleye fishing tips here: http://www.askwalleyefishing.com/
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