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View Full Version : 1st Walleye, now my average is 26.5": RUINED?



SilentElk
October 30th, 2006, 12:47 AM
Went walleye fishing for the first time ever. I have caught everything except a walleye and a muskie. Time to shorten the list I figured. Sure enough, nailed one on my first try after only 1 hour. 27" LONG!!! Nice fish, although it was too small so I had to throw it back :( Was fishing Mille Lac in MN and you have to release all between 22"-28".

Next day I decided to get some 4-6" sucker minnows to hopefully nail a pike or muskie in the evening before set up a leech again. Just as the sun hit, BAM! Walleye #2 and 29"! Now this is amazing!!!

I hook up fish #3 less than a minute after this one on top of that. Went 25". Walleye #4 was caught 15 minutes later and also went 25"

Was fishing from shore off an earthen dock with very large rip-rap boulders. Water was likely only 5' deep and I was only first about 15' from shore. Some real big fish, never got a look, keep coming up within a foot or two of the rocks and raising alot of boils. Likely hitting small bait fish we could see.

Now, my average walleye I have caught is 26.5" long. Am I now ruined for life as far as walleye go? I am thinking about doing some fishing locally here in CO for walleyes and have reputable fisheries for walleye within 5 minute drive or should I quite while I am a head??

doctariAFC
October 30th, 2006, 10:40 AM
Went walleye fishing for the first time ever. I have caught everything except a walleye and a muskie. Time to shorten the list I figured. Sure enough, nailed one on my first try after only 1 hour. 27" LONG!!! Nice fish, although it was too small so I had to throw it back :( Was fishing Mille Lac in MN and you have to release all between 22"-28".

Next day I decided to get some 4-6" sucker minnows to hopefully nail a pike or muskie in the evening before set up a leech again. Just as the sun hit, BAM! Walleye #2 and 29"! Now this is amazing!!!

I hook up fish #3 less than a minute after this one on top of that. Went 25". Walleye #4 was caught 15 minutes later and also went 25"

Was fishing from shore off an earthen dock with very large rip-rap boulders. Water was likely only 5' deep and I was only first about 15' from shore. Some real big fish, never got a look, keep coming up within a foot or two of the rocks and raising alot of boils. Likely hitting small bait fish we could see.

Now, my average walleye I have caught is 26.5" long. Am I now ruined for life as far as walleye go? I am thinking about doing some fishing locally here in CO for walleyes and have reputable fisheries for walleye within 5 minute drive or should I quite while I am a head??
I wound't say you're ruined. Perhaps a bit spoiled.... but not ruined....

Of course, now you have the walleye fever, and these fish are the best eating freshwater fish that swims, IMHO. You'll actually find the smaller 'eyes are the best eating.

When the ice is nice, try jigging for these tasty buggers on the hard water. Its a riot and the fish are at their absolute best when pulled through a frozen lake.

Of course, if you really want to get "ruined", fish Lake Erie for them walleye. Makes fishing all other places for 'eyes just something to do to kill some time (hardwater fishing not withstanding). BUt, you'll get into fish ranging from 25 - 33" with amazing regularity. Its a lot of trolling for them suspended puppies, but once you're in the zone, you'll fill your limit in less than a couple hours.

doctariAFC
October 30th, 2006, 04:27 PM
This is how you get "ruined". This 16 fish, 4-angler limit was taken June 2006, fishing Lake Erie out of Dunkirk Harbor. The largest fish which is in the center was 31", and weighed 10.5 lb. The other whoppers were between 26" and 30". The smallest fish we kept was a nice sandwich sized 17 incher (legal size on Lake Erie is 15 inches). This was done in roughly 3 hours of fishing, with the majority of fish hitting Dipsey diver rigs running worm harnesses. The 31"er fell for a Red & Black Renosky stick bait on the 10-color lead core, set all the way back, full 10-colors out, roughly 400 feet back, counting the leader and another 50' of backing to get the lead to the water line. Anglers for that day were meself, Dan K (also in picture), Paul Soper and "Aqua" Eddie Wix.

SilentElk
October 30th, 2006, 05:56 PM
Ok, now that is a sight to see! That would be a great fishing trip for certain. Wow!

doctariAFC
October 31st, 2006, 08:48 AM
Ok, now that is a sight to see! That would be a great fishing trip for certain. Wow!
If you ever get the chance, and if you enjoy walleye fishing, I would strongly recommend making plans for a trip to Dunkirk, NY. I know just about every charter captain that runs out of Dunkirk Harbor. Best time of year is usually July/ August, but the action can be incredible in June as well.

Toughest part about planning some fishing on Lake Erie is getting favorable winds. In other words, less than 15 MPH, otherwise it gets pretty bumpy in a hurry.

Last year, the creel limit per angler was 4 fish. As of this past October 1, the NYS DEC has restored the 5-fish per man, per day creel limit, which is great news for anglers (still 15 inch minimum). I don't know if we'll see another season like this past one, but the quality of walleye fishing should be outstanding for the next 5 to 10 years. We had a strong hatch in 2003, incredibly so, and this year those fish will be over 20". But the larger fish are everywhere! In fact, the average sized walleye caught out of Lake Erie runs around 5 lb, but 12 lb - 14 lb fish are caught often.

Of course, the downside is that you can get ruined in a big hurry. My favorite walleye lake has always been Chautauqua Lake, but you don't see 10 lb walleye with any regularity at all. Heck, even catching a limit of keepers on Chautauqua has become a challenge, and that lake has a 3-fish daily limit, with the minimum size being 18 inches. This was implemented in response to declining walleye numbers, due to the invasive white perch eating all the darned walleye eggs. I no longer fish CHautauqua Lake for walleye, except when its hardwater season. I normally slay them through the ice. Hope to have some fishable ice this year - its gotta be better than last season, that's for sure.