Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Fall Eyes

When I worked at the Inland Fisheries Division's eastern headquarters, there was an old poster on one of the walls that made quite the impression on me. It showcased a fierce looking fish with large eyes peering from a dark, craggy rock pile. The text above it simply read, "Walleye: A Creature of Habitat."

Walleye are predators in every sense of the word. Their big marble eyes allow them to hunt in low-light conditions. They have a mouthful of sharp teeth and they hang out in the bottom part of the water column munching on forage fish and anything else that crosses their path.

Walleye are not native to Connecticut waters, though CT DEEP stocks them in a handful of lakes and ponds around the state. There is also a population in the Connecticut River. While they haven't successfully bred here in the wild, they are trucked in each year from the Midwest as fingerlings and take a few seasons to reach the keeper size of 18-inches. That's important to know because walleye are arguably the best tasting fish in freshwater.   

This fall a few friends and I have been targeting walleye with live shiners and artificial lures like soft-plastic baits on jig heads. The action for small fish has been  pretty good while the large 'eyes have remained elusive. The early morning or late afternoon hours have been productive windows to fish for them. However, when our waterways lock up with ice over the next weeks and months, it will turn strictly to a night game for us. I look forward to finding larger "creatures of habitat" hiding under the ice this coming winter. 


  1. Wonderful photos all. But that first one shows just what tools this fish has to be the awesome predator he his.

    Well done K.

  2. Thanks, Brk Trt. Having your stamp of approval means something.