Walleye are a mild fighting fish that weigh from 1 to 3 pounds on average in Ontario, but it is not uncommon to catch one over 5 pounds. Ontario walleye are larger than most walleye in U.S. lakes because of the lack of fishing and better growing conditions.
Anglers should use light to medium light spinning tackle for best results. Walleye are sometimes very light biters, and sensitive light tackle will allow the angler to feel more bites. However, since larger species, such as northern pike, can be caught while trolling for walleye, medium strength tackle appeals to many. Line weight can vary from 2 to 8 pounds depending on conditions: Rocky lake bottoms or shorelines require a heavier line due to the risk of abrasion.
Many Canadian anglers prefer lines tinted green, such as Stren Magnathin, because it blends into the walleye's habitat.
In Ontario, the most common baits used for walleye are night crawlers and leeches. Leeches are common bait in Canada and the extreme northern U.S. since they are found in lakes with colder water temperatures.
Walleye can be caught with minnows and some artificial grub baits. Many companies, such as Mister Twister and Yum, have a line of walleye grubs that mimic live bait.
Jigs are the lure of choice because of their ability to be fished in water of all depths. Jigs tipped with night crawlers or leeches are slowly bounced off the bottom for best results. Check with the local bait shop or resort as to which color jigs are working best; color choice can vary by season and area.
Most resorts have bait on hand for you to purchase as well as tackle needed, such as jigs, hooks, and bobbers.
Where to find fish
Walleye fishing in Ontario usually means jigging rocky drop-offs and slopes. Lakes in this region have very rocky shores and bottoms. Walleye like to suspend on rocky slopes where the lake transitions from shallow shore to deep water.
Anywhere flat bottom containing weed beds is a good spot to fish for walleye in the early morning and late evening. Walleye will go to these weed beds to feed on bait fish during the twilight periods.
Places to fish
Many lakes in Ontario are seldom fished and contain large population of walleye, making fishing for them easier than in other locations, such as the U.S. Although some of Ontario's large southern lakes, such as Lake of the Woods, get a lot of visitors from the U.S., walleye populations remain large due to the prime habitat. Many of the resorts in Ontario are in the province's southern half because the majority of their visitors drive from the northern U.S. Though the resorts range in size, most offer guide service.