Walleye Fishing

Contact Info

  • Oneida Lake
  • 10 miles north of Syracuse in Oneida and Oswego Counties
  • tel: Not Available
  • visit website

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About Walleye Fishing

Walleye, the largest members of the perch family, often exceed 20 inches in length. Although not as widely distributed as yellow perch, walleye are found in every major watershed in New York State. They are important game fish and provide major recreational fisheries in lakes Erie, Oneida, Chautauqua, and Champlain.


Did You Know

  • Their large eyes shine like a cat’s when reflected in light. Their eyes allow them to hunt well in low-light conditions.
  • Walleye are the largest North American fish species in the perch family and can live up to 20 years.
  • They have thousands of taste buds in their lips and very sharp teeth that slant back to catch, hold and tear their prey.
  • Oneida lake is one of the nation’s premier walleye fishing destinations.


Size


Mature walleye range from 1-2 feet in length and weigh 1-5 lbs on average. The current state record fish weighed in at 16 lbs! Females are generally larger than males.

Appearance


Olive green in color with gold flecks, darker green on the back and white on the belly. Walleye have a forward spiny dorsal fin that is characterized by a black blotch at the rear and a soft dorsal fin toward the tail of the fish. The lower lobe of the tail fin has a distinctive white tip.

Catching a Walleye


In the spring walleyes tend to stay close to shore or near river currents. Normally they stay within twenty feet of shore. Spawning usually happens on sandy bottoms along the shore. Jigging near these areas with a light jig (1/8th or 1/16th oz.) can be affective. Cast along the shore and quite aggressively retrieve it as the walleyes will be aggressive this time of year. Bright colors like red, chartreuse, yellow and white are great at aggravating the spawn protecting walleye and almost guarantee a bite.

During the summer walleyes stay deeper, hanging around the mouth of creeks and rivers and lay off rocky points. Islands with patches of gravel near them are good spots along with rocky drop-offs. Often walleyes will stay very deep during the high heat of summer. Big females wil normally o deep and stay between 15 and 35 feet. During the day they will be in open water feeding on schools of bait fish.

Also during hot days walleyes can get very lazy. Use a 1/8-oz jig and using a white twister tail in a very lethargic manor. Literally dragging the jig across the bottom, giving it small bumps to get any weeds or mud off of the lure.

During the fall walleye’s can be very frustrating to find, but if you get into them you will benefit greatly. When the water cools down weeds start to die and they absorb oxygen out of the water. With less oxygen in the water and the chemicals release from decomposition the walleyes will search out fresh open water or creek mouths. In open water walleyes tend to stay in 10 to 25 feet of water. Trolling with a Rapala ” Down Deep Husky Jerk” and the Rattling Fat Raps you can gain the walleyes attention. You will need a depth finder and spend a decent amount of time searching for the fish.

Fishing where springs or creeks enter the lake can be a great spot as well. This is where good oxygen is found in the water along with food for the walleye. At night in the fall can be a great time to catch large females as they will come close to shore between 10pm and 3am. Trolling near the shore in 2 or 3 feet of water can work along with just a worm or minow on a hook cast from shore.


Lures for Walleye

Free Trolling Deep:

  • Storm Deep Jointed Minnow Stick
  • Storm Deep ThunderStick MadFlash
  • Storm ThunderCrank
  • Rapala Down Deep Husky Jerks
  • Rapala J-13 Deep Running Jointed
  • Rapala Rapala J-11 Deep Running Jointed

Free Trolling Shallow:

Casting or drifting:

  • Jigs with unscented Twistertails
  • Heavy Erie Dearie with worm
  • Spinners with worm
  • Original Floating Rapala
  • Original Floating Storm ThunderStick