Where to Fish for Giant Walleyes
By: Steve Ryan
The quest for giant walleyes takes a special breed of angler and a unique fishery. One’s mindset and game plan changes when pursuing record-caliber walleyes versus fishing for tablefare. It requires dedication to researching top fisheries capable of producing freakishly large walleyes and the persistence to grind out long hours on the water under difficult conditions. That means potentially breaking ice at boat ramps and having perpetually cold hands and praying for a long warm spell to keep you fishing through the New Year.
For fisheries with trophy walleyes topping 13 pounds, the range of options is extensive across North America. Such big-fish factories include Lake Erie, Lake Winnipeg, Last Mountain Lake, Green Bay, the St. Lawrence and Mississippi rivers, as well as many inland lakes with robust forage bases. For specimens in excess of 18 pounds, the list shrinks to quintessential giant walleye waters including the Columbia River, Tobin Lake, and Bay of Quinte.
Few anglers would be shocked if the next 20-pound walleye was caught from one of these fisheries during the coldwater period of November through March. During this time, walleyes are heaviest due to increased feeding and egg weight, in the case of females. For trophy walleye hunters, now’s the time.
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