- Black sea bass have dangerously sharp spines on their dorsal fin that can puncture human skin.
- The all-tackle world record for black sea bass is 9 pounds, 8 ounces.
- When hooked in deep water and brought quickly to the surface, a black sea bass will often regurgitate its stomach contents.
Walleye have slender bodies and are fast swimmers. They have two separate dorsal fins, with spines on the first set, as well as on the anal fin. They are mottled in color, ranging from yellowish to greenish-brown with white bellies, and they have six to seven dark bands running vertically down their side. Walleye have large, marble-like eyes that help them feed in near darkness. These eyes also shine under a light at night. The jaws and roof of the mouth have sharp, prominent teeth.
Walleye are native to North America from the Rocky Mountains to the Appalachian Mountains, and from Canada to Texas. They have also been introduced to other states, but because of their inclination towards cooler waters they are less abundant in the South.
Walleye live mainly in large bodies of water, seldom found in lakes or streams smaller than 50 to 100 acres. They prefer cool water, usually less than 85 F, even living under the cover of ice in the winter. They are usually found at depths of over 10 feet, not only because of their preference for cold water but also to accommodate the specific needs of their eyes. Walleye can see very well in near dark conditions but are sensitive to bright light.
Walleye spawn in the early spring when the temperatures reach between 45 to 50 F. Females scatter their eggs at random throughout the water and several males fertilize the eggs. The spawning sites can be gravel or sand bottoms. The eggs are adhesive and, once dispelled from the female, stick to the surrounding vegetation and rocks. The eggs will hatch in 7 to 10 days. Walleye first spawn between the ages of two and six.
Walleye are piscivorous, which means that they feed on other fishes, including other walleye. Yellow perch is a common prey, as are the young of nearly any other fish. They have sharp, needle-like teeth and are opportunistic feeders, eating insects, worms, and crustaceans when available.
When young, the walleye will eat crustaceans and various insects and insect larvae exclusively until their teeth and bodies are up to attacking the more difficult fish.
Walleye are good game fish because they are quality table fare and a challenge to catch. They are the gentlest biters of all game fish and are not stirred to attack by excessive movement. One of the best techniques during the summer is slow trolling at depths below 10 feet since walleyes tend to hug the bottom of lakes and rivers to stay in the colder water. They can be found near the surface of the water only at night, but might also be in deep water, so night trolling is effective.
Live bait is used to catch walleye. Night crawlers, minnow, and leeches are three of the most popular, and it is best to bring all three, rotating them on the hook to see which is working best.
Jigs work well, especially when tipped with live bait. Jigs in the 1/16 to 1 ounce range work best.
Since hooks tear from their mouths easily anglers should not pull excessively, and when landing the fish always use a net. They often school, so multiple catches in a short period of time are not uncommon. Walleye are fairly nomadic and will seldom be found in the same spot day after day.
- In the Great Lakes fishing for walleye is being restricted not only to protect the species, but also to protect man from the excessive toxins the fish carry in them due to pollution.
- A subspecies of the walleye, the blue pike, was native to Lake Erie and Ontario, but has been extinct since 1965.