Walleyes have some unique features and habits about them that definitely make them stand out from other fish. In order to successfully catch these fish, it is necessary to have a good understanding of what makes this type of fish different from all the others.
The walleye’s most unique physical feature is its eyes. They are incredibly dark and glassy, and are light sensitive. There is a pigment on their eyes called tapetum lucidum that aids them in seeing in dark conditions. While they may be able to see well at night, their special eyes cause them to be sensitive to bright lights, such as the sun. If you have ever tried walleye fishing in the middle of a sunny day, you may not have had a lot of luck. Walleyes will hide out during the day to stay away from light; nighttime walleye fishing is generally the most productive.
Walleyes are a member of the perch family; their nickname “walleyed pike” is technically inaccurate. These dark-colored fish have a lighter-colored belly and a tail that is forked. They can be found in both rivers and lakes, although they will mostly spawn in rivers if they can. They are a mobile fish; they congregate in certain areas for a brief amount of time and then move to a different locale. Favorite locations for walleyes are weed beds, rock beds, and creeks feeding into lakes. In the summer time they do not move around nearly as much as during other times of the year. As previously mentioned, due do their light sensitivity, walleyes will avoid sunshine and will gather in deep waters to stay protected from the sun. Fall walleye fishing affords the angler more versatility in terms of when they can fish because the sun is not directly overhead during the day as it is in warmer months, so the likelihood of catching a walleye during the day in autumn is greater than during the summer.