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Curiosity and new knowledge pay off for local fishermen | News, Sports, Jobs

Many anglers are very curious, not only about their favorite lakes and rivers, but also about the fish they prefer to catch and the habitats where they live.

Curiosity is a good thing. Curious anglers, after all, are the successful ones. They keep their eyes and ears open for valuable new information that can pay off big on the water.

New tips and tricks are good for quick fixes when anglers are crashing. A simple recommendation to try a certain lure at a certain depth can reverse an angler’s fortunes and put fish in the cooler.

But savvy anglers know they can never have too much information about fish, fishing, and the best hotspots, although it’s not easy to wade through information resources to gain knowledge. The best sources are published documents and the experience of scientists and expert fishermen. I thought I knew a lot about walleye, but found that my knowledge was just the tip of the iceberg. During recent conversations with fisheries biologists from the Ohio Division of Wildlife, I learned some very interesting facts about walleyes. These discussions prompted me to do some research to find interesting information.

Walleye are common throughout North America, with a range almost as large as another popular species, the largemouth bass. From northern Canada to the south central United States, walleye is the favorite species of millions of anglers.

Walleyes are especially popular with Ohio anglers. They’re so popular that our state’s fisheries managers use a sophisticated process that harvests Mosquito Lake walleye roe and milt and results in bumper annual harvests of baby walleye for storage across Ohio.

Dan Wright, the Ohio Wildlife Division Fish Management Technician who directs the walleye fishing and egg-fertilizing operation each spring at Mosquito, noted that the Trumbull County reservoir itself- itself is the main beneficiary of the walleye stocking program.

Ohio stocks walleye in lakes statewide, but Mosquito is stocked at about double the rate of others.

Mosquito receives 7.2 million fingerlings of walleye each year, as well as 1.44 million fingerlings for a total of over 8.5 million baby walleye. This breaks down into 1,000 fry per acre and 200 fry per acre.

As mentioned earlier, walleyes are renowned fish throughout Ohio, thanks in large part to Lake Erie. Walleye is king on the big lake and has earned our big lake top spot on many of the top walleye lake lists. Field & Stream magazine’s list has Erie at the top, followed by Devil’s Lake and Lake Sakakawea in North Dakota, Lake McConaughy in Nebraska, Bay of Quinte in Ontario, Upper Mississippi and Lake of the Woods in Minnesota , Baie de Noc and Saginaw. Bay in Michigan and the Columbia River in the Pacific Northwest.

With Erie a long way off, it looks like Ohioans might also be leading the way in the number of people who eat pickerel. Not so. According to In-Fisherman magazine, Minnesota is home to the highest number of walleye consumers.

The largest walleye caught in Lake Erie is a 16.19 pound boat sailed in 1999. I have no information on the color of the lure that tricked this fish, but In-Fisherman reported that walleyes see better red, orange and yellow, with green also recognized. All of this information may or may not have raised your walleye IQ, but keep it handy in case you get asked for a walleye quiz. Of course, you won’t be the knower, as we’ve only scratched the surface of the information to learn.

Curious anglers will find loads and loads of information to soak up as they read and chat with the experts.

Jack Wollitz’s book “The Ordinary Fisherman” dives into the ups and downs that combine to make fishing a passion for so many. He loves emails from readers. Send a note to

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