Hands down, the most popular game fish in Ontario has to be the Walleye (Sander vitreus vitreus). Known for its frisky fight and finicky attitude the walleye is the shore lunch favourite for the majority of anglers who fish in the province. The lovely golden green colour of the Walleye is a testament to nature’s perfection of a fish species. Arguably the best tasting fresh water fish, they continue to be the number one sought after fish species in the province and produce great numbers on an annual basis.
Ontario Walleye have light sensitive eyes allowing them to see in murky and stained waters and helping them to see prey in low light conditions. They will often be found in deeper water where they will school and feed. Walleye tend to primarily feed heaviest on cloudy gray days and during times of sun up and sundown but can be found all day long when fishing on Esnagi Lake.
Primarily a baitfish feeder, there are endless possibilities and lure combinations that prove effective for catching Walleye. The most popular and time tested presentation has to be the standard jig sporting nothing but a live minnow, nightcrawler or leech.
Walleye are active year round on Esnagi Lake ensuring a successful angling experience spring, summer and autumn. Walleye season opens the third Saturday in May each year. Following the spring spawn, pike and walleye are found in shallow water, back bays, and rivers and creeks. As the water warms, the walleye will move into deeper waters and the northern pike follow.
During the summer months walleye generally migrate to deeper water where the temperatures are much more suitable for them. Walleye can be found on rocky shoals, sandbars, points, and around islands in 8 to 20 feet of water. Developing weedbeds will always attract and hold walleyes and pike. Drifting over submerged weeds or trolling the weedlines are good approaches. At Esnagi, back bays lined with bullrushes can provide some exciting shallow water summer fishing when the mayfly hatch is on.
The Autumn months in Ontario prove to be one of the most pleasurable times of the year to fish for Walleye. As the seasons slowly change and the forests come alive with mother nature’s brilliant colours, the walleye heads for yet deeper waters. Fishing with a jig tipped with a minnow or piece of worm is a simple yet effective approach for catching late-season Esnagi walleyes. During this time of year a depth finder can be of great assistance. Fall walleye are very active as their biological clock is instructing them to stock up on forage for the long winter months ahead.
Fish With Confidence
Our staff and guides will be pleased to suggest hotspots to you. Comfortable and reliable boats, experienced guides and delicious shore lunches will make your trip to Esnagi both successful and memorable. Many shore lunch sites have been set up for your use with either the services of a guide or on your own. Be sure to request your shore lunch kit! Enjoying your fresh catch cooked over an open fire is a Canadian fishing vacation tradition and one you won’t soon forget!
Ontario License & Limits
For more information on Catch Possession and Size limits visit www.ontario.ca/travel-and-recreation/fishing-limits-size-restrictions-and-catch-and-release
To purchase your Ontario fishing licenses visit www.ontario.ca/travel-and-recreation/fishing