Winter Walleye (Erie)


Well-Known Member
Just throwing it out there for discussion so don't get excited about the subject line . Has anyone ever pursued walleye in the winter months (weather permitting of course;)) locally on Erie?? A few nights and beers ago some friends and I got into a lengthy conversation/debate on where and what the walleye we catch out off burwell/in lpb do in the winter months (nov-apr)?? A healthy range in opinions I might add lol

Which leads to the next question, has there been any success?? I have never heard anyone talk about....I can think of a few good reasons why but you ould think an excellent oppurtunity would be out there somewhere!!!??
if you youtube erie walleye ice fishing there slamming them in ohio but not over here not sure why.

will hunt for food
I'm no walleye expert but I have heard from some reliable sources that Lake Erie eyes are migratory and head for there spawning areas late fall and since we have no spawning areas close to us the take off for the grand ,detroit,st clair and thames rivers( prolly a bunch of rivers in the USA) and come back to feed post spawn .again I'm just going on what I have heard but I think it makes perfect sence.


I would like to thank Denali custom rods and The Rod Glove for their support
SRT8, I believe you are correct about the migration of walleye. All those walleye Big Rod is catching in the Detroit River in April are on their spawning migration.

The big schools of walleye are found in the Colchester / Peelee area in the spring and move eastward over the next few months. When they reach Long Point they swing across to the Pennsylvania Ridge and the PA / Ohio side and move westward until they end up back at the Detroit River in late winter. This is generally the annual pattern in what is referred to as the Western Basin fishery. This "western basin" can be clearly seen on Item A of a map found here. (caution: this is a huge file - over 14 mb) Have a look at image G for the cross over area at the east end of the western basin.

I recently read an interesting article about historical Lake Erie walleye populations. The author seems to imply that the migration is somewhat dependant on the population level meeting a critical mass. If you are interested you can read it here.

there's been some talk down the east end of the lake, some guys have been gettin wally's thru the ice, about 35 FOW. In places we normally limit out on perch. But there's no perch this year.
Great info guys!

how nice would it be if we had local oppurtunities from walleys through the ice? maybe one day! who knows??
Lots of guys fish the Grand from Dunnville down to the lake....good luck getting much info though. The season closes Feb 28th.
Originally posted by G.Mech

Lots of guys fish the Grand from Dunnville down to the lake....good luck getting much info though. The season closes Feb 28th.

You won't get much info because there isn't any! Lol! IMO the ice fishing in Dunnville sucks! Well, unless your into ice fishing for smelt. You can catch them down there most of the winter.....

Dunville is quite challenging. I've fished several times with moderate success. But, there are definately walleye to be had; that is If you don't mind putting in the time and mixing it up. Always triple minnow;) - for me anyways

You would think some Walleye out there would spawn locally. I wonder what it is about the lakes geography in our area that doesn't mesh with their spawning preferences??

Although, I will say that I did catch a walleye 2 years ago float fishing on a local trib. Complete fluke or, maybe they were tryin??
One study I read detailed the significant factors that appear to impact walleye choice of spawning location...

  • presence of gravel or cobble
  • deep water close to shore strong current or flow optimal spawning temperature of 8 to 11 degrees C

Of these the presence of gravel or cobble appeared to be the most significant.

Looking at the tributaries on our side of the lake I am not sure which ones would meet the criteria.

Keep in mind that there appear to be two significantly separate populations of walleye in Lake Erie; the western basin and the eastern basin. It would appear they don't migrate past Long Point as a rule. In the eastern basin the Grand River gets a spawning run. In the western basin it appears to be mainly on the Ohio side and up the Detroit River.

That's interesting Buckster.

In the early 80's, there were attempts to establish walleye spawning in one of the L.Erie tribs.

Maybe it worked.....

WR-I've heard that before. I can recall catching the odd tiny one as a kid(early 90s) while fishing perch (or whatever would bite). For a 2-3 yr period there would be one or two caught, then it never happend again. Then two years ago, early April, I was drifting with a small white power worm (3in), float goes down, couple head shakes later and lone behold there was a Wally on the bank, with decent size I might add;)

Several WTF's later I sent her back.
Gosh with a bit of work I can think of one trib that, would/could meet that criteria list a few posts ago by archer.

That's why the walleye transfer was tried on that particular Erie trib.

I believe that they may have also tried to create some spawning areas on the lower part of that trib. around the same time as when the transfer was done.

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