April 29, 2013
Study: Bigger Walleye Live In Lakes With Ciscoes
By Will Ryan
Trophy walleye hunters, you’ll want to take notes.
A 2009 study, published in the North American Journal of Fisheries Management, found that in lakes with yellow perch and no ciscoes, walleyes grew more quickly to sexual maturity—12 to 17 inches. But in lakes with ciscoes and no yellow perch, walleyes grew more frequently to trophy size—30 inches or more. These trophy walleyes ate bigger ciscoes—possibly up to 12 1⁄2 inches—but were more likely to have empty stomachs. In some fish, ciscoes accounted for as much as 55 percent of prey by weight, but only 18 percent by item. Consuming fewer but more substantial meals left the fish with more energy for growth.
For wall-hangers, find a lake with ciscoes. They school in a variety of depths. Troll with natural-patterned minnow plugs and be prepared for fewer—but bigger—strikes.