The walleye (Stizostedion vitreum) is the favorite gamefish of anglers in the northern Midwest states, though it is pursued in many other regions. Originally inhabiting the cool lakes and large rivers of the northern U.S., the walleye has been introduced throughout the East and South and parts of the West.
Often erroneously called the walleyed pikeit's actually a member of the perch familythe walleye gets its name from its oversized, moonlike eye. The species is favored table fare because of its mild and tasty white flesh. It also grows to decent sizes; these fish average 2 to 3 pounds in most areas. Larger specimens are taken frequently, though the 10-pound walleye is a benchmark trophy for most anglers.
Walleye are usually bottom-oriented, feeding on minnows, worms, leeches, and the aquatic stages of insects. As such, the angler would do well to use these baits, fished close to the bottom. One of the most effective walleye offerings consists of a small jig sweetened with a minnow, night crawler, or leech, slowly bumped along the bottom. Small crankbaits and spinners, also fished close to the bottom, will also take walleyes. A slow presentation is best.
The chain pickerel (Esox niger) is found throughout the eastern and southern states and is easily distinguished from its cousins in the pike family by the distinct chain-like markings
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