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Walleye

General Facts
Walleye fishing in New Jersey is becoming more and more popular, and state waters are producing good catches. Named for their distinctive eyes, walleye are very sensitive to light and are most active in low light conditions. Overcast days, choppy water, dawn, dusk and at night are prime fishing times. Walleye usually relate to the bottom and some type of structure, however, they will suspend even in the middle of the lake to follow schools of herring. Walleyes are noted for their excellent eating quality.

Where
Walleye from 3 to 7 pounds are not uncommon in the Delaware River, Greenwood Lake, Monksville Reservoir, Swartswood Lake and Lake Hopatcong. Canistear Reservoir's walleye fishery is not far behind. During the cooler months and at night, walleye can be found moving into the shallows, whereas during the summer, in lakes, they will be located in deeper water just above and within the upper portion of the thermocline. In the Delaware River they can be found in the deeper pools during late fall through the winter. In lakes, fish the points, drop offs, sunken islands and the outside edge of the weedline.

When
The walleye is a fish for all seasons. However, it appears that most ice fisherman have yet to find a consistent strategy for success except in the upper Delaware River where in can be quite productive. The fishery is relatively consistent from spring through fall. The prime fishing time is early morning around dawn and the evening an hour or so before and after sunset. Night is also productive, especially in lakes that that have a lot of activity on them during the day, such as Lake Hopatcong.

How
Walleyes have always had an affinity for night crawlers, however, the techniques, like in many fisheries, are becoming more varied. Some of the more common methods are: jigging a lead head jig with twister tails or a shiner; drifting night crawlers on a worm harness or floating jig head with a bottom bouncer or Lindy rig; drifting herring or a leech with a egg sinker or slip bobber; and casting or trolling minnow-style crank baits. Shoreline fishing, including from docks, is also effective, especially in the spring and fall when walleyes are in shallower water. In areas where deep water is located near shore, using slip bobbers during the summer will get you down to the fish.

Focus on Fishing: Walleye

Walleye Stocking Summary, 2013 (pdf, 15kb)
Walleye Stocking Summary, 2012 (pdf, 11kb)
Walleye Stocking Summary, 2011 (pdf, 15kb)
Walleye Stocking Summary, 2010 (pdf, 15kb)
Walleye Stocking Summary, 2009 (pdf, 11kb)
Walleye Stocking Summary, 2008 (pdf, 12kb)

Walleye Distribution Map

Walleye Fact Sheet (pdf, 31kb)

back to Fabulous Fishing in New Jersey

Related Sportsmen's Organizations
Lake Hopatcong: Knee Deep Club
Swartswood Lake: Paradise Fishing Club

back to Warmwater Fish

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Department of Environmental Protection
P. O. Box 402
Trenton, NJ 08625-0402

Last Updated: January 29, 2014