BWCA Walleye fishing question - size or numbers?? Boundary Waters Fishing Forum
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WhiteWolf
distinguished member(4429)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberpower member
 
05/06/2021 05:07PM  
The following pertains to walleye, but I guess for any other species, but here eyes.

The idea was brought up on a nearby thread about a certain lake having larger fish, but very few eaters. I have no clue if this is correct, but what would you rather catch - one or two fish over 26" all day or 13"-15" fish consistently (say 30+) all day?

I'd take the latter 100% of the time. Although, I have two on the wall - one 31.5", that might have something to do with it. Thoughts?
 
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casualbriday
senior member (89)senior membersenior member
 
05/06/2021 05:38PM  
13-15s until dinner is locked in, then switch to whatever I think a trophy will hit.
 
WIMike
distinguished member (239)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
05/06/2021 07:34PM  
In the BW I fish walleyes only when I want some fillets so I'll take the second option although 13" is a little small for my preferences. I like thick fillets so 18-21" fish are my ideal. If the walleyes are going to be smaller than that I'll try for a decent pike to fillet instead.
 
tarnkt
distinguished member (371)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
05/06/2021 07:45PM  
Nothing like hammering eater walleyes all day. Ideally they would be more in the 15-18” range but who really cares.

I know next to nothing about dedicated trophy walleye fishing but I’ll take my chances lucking into a hog while you’re on a school of eaters. I’ve seen it happen plenty of times.
 
05/06/2021 09:04PM  
This ^^^
 
05/06/2021 09:11PM  
I guess I’m different…I wouldn’t sit on a school of small fish and try to luck into a big one. It happens but it is luck… I’d move. Done it many times and although It isn’t always rewarded, more often than not I am rewarded with not a couple of 26 inchers but a school of 26 inchers. Those 13-15” fish are just babies and fight like it too. But find a school of 25 inch or bigger walleyes and you are in for some fun fighting.

T
 
05/07/2021 07:40AM  
The thrill for me is finding the fish and defining a pattern. I move off size and numbers, although I may go back to a spot with some big ones.
 
05/07/2021 08:07AM  
AmarilloJim: "The thrill for me is finding the fish and defining a pattern. I move off size and numbers, although I may go back to a spot with some big ones."

+1... exactly right.
 
05/07/2021 08:35AM  
As I've got older, it's all about quality. Only caught three walleyes last winter. One was 27" and just over 7 pounds. It made my winter.


Only thing better than seeing a flag up is a blinking red light at night. ;)
 
Speckled
distinguished member (316)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
05/07/2021 10:33AM  
I don't understand the numbers thing. I know people have their reasons, some like to brag, some find it an enjoyable thing, but I've never understood the desire to sit and pull as many walleyes (or whatever species) to the boat as possible, only to release them.

I remember on another board a poster bragging about catching 100 walleyes one day. It spurred some debate.

In the BW, my fishing has always been limited to what I planned to eat for dinner. Fish released are a result of being too big or too small. Outside of the BW, fishing has been limited to either what I want for dinner or maybe a couple more (within the allowable limit) to freeze for another meal.

I'm not overly against fishing for numbers, maybe mildly against it as I believe it undoubtedly kills some of the fish. The rules allow it... it's not for me and I don't really understand the desire.

To answer the original question, I'd rather catch one trophy walleye than 30 plus because sitting there catching 30 plus fish would only make me personally feel bad about it.
 
siusaluki23
distinguished member (134)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
05/07/2021 11:18AM  
When it comes to walleyes, I catch dinner then move on to the fun species. I've gotten my share of 24-26" fish that put up a respectable fight, but those have always come while targeting other species anyways.

 
05/07/2021 11:21AM  
Catching a trophy is always a great feeling, and something you remember for a long time, but catching multiple fish over several days is much more satisfying than getting skunked for a day or two then getting a big catch. Or what is more common in my experience, you go out fishing for the day and only one person catches a fish and it is a big one, but other people are going back to camp empty handed. I'd rather have everyone catch a small fish than one person catch a fish that they hang pictures of.
 
DrizzyDrew
member (21)member
 
05/07/2021 02:40PM  
Eaters would definitely be my preference when it comes to walleyes. I'd prefer to catch 2 or 3 eater walleyes and then spend the rest of my day chasing big brown fish.
 
CityFisher74
distinguished member(537)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
05/12/2021 11:25AM  
I'm out there usually to just have fun and hopefully get a meal out of it. Catching fish is fun so I don't care if they are smaller. Once I stop having fun with the dinks, it's time to chase a bigger one but if the school of small fish gives me a fish in the upper teens every so often it's doubtful I will leave. Don't leave fish to find fish, as they say.
 
thegildedgopher
distinguished member(1159)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
05/12/2021 12:51PM  
Speckled: "I don't understand the numbers thing. I know people have their reasons, some like to brag, some find it an enjoyable thing, but I've never understood the desire to sit and pull as many walleyes (or whatever species) to the boat as possible, only to release them.

I remember on another board a poster bragging about catching 100 walleyes one day. It spurred some debate.

In the BW, my fishing has always been limited to what I planned to eat for dinner. Fish released are a result of being too big or too small. Outside of the BW, fishing has been limited to either what I want for dinner or maybe a couple more (within the allowable limit) to freeze for another meal.

I'm not overly against fishing for numbers, maybe mildly against it as I believe it undoubtedly kills some of the fish. The rules allow it... it's not for me and I don't really understand the desire.

To answer the original question, I'd rather catch one trophy walleye than 30 plus because sitting there catching 30 plus fish would only make me personally feel bad about it.
"


Fishing for sport is not for everybody. It's a different mindset, really. I see both sides and I practice different ethics in different circumstances. I view fishing as going out into nature in challenging circumstances and trying to solve a riddle. The reward for success is an up-close and personal, tactile experience with an animal that lives in a completely different habitat. I haven't got bored or tired of that yet -- but then again I've never had a 30-fish day, ever.
 
Savage Voyageur
distinguished member(13829)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished membermaster membermaster member
 
05/12/2021 06:45PM  
I like to catch fish, so numbers first, then size.
 
IronRangeMike
senior member (64)senior membersenior member
 
05/12/2021 08:24PM  
Size matters.
 
Flambeau7Lambo
member (10)member
 
05/12/2021 09:32PM  
Size..keeps the thrill alive and makes the grit worth it on hard days.
 
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