Walleye (Sander Vitreus)
The Canadian Walleye is one of Cobham River’s favorite species to fish for. Walleyes get their name from there distinct eyes that look straight out, as if its looking straight out at the wall. These large eyes give the fish an advantage in low light deep waters as well as rough water or as our guests call it “Walleye Chop.” This is one of the reasons we find the best Walleye fishing on rougher days and deeper holes on the river. Like most things in nature, Walleyes find their advantage in nature and use it to their advantage.
Another great time to find Walleye’s is at dawn/dusk. This time of the day Walleyes know they have the advantage and start to hunt for disoriented prey such as Rattle traps, twister double tails, and small spoons.
Manitoba Record Walleye for 2011 was caught at Cobham River Lodge. The Walleye was a monstrous 34 inches and 15.5 pounds. Although the largest Walleye ever recorded was 42 inches weighing in at 29 pounds.
While Northern Pike can lay up to 85,000 eggs, large female Walleye can lay up to 500,000 eggs. The spawn usually happens when water temperature warms to 6 to 10 °C (43 to 50 °F). The Cobham River usually hits this temperature in early to mid-May. 40-60 days later the juvenile Walleyes become piscivorous (a fancy way of saying they eat fish). The Walleye’s main prey are smaller Northern Pike, Walleye, Yellow Perch, White Fish and Crawfish all of which are found in the waters of The Cobham River and Paulson River.
So, where are they? Well our guests at Cobham find them off rock shores and points. I generally tell guests anytime you see a rock shore that has softball sized rocks its worth 5 minutes of your time to see if the Walleyes are stacked up there. Walleyes are commonly found in depths of 8-12 feet depending on the time of year and light conditions. Usually 8 feet during the earlier parts of the day and season and deeper water as the day gets brighter and waters get warmer later in the season. But don’t think you won’t find them in weeds. Often, you’ll be casting for the Monster Northern Pike and find a Walleye hole. Good news, if you find a stack of Walleye in a weed bed, it’s a safe bet a few 40+ inch pike are also watching them. This is also true in reverse. When fishing your favorite Walleye spot off a rock point it’s not uncommon to hook into your Master Northern Pike who was also keeping an eye on your Walleye spot. This is why we always say use a leader! The argument that you catch more without a leader may have some truth to it, but is it worth catching a few extra Walleye when you are already catching 100 fish a day to lose your 40+ inch Northern Pike?