Walleye aren't good to eat
Wrong! Walleye are easy to fillet and have firm white meat that is mild and sweet. If I had a choice between walleye and trout — I'd take walleye any day of the year and I like trout a lot. Walleye don't get that strong moss flavor that trout do and if they are handled properly, won't ever have a strong, fishy flavor.
If you are going to take some walleye home to eat, kill each fish immediately after you catch it and put it on ice. Don't let it flop around in the bottom of your boat and don't leave it for hours in your livewell. Put it on ice. When you come in off the lake, stop at the fish cleaning station, fillet the fish and put the fillets right back on ice. If you do this, your walleye fillets will be fresh and mild when you get them home. Don't freeze the fillets, eat them fresh! If you haven't eaten fresh walleye fillets, you haven't eaten!
My favorite way to prepare walleye fillets:
Wash the fillets in fresh water.
Drain and then dip the fillets into a mixture of corn meal, lemon salt and salt and pepper. Adjust the amount of lemon salt and salt and pepper to your taste.
Fry in lots of butter.
Cook the fillets just until the meat turns white and becomes flaky. Don't over cook or they will be dry. You can substitute crushed corn flakes, or flour for the corn meal if you wish.
My second favorite way to prepare walleye fillets:
Fillet a mess of walleye.
Wash in fresh water and put aside.
Add as many fresh mushrooms and as much chopped onion to a package of stove top-type stuffing mix as you can stand. Prepare stuffing mix (follow directions on package).
Let cooked stuffing mix stand while you place the walleye fillets at the bottom of a greased baking dish.
Sprinkle the fillets with lemon juice or with lemon salt.
Cover the fillets with cooked stuffing.
Place any left over fillets on top of the stuffing.
Cover and bake at 375 degrees for about 20 minutes or until fillets turn white and become flaky.
Walleye are hard to catch
Wrong! Sometimes feeding walleye are hard to find but once you find them they are generally fairly easy to catch. The secret to catching walleye (if there is a secret), is to figure out where the walleye are feeding. Once you find feeding walleye, catching them will be easy.
Learning a few walleye traits and habits will help in your search for feeding fish.
a). Active walleye are almost always near the bottom at Starvation.
Suspended fish will rarely be active, feeding fish. To be affective your lure or bait must be within a foot or two of the bottom. Keep that bait or lure literally bouncing in the mud or along the rocks.
b). Learn about walleye by studying their food — chubs.
Walleye are predators that feed mainly on chubs at Starvation. Consequently they follow the chubs around. Knowing a little about the life history of the Utah Chub will help you catch walleye.
As a general rule, chubs like warm water and will be found in the warmer parts of the reservoir. As the bays begin to warm in the spring the chubs move into the shallow, warmer water. The walleye follow the chubs. So, just after ice off, look for active, feeding walleye right up in the shallows. Fish the big open bays like Rabbit Gulch, Saleratus Wash, Sandy Beach or the Tunnel Inlet. Look for areas with lots of chubs and there will be feeding walleye nearby.
Chubs spawn in late June and throughout July at Starvation. During the spawn the chubs again congregated in the shallow water (as shallow as two feet) and again the walleye follow them.
After the spawn the chubs disperse throughout the reservoir. Once the chubs disperse, it's harder for the walleye to get an easy meal and they begin to cruise the lake looking for food. Late July and August bring some of the best walleye fishing of the year because the walleye are hungry and willing to chase a lure or bait.
In the late fall (late September and October) the chub fry are big enough for the walleye to feed on and the walleye move into the shallows with a vengeance. At this time the walleye chase the schools of small chubs all over the shallows. Sometimes the chubs will actually jump out of the water or run right up onto the bank in an attempt to get away from the feeding walleye. Some of the biggest walleye of the year are caught at this time. Find a a school of feeding walleye and you may catch a fish almost every cast.
Walleye don't fight hard
Wrong! Pound for pound walleye probably don't fight as hard as bass or trout but they do fight hard, just in their own way. Their bad reputation comes from the fact that many times they will let the angler guide them toward the boat and won't put up much fight until they actually see the boat. When they finally do see the boat they fight like crazy but by then it's often too late. If the fish is small the angler simply lifts it from the water before it has much chance to do anything.
However, if the fish is big, over a couple of pounds, you'll know you have a fight on your hands and had better be prepared for the walleye to make a mad dash toward the middle of the lake. I've seen large walleye put up such a fuss that they splashed water all over everyone in the boat while they made every effort to get away. No doubt about it, walleye fight hard enough to keep an angler on his toes.
Walleye can't be caught during the day
Wrong! Although walleye are extremely light sensitive and are most active just as the sun comes up in the morning and just as it goes down at night, they will readily feed at other times.
On cloudy or overcast days walleye will be cruising the shallows. On windy days when the water is choppy the walleye will be active and will be working the mud lines caused by the waves.
As a general rule, you will almost always find feeding walleye in or near muddy or turbid water at Starvation. Fish those mud lines and you will do well.
Even on clear, sunny days you can catch walleye. Just fish deeper, as deep as 30, 40 or 50 feet.
The only way to become a good walleye fisherman is to spend some time fishing for walleye. This summer put Starvation on your list of waters to fish. There is a nice state park, lots of good camping spots, an excellent boat ramp and plenty of hungry walleye.