: Do eyes go deep come winter?


Ice eyes
10-21-2006, 10:13 AM
Ive heard they go deeper after ice up, is this true? and what would make them do this?

Thanks

Old Time Guide
10-21-2006, 11:55 AM
As I understand it:
The forage primarily determines where they hang out. In most non- moving bodies of water, the walleyes go deep when the water cools in the fall, after "turn over". The forage has moved deeper and the walleyes follow.
The actual ice cover ensures the deeper water will continue to be the water holding more oxygen, since wave action isn't available to add more.

Stacker1
10-21-2006, 01:55 PM
This thread could get very interesting. Here is how I understand it.

When the fall turnover happens the warmest water sinks to the bottom of the lake. That is where the oxygen is at, and the fish move there immediatly. When it happens it is like someone flipped a switch and they just sink to the bottom. As time passes and the water cools evenly to freezing temps, the fish stay on the bottom most of the time. When the time comes that the water freezes, the water is all very close to the same temp. At that point no one depth holds more oxygen than the other. Thus, fish can move anywhere in the column.

Meat Hunter Unlogged
10-21-2006, 03:13 PM
When the lake is iced over, the warmest water is on the BOTTOM. 39 degrees, as a matter of fact, that's when the water is it's heaviest.

Meat Hunter.

Old Time Guide
10-21-2006, 03:34 PM
Right.
Water is densest (heaviest) at 39 degrees, which is found at the bottom in winter, under ice. The ice then insulates the water to help keep it from getting continually colder.

Texeye
10-21-2006, 08:05 PM
I think all fish go deeper in the winter. I don't think it is oxygen related as much as it is temperature related.

The metabolism of all fish slows down in the winter, hence not needing large amounts of oxygen. They follow the baitfish down as they too are seeking the warmest possible temperatures. As the top of the water column cools and begins sinking the fish keep going deeper. As others have said,there comes a point when the warmest temperature is right on the bottom.

The walleye just hang out all winter with the bait till a jigging spoon falls from above and yanks em out one by one...end of story.

At least that's how I see it.

Have a good one.
Texeye

Texeye
10-21-2006, 08:05 PM
I think all fish go deeper in the winter. I don't think it is oxygen related as much as it is temperature related.

The metabolism of all fish slows down in the winter, hence not needing large amounts of oxygen. They follow the baitfish down as they too are seeking the warmest possible temperatures. As the top of the water column cools and begins sinking the fish keep going deeper. As others have said,there comes a point when the warmest temperature is right on the bottom.

The walleye just hang out all winter with the bait till a jigging spoon falls from above and yanks em out one by one...end of story.

At least that's how I see it.

Have a good one.
Texeye

The Bullhead
10-21-2006, 09:22 PM
I would have to disagree (those who believe they go deeper).

I have caught more, and bigger walleyes.....shallow through the ice, than I ever have deep...regardless of early / late ice.

This pair I pulled through one after the other:

http://www.walleyecentral.com/photopost/showphoto.php?photo=1762&cat=500&ppuser=100234

I was setup in 4 foot of water (1.5' of which was ice) in mid January. This particular lake harbors a variety of deep water...deepest point being near 24'. Time and time again, I've found em shallow on our glacial lakes.

River fishing seems to be a different ballgame. I wouldnt be afraid to fish deep on the River.

Cant wait for ice!!

:cheers:

The Bullhead
10-21-2006, 09:22 PM
I would have to disagree (those who believe they go deeper).

I have caught more, and bigger walleyes.....shallow through the ice, than I ever have deep...regardless of early / late ice.

This pair I pulled through one after the other:

http://www.walleyecentral.com/photopost/showphoto.php?photo=1762&cat=500&ppuser=100234

I was setup in 4 foot of water (1.5' of which was ice) in mid January. This particular lake harbors a variety of deep water...deepest point being near 24'. Time and time again, I've found em shallow on our glacial lakes.

River fishing seems to be a different ballgame. I wouldnt be afraid to fish deep on the River.

Cant wait for ice!!

:cheers:

Texeye UL
10-21-2006, 10:48 PM
Ryan, Nice set of eyes.

If your lake is only 24ft. deep, by the time it freezes over, it's probably the same temp from top to bottom so it doesn't matter where the fish roam. Even in deep lakes, walleye will be found shallower when the water finally becomes cold throughout.

Here, walleye are found deep twice a year, hot summer and usually around January. When we talk deep we are talking 30ft. plus. They seek the thermocline to stay cool in the hot summer and the depths to stay warm in the winter. It is not uncommon to catch eyes in 50ft. plus in the winter,in fact it is the norm. I do believe however, that this doesn't mean they will not venture shallower to feed if need be. On a warm sunshine day, I'll sometimes see the bait rise higher in the water column and the walleye follow them upwards. These are by no means hard and fast rules, because I have found walleye at about every depth at about any time of the year. But overall, this seems to be the trend year after year.

Have a good one.
Texeye

Texeye UL
10-21-2006, 10:48 PM
Ryan, Nice set of eyes.

If your lake is only 24ft. deep, by the time it freezes over, it's probably the same temp from top to bottom so it doesn't matter where the fish roam. Even in deep lakes, walleye will be found shallower when the water finally becomes cold throughout.

Here, walleye are found deep twice a year, hot summer and usually around January. When we talk deep we are talking 30ft. plus. They seek the thermocline to stay cool in the hot summer and the depths to stay warm in the winter. It is not uncommon to catch eyes in 50ft. plus in the winter,in fact it is the norm. I do believe however, that this doesn't mean they will not venture shallower to feed if need be. On a warm sunshine day, I'll sometimes see the bait rise higher in the water column and the walleye follow them upwards. These are by no means hard and fast rules, because I have found walleye at about every depth at about any time of the year. But overall, this seems to be the trend year after year.

Have a good one.
Texeye

hollis ULed
10-22-2006, 10:15 PM
The lakes around here don't have much O2 in them in deeper water. You can sink a nylon bag with some bait/or pan fish down to 30 feet (these are also shallow lakes) and the fish will die much faster than if you have them floping on the ground, most of the summer or winter. Hot summers before sunrise is really bad.It can be as little as 15 feet. In the winter as the season goes on,..under the ice it gets worse and worse. I think fish are more wanting to breath rather than looking for optimal temps. Again this is for lakes that have eutropified or have a lot of organic material on the bottom.

JJ Mac
10-23-2006, 06:46 AM
I have found that I can do well on walleyes in shallower water during low light periods. Then during the day they tend to move deeper. During the day they are harder catch, but can be had if you are willing to move with them.

DLK
10-23-2006, 04:44 PM
walleyes are where they are. caught them deep last hard bottom areas on lakes by basins. and inside the weed lines in 2feet of water at first ice. usally mid winter i fish deep. if i was looking at a new lake look for structure inide turn ,sharp break for the lake, and somecabbage, and some rock or gravel. DLK.

Seedtree
10-23-2006, 10:08 PM
There are both seasonal and diurnal cycles. Seasonally the eye move deeper during the cold water period because its warmer and that is where the baitfish go. Over the course of a day, the baitfish go shallower during the low light periods for forage, and the eyes follow.

Tight lines.

Texeye UL
10-23-2006, 11:38 PM
I agree. I also learned a new word.:)

Have a good one.
Texeye