Recently the MNR did an extensive study on Eagle Lake Ontario's walleye population and the data’s conclusion was that the mandatory slot limits of 18-23” (with voluntary release of fish over 23” at over 90%) imposed 25 years ago have done a remarkable job. Their implementation is and has been a huge factor in putting the walleye population density of Eagle Lake Canada in the top ten of all fisheries in Ontario, so there are many walleye fishing opportunities. The population structure supports unfathomable numbers of a multitude of year classes of the younger, eating-size fish under the slot 14-18”. Because of the years of slot limits and voluntary angler release of bigger fish, the number of slots, trophy fish, and chances at fish 27-30” is one of the highest in Canada. Andy Myers Lodge guests never have a problem finding plenty of walleyes for a meal and trophy walleye fish are being boated daily. The more likely problem is running out of bait before days’ end!
When it comes to equipment and tackle during a trip to Eagle lake, pursuing walleyes can be kept quite simple. The mainstays in the boxes of seasoned anglers' are jigs, lindy/Carolina rigs, spinner rigs, and crankbaits. You should have a variety of jigs in weights from 1/8 thru 3/8 oz. and in chart., org., blue, and plain shiny lead. The guides at Andy Myers Lodge prefer the Bait Rigs Odd Ball stand up jig for most rock and reef applications and the Slo Poke for weed and grass presentations. Good hooks and stand-up or hook-up designs increase hooking percentages and success. Primarily, jigs are tipped with minnows, crawlers, or leeches depending upon the time of the season and what the fish are telling us. Have some plastic jigs like Gulp and Havoc minnows, twisters, and paddle tails in both natural and bright colors for snap-jigging, hot bites, when you run out of live bait, or when going on day fly-in trips. In the clearer sections of the lake (where fish are just a bit touchier) and when reef fishing it’s tough to beat a lindy or Carolina rig or a big lively Dace minnow or crawler. You can buy pre-tied rigs or simply purchase the components and make them yourself. Get some number 2, 4, or 6 octopus or circle hooks in red or black chrome, slip weights in 1/4-1/2 oz., small swivels, and some Seagur floro carbon leader material in numbers 8-15 and you'll be good to go.
In late ice-out, you will find walleyes still in, or near spawning areas while during both normal ice-out and the early season you will find more action in warming bays with emerging grass, shallow rock and gravel points, windblown shorelines, and downed timber. This tends to be true in all areas where you find the warmest water and bait fish. As the season progresses into summer, some walleyes will use the heavy shade cover of weed beds. However, the most consistent biters and big concentrations will be on main lake humps, reefs, points, and hard bottom areas. Mid-summer will also bring a suspended, trolling bite. This is especially true in the PM trolling cranks on top of rising cisco schools over deep basins. As the seasons turn towards fall, the walleyes will do several things. Some will keep dropping deeper down and off the same structures towards the mud-line and hard bottom areas as the thermocline drops, coming back up to more shallow water afterward. Others will move into shallow weeds while some will follow migrating shiner or minnow schools into current areas and channels.
Jigging and rigging are the preferred presentations for smaller areas, grouped schools of fish, etc. But, when fish are scattered, roaming over flatter areas, or suspended over deeper water, presentations of spinner rigs with #3-#5 blades in silver and gold work best. Chart with live bait or trolling crankbaits like flicker shads, rapalas, rattling’ rouges, etc. This allows an angler to cover more ground and encounter more active fish. While there are many more presentations that will catch walleyes under specific situations, if you keep things simple with jigs, rigs, and cranks, you will be able to catch walleyes anywhere you go on Eagle Lake. There are enough to keep you busy all day.