I love seafood of all types but walleye is my favorite fish of all. Since I was ten years old, the many trips to Canada fishing for walleye are burned into my brain. Each night we ate fried walleye until it was coming out of my ears. That’s not a complaint.
Walleyes aren’t easy to catch. Bass are a lot easier. Walleye make seasonal movements to different areas of a lake. Time of year, knowledge of the lake, the right tackle and some patience often bring success. In the spring they are near shore while in mid summer they go deep and spend time on rocky sunken reefs, which can be hard to locate. In mid June when the mayflies hatch they can have lockjaw for a few weeks.
I am not a catch and release kind of fisherman but we never over harvest so I see no problem keeping plenty to eat. In most states and provinces regulations have made fishing better. The best thing to happen has been the “slot” limit. This is a size restriction that allows larger fish to remain plentiful and the smaller fish to become larger. For instance, Ontario allows only one walleye over 19” to be taken per day and all fish kept must be between 14 and 19”. They also allow only four fish per person in possession. This really riles my dad, who in his early days was allowed to keep many more to bring home.
Walleye can be bought in stores for anywhere from $7-$9. per pound. If I ever figured out the cost of boat, fuel, equipment and lodging it would cost much more than that. Store bought is not as fun and at least I know where my fish came from.
Native Indians in Canada are allowed to harvest fish with a net commercially but the Canuckistanian government also restricts their permits and harvest. Where we go in Ontario an Ojibwe reservation is not far away. Since our limit is restricted we usually purchase a large amount from them to be taken across the border legally. I usually purchase ten pounds from one of the braves at about $6. per. To make the fish last we freeze the fillets and vacuum seal them in plastic with a FoodSaver.
I highly recommend the FoodSaver. On Sunday I took out the last bag of walleye from the freezer and fried them up. The taste is probably not quite as good as fresh caught but I couldn’t tell without a side by side comparison. After ten months there was no sign of dehydration or freezer burn. They tasted fabulous.
Fish and game never goes to waste when vacuum sealing and buying food staples in bulk saves tons of dough.
For instance, at my local grocery store I can buy a 5lb. brick of cheddar for under $10. When I divide it into .5-1lb. chunks and vacuum seal them it can save me up to 40% over the smaller packaged 8-10 oz size packages. The cheese will last up to a year in the refrigerator, no need for freezing.