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Forage for Tonka Walleyes


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What do you folks find to be the main forage for the walleyes on Tonka? Or rather, is there a difference between the weed walleyes relating to perch, versus the rock orinted walleyes relating to bluegills or shad etc???? Both? Other than size of the forage, does it change as the season changes?

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I think the majority of the walleyes in Tonka relate to the weeds. Most of the fish I have caught there and cleaned have silver dollar sized bluegills in them. I have never seen one with a perch in it yet. I'm not sure about the fish that are relating to other stucture as I have rarely caught walleyes on that structure to tell what they are eating.

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Tonka walleyes are very weed related. Main forage is shiners, minnows, suckers and the little sunnies. The vast majority of the walleyes in Tonka are stocked and stocked fish act totally different from wild fish. There is a ton of small perch in Minnetonka - just drop an Aquaview down in the winter and you can find the bottom just littered with 'em. Funny thing is I have not done well catching walleyes on spots with perch schools. Either they are too well fed or the walleyes aren't keying on them. Maybe some of the other guys can chime in but the deep water perch walleye connection doesn't seem to apply to Minnetonka.

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Hi Mark...

I've noticed that very thing on a number of metro or near-metro walleye fisheries. The relationship between perch and the walleyes just is not there as it would be on a lake with more natural reproduction. Farther north, perch patterns have been a "go-to" for me for years. However, "down south", my results have been sporadic at best.

I'm wondering if it's some new genetic trait/instinct of hatchery raised fish?

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Stocked walleyes are raised in rearing ponds. That means weeds for cover, shallow water and minnows or fish chow for food no perch. The fingerlings adapt to that environment and when dumped in a lake look for similiar environments/food. In Minnetonka they can find it and so don't need to become "classic" walleyes. When you think about it a little why would stocked walleyes change their pond habits without any other walleye schools to show them how to do it?? So head for the weeds, fish shallower and use shiner/sucker/bluegill colors. So I don't use perch patterns very much on Minnetonka. I have doctored some lures by adding bars to them for contrast purposes and they work well but colors are more to golden shiner or chartruese than the green perch. I do think the bigger walleyes hunt perch at times but since I release those fish I don't know what they have been eating. I also do not fish deeper than 30ft because of release concerns (fish don't adjust well to rapid depth change) but I have trolled for a suspended fish out in the basins and never got any walleyes. Do find an occasional northern or musky out there and I wonder what they are chasing.

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