Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you know the walleye opener is here on Oneida Lake. Below freezing early this morning, but we are headed to a high in the upper 60s. No precipitation in the forecast and as of this morning, the lake is very calm.
The water temperature is in the upper 40s midlake and we expect most of the early action to be in and around the tributaries. That temperature is a bit cooler than normal for this time of year. A reminder that the walleye limit on Oneida Lake is now five fish. For the fourth year in a row, the walleye population is around one million although the folks over at Cornel reported at the Oneida Lake Association meeting that the relative weights of the walleye are “as low as we’ve ever seen before.” It is speculated that the reason for the shrinking girth of the walleye is due to a lack of prey fish in the fall like yellow perch and gizzard shad.
Tributary waters 5-15 feet, a good approach is like fall fishing. Blades, bucktails tipped with a worm with slower jigging action. Those fishing from shore should find success with stick and crankbait. As of the early light this morning, we are not seeing many people if any out in the deeper waters, which makes complete sense. Stick to the usual color patterns. We’ve got many of our usual sources on the water today so we should have some more details in the next couple of reports.
A final reminder, for whatever reason, the big hazard buoys are not yet in place for the season and many of the small pin buoys are reportedly far from their intended location due to movement during the winter.
Good luck out there!