Many residents of Georgia fail to realize that some lakes have an abundance of walleye. Walleye to most is considered to be a fish the lives in the north through states like Minnesota, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania, and Canada. Beyond Georgia, they are also found in other state’s lakes like North Carolina and South Carolina. What is a walleye fish?

How do you identify a walleye

The walleye is in the perch family, and the two fish have similarities between them. The large glassy eyes can help you distinguish them. They have the appearance of marbles and are reflective. The fish’s back is greenish-brown, fading to brass on the side and finally white down toward the belly. When handling these fish, watch out for the sharp gill plates. Most of these species in Georgia is around the two-pound mark but can exceed eleven pounds.

Are walleye a popular fish in Georgia

The walleye fishery in Georgia and other southern states like North Carolina and South Carolina is not as popular as you would think. One of the biggest reasons people don’t fish for them is because they don’t realize they are there. Some of the highest walleye fish populations are in Lake Burton, Lake Lanier, Lake Rabun, and Lake Yonah. These lakes are walleye central.

Why do anglers enjoy catching walleye

Most anglers would agree that a walleye is not the best fighting fish in the lake; however, they provide a decent tug at the end of the line. The primary reason that people fish for this species is because of the taste of the fillets. When filleted and cooked it is considered one of the best tasting freshwater fish.

They are preferred on the dinner table because they do not have the muddy taste, much like a catfish or bass. The fillets are white, easily flake apart, are moderately firm, have a sweet buttery flavor, and are not fishy. As a result, walleye can be cooked in a variety of ways. Two of the most popular are fried walleye and broiled walleye.

What type of fishing equipment is needed to catch walleye

The process of catching walleye in Georgia, South Carolina, or North Carolina lakes is pretty straightforward. You don’t need specialized equipment to bring them on board.

Rods and reels

Light to medium weight rods and reels, much like bass fishing, is all that is necessary. Scale it up to medium if you plan to troll rather than anchor or drift while bottom fishing. When it comes to line weight, twelve to fifteen pound line is ideal.


During the daylight hours, they tend to stay deep. Lures with large lips to dive low in the water column near the bottom of the lake is best. Use a variety of colors and see what’s working best.

When the daylight fades, walley often move close to shore and feed along the banks. Cast a lure without a lip and shine a flashlight to look for the glowing eyes.

Live bait rigs

One of the traditional and effective ways to catch walleye is on a worm harness. A worm harness is a single or double spinning blade with beads and two hooks trailing off the end. Nightcrawler worms are attached to the hooks, and weight is added up at the swivel to hold the bottom.

A second option when fishing with nightcrawler worms is on a jighead large enough to hold the bottom. Bounce the jighead off the floor of the lake.

How do you find This Species

When it comes to finding these fish, think structure in Georgia lakes and reservoirs. Walleye like to spend time around rock piles and reefs. If this type of structure can be found on a depth sounder at over 20 feet, work the area. Because of the rocky bottom, snags can be a common occurrence, so be prepared to have extra gear.

Is it worth fishing for walleye in Georgia

The answer is yes, walleye is worth fishing for in Georgia. Many south residents prefer bass fishing or catfishing, but if you like to both catch fish and eat fish, target them. When you place a walleye on the fillet table, you may draw a look of bewilderment. Remember to purchase a Georgia freshwater fishing license and follow the regulations. After you have brought a few of these tasty species home for dinner, you will want to fish for more.