Where the Sun Doesn't Shine: Fishing for Walleyes at the Fairmount Dam


Updates: 2 posts reviewed


It's when the weather gets cold that they start to feed and spawn. "Creatures of the dark" - they avoid light at all costs. They have glimmering eyes, sharp teeth, and a beautiful olive-gold color. When Winter starts, and most fish cease to bite, these are the monsters that some fisherman looks for: the Walleyes. And for our luck, they are in Philadelphia.
1. Background and General Information

It's curious how many people don't know how a Walleye looks like, or what is a Walleye. Also, people have no idea how Walleyes got here in Philadelphia. So, I'll provide a couple links below for information:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Walleye --> General Information on Walleye.

http://fishandboat.com/walleye.htm --> Pictures and Articles from Boat and Commission

http://fishandboat.com/strecord.htm --> State Record for Walleye

--> Walleye hatcheries around the country. NOTE: There are NO hatcheries in the southeastern county, which is where Philadelphia is located.

--> Some tips in finding Walleyes

http://fishandboat.com/walleyeplan.htm --> "Walleyes Fisheries Management Plan"

It's a very interesting project by the Boat and Commission, with the objective of stocking Walleyes that can be consumed and harvested. Therefore, it's worth to take a look at it.

--> 25 Hints in fishing for Walleye

If you read all these links, I'm sure you have a very good idea of "what is a Walleye," and where to find them. It's interesting how Walleyes are not stocked here in Philadelphia, isn't it? It means they are naturally sustaining themselves - wild Walleyes.

2. Where to fish for Walleyes in/around Philadelphia?

There are two "kinds" of Walleyes here in Philadelphia: the stocked ones (human-raised), and the wild ones. The stocked ones have been stocked in lakes and rivers for decades, and they can be found mainly in closed waters. The closest Walleye stocked bodies of water would be the Luxembourg Park (Core's Creek) in Bucks County, and the Nockamixon State Park in Bucks County. The wild ones are in open waters, closer to the city, mainly in the Delaware and the Schuylkill Rivers.

The main problem with Walleye fishing is to find them. Hopefully the links above have helped you obtain a little bit more of understanding in their living and feeding behaviors. The ideal is to fish very deep for them during hot seasons, where there's low light and cooler water; and fish currents (turbulent water, and slow pools) during Winter time.

When it comes to location, the best two spots in Philadelphia are narrowed down to the Fairmount Dam (Schuylkill River), and certain spots in the Delaware River (Specially in Northeast Philadelphia).

3. When is the best time for Walleyes?

The best time for Walleyes is during spawning season, which is coincidentally when water temperatures are low. The best time of the year is during Winter, and March to May. Walleyes are not tolerant to light; therefore, it's best to fish for them at night time. Dusk is certainly one of the best times to fish for Walleye, as it's for other certain kinds of species. The article below was written by Sam Anderson, and it's mainly on Walleye fishing during Late Spring/Early Winter:

4. How to fish for Walleyes?

Walleyes are predatory fish, so moving baits work best with them. Still fishing is an option depending on the bait, but better results have been obtained with artificial baits.

I'll leave this section short because I don't want to give people "Tunnel Vision." It's certainly not good to have a narrowed point-of-view, and I would hate myself to let people use the same lures that me/my friends use. I think people should go out to try whatever they think will work, and learn the empirical way - by trial and error. It's for this reason that I don't usually post styles for equipment, baits, etc, in this blog.

Keep in mind that what worked today may not work tomorrow, and what works tomorrow may not work next week. However, in general, jerk baits and crank baits will work great on Walleyes, as well as anything that resembles a Shad.

Now...time for some informal writing...

My friends (Steve - a.k.a. SO, Rob - a.k.a. RZ, and Mike - a.k.a. Lee) and I have been hitting the Fairmount Dam constantly at night time, usually when the tide is high. RZ has been hitting it more constantly, putting himself on top of the Walleye contest so far! People have been calling him "Walleye Guy" at his work site. Seriously, right? However, it's thanks to Lee that we started fishing for Walleyes...so, many credits to him!

So far, our experiences have been great, and the weather didn't get too harsh on us (Average: 38-45 degrees). We will keep hitting the Schuylkill River for some Walleyes until we get tired of it, or until SO lands a huge one!

Below are some pictures of our catches:

RZ - Rob's Catches

Note: A 20 dollar BILL! I use an 1 dollar bill to measure my fish! =/

Lee - Mike's Catches

Lee fishing at the Dam.

Leo - My Catches

SO - Steve's Catches

Uh-Oh! What's going on, Steve??? Time to get a big one,

so I can put the picture here!

My other friend doesn't even come out to fish anymore - says it's too cold for him already. NG, you don't know what you are missing! =/

- Many thanks to the readers that follow this Blog! It was made for you guys, sincerely...

- Many thanks to Lee, who showed us the art of catching Walleyes and Striped Bass. [As a matter of fact, a portfolio on Lee is coming up, as well as a post on the Fall Run of the Striped Bass at the Schuylkill River.]

- Many thanks to Lee, Steve, and Rob, who always follow me in my crazy fishing adventures!

Best of luck for all of us! Let's catch a bunch of Walleyes!

Long Days and Pleasant Nights,


Leo S.



August 19, 2016 at 4:51 PM
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Thanks a million for sharing. We need more blogs like this to inform us looking for a good time while fishing in the area. Im going to look into catching a wall eye. I have a new lure which I believe will do good with them.

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