steel eyes

Discussion in 'Northeast Ohio Fishing Reports' started by castmaster00, Dec 3, 2008.

  1. castmaster00

    castmaster00 very avid fisherman

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    why is it that steelhead are as big as walleye but they dont eat the same size of food? they even live in the same waters yet eat different size foods. why is this?
     
  2. creekcrawler

    creekcrawler Konfused Kayaker

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    Castmaster - When the steelies are out in the lake, they're chowing on the same forage as the walleye. I guess once they get in the rivers, they do act a little different - almost like they're a stream trout, taking small flies and such.
    They'll still hit a large shiner (or a tube jig;) , or a leech;), or a big nightcrawler;) ) just like a walleye will too, though.
     

  3. Steelhead spend most of their lives in the open lake sharing the same food source as the walleye. When steelhead return to the rivers to spawn they adapt to a riverine diet.
     
  4. K gonefishin

    K gonefishin Bit by Musky bug

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    Castmaster:

    What's more amazing is that steelhead grow 10-15x the speed of a walleye, don't know if you know this but a steelhead will reach 9-11 pounds at age 3 and will be 30-32 inches long. Walleye take over 20 years in lake erie to reach 30 inches and 10 pounds. Yet they eat the same food and probably eat just as much as each other, same with King Salmon a 4 year old fish is 40 inches long or better and weighs 26-40 pounds, I swear if you attached a camera to them you can watch them grow.
     
  5. Columbusslim31

    Columbusslim31 Student of Finjitsu

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    Sounds like a walleye/steelhead hybrid needs to be developed. I wonder what that would taste like?
     
  6. creekcrawler

    creekcrawler Konfused Kayaker

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    Hopefully NOT like a Rocky River steelie.......:p

    Cripes, if it didn't work right, you'd have a fish that fought like a walleye :mad:
    and tasted like a steelhead:( :p
     
  7. K gonefishin

    K gonefishin Bit by Musky bug

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    Hey now ;) not all walleye fight like sissy girls...(alot do tho) I've done battle with some horses this year that I couldn't budge at all, I swear I was never going to get them to the boat, drag singing and bulldog fighters are out there, just not all of them.
     
  8. castmaster00

    castmaster00 very avid fisherman

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    why is it that steelies switch to a small riverine diet though? shouldn't the fish just keep eating big prey items?
     
  9. BigDaddy300

    BigDaddy300 multi species angler

    Not alot of big prey items in the river as there are out in the lake.
     
  10. castmaster00

    castmaster00 very avid fisherman

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    creek chubs, eels ,baby bass ,rats ,mice , nightcrawlers shall i go on?
     
  11. When they are in the rivers, all of their energy is devoted to spawning; out of instinct of course. Naturally via chemical changes in their bodies, they devote minimal energy to chasing down large prey, and become opportunistic. This is why small minnows, flies, and maggots work so well. They consume just enough food to have energy to sustain life. Eels, baby bass, and rats don't fall under that food group. It's adaptation, just like why they change colors when they are in the river.
     
  12. How many creek chubs, eels, baby bass, rats, mice, and nightcrawlers you see swimming around the rivers this time of year? I've lived on the rocky river for 25 years and never seen any of those this time of year. Nor ever found them in a river steelheads belly.
     
  13. creekcrawler

    creekcrawler Konfused Kayaker

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    One reason is, once the water gets cold a fish's metabolism slows, they'll get picky.
    Sometimes they'd expend more energy (calories) than they get from the food
    they're chasing, so they won't chase big baits unless it's an easy meal- like, right in front of them. I guess it's easier for them to sit next to the current and snag whatever washes by, than to go chasing faster dinners.
    That being said, if a juicy crawler drifts right by their nose they will definitely inhale it.

    Ummmm, castmaster, what river are you fishing that has eels in it??
     
  14. castmaster00

    castmaster00 very avid fisherman

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    tusc up by kim tam. they hide in the reeds and i can pull them out with a small tube.
     
  15. I think castmaster is referring to the Lamprey. Six species are native to ohio. The Silver Lamprey lives in the open lake and makes its spawning run up the tribs in June. Not a likely food source in the rivers this time of year though.
     
  16. Yes steelhead grow rather quickly once they enter the big lake, but not that fast. A 30"-32" steelhead is probably more like 7 or 8 years old. http://www.ohiodnr.com/Home/Fishing...hingfairportsteelhead/tabid/6166/Default.aspx Steelhead smolts are stocked by the ODNR when they are about 2 years old and around 8" long. The smolts make their way to the big lake and gorge themselves on just about anything that moves and will about double in size after their first year in the lake. The you steelheads usually spend 2 summers in the lake before they begin to make spawning runs up the Lake Erie tributaries. When a steelhead makes a spawning run after spending just one year in the lake it is referred to as a "skipper" because the fish 'skipped' its second year in the lake to make an early spawning run.

    And yes, all walleyes do fight like sissy girls! :p The only way I really enjoy walleye fishing is durring the Maumee River walleye run, where you feel like the walleye are fighting as you reel them out of the fast currents. What they lack in fight, they more than make up for in yumminess!

    John
     
  17. BigDaddy300

    BigDaddy300 multi species angler

    Really! Try hooking a 5 pounder on a short line in skinny water and see if it is a sissy.;)
     
  18. K gonefishin

    K gonefishin Bit by Musky bug

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    Yeah if you think ALL walleye fight like sissy's you haven't caught very many. I've caught some (not all) that would put a steelie to shame, I caught a few steelies on the lake this year that swam right into the net what a disapointment those were. I like catching every species of fish so it doesn't matter to me. I've caught some moster walleye, steelies, kings and musky...all fun as hell to catch IMO.
     
  19. BigDaddy300

    BigDaddy300 multi species angler

    Yes please do go on! You are right though. I forgot about the rats and mice swimming around in the rivers. Actually just the other day I did tie on a topwater mouse looking bait and caught 3 steelies.:p Those would not be considered natural big prey items. Even if they were, a steelie could not open its mouth wide enough to eat them.

    I was referring to your original question about why they do in the lake and not in the rivers. They eat big smelt and shiners in the lake. There are not any significant numbers of "big" smelt, shiners or any kind of minnows in the rivers. But if there were then they would probably eat them if they could. When they feed it is on the abundant food source.
     
  20. castmaster00

    castmaster00 very avid fisherman

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    there are tons of 5in. creek chubs by where i live and i know that there are 12 inchers in the grand by the harpersfield bridge. there are steelies in there around the same time as well.