Walleye Teeth Facts: Everything You Need To Know

The Walleye is a popular game fish that is endemic to North America. They may be found in a variety of waterways, and you can even go ice fishing for walleye.

They may grow to be fairly enormous, with some examples reaching 80 centimeters in length. Their look is defined by huge, outward-facing eyes.

The mouth of a walleye is filled with reasonably sharp teeth. Anglers should be cautious while handling walleyes since they might appear menacing. Walleyes need keen teeth to seize and retain their food as predators. Both the upper and lower jaws have obvious walleye teeth.


Do Walleye Fish Have Teeth?

Yes, walleye have rows of long canine fangs extending from both the upper and lower jaws, as they are carnivorous fish. When hunting, these canines are employed to catch and hold live prey fish. Walleye teeth, on the other hand, are more rounded at the tip than pike teeth and offer less of a threat to humans or the fishing line.

Along with their upper and lower jawlines, walleye have a lot of tiny canine teeth. A walleye can have between 30 and 40 teeth in total. The largest of them can grow to be around half an inch long. While they are sharp, they are also blunt, pointed, and widely spaced.

Because the teeth at the front region of the mouth are frequently larger than the rest, they are the most prominent and conspicuous in walleyes. On both the top and lower front parts of the mouth, there are usually between 2 and 4 of these fang-like teeth.

These fangs give the walleye a vampire-like appearance, and when fishing with live or dead bait, they frequently inflict two deep slashes on the baitfish.

Furthermore, walleye have smaller, more numerous canines that develop along the upper and lower jaws. Even tiny teeth can be discovered behind the cheeks, lower down the oral cavity. These can also develop between the smaller canine teeth on occasion.

Walleye Teeth Facts

  • Walleye, like many other carnivorous fish, have a set of long canines at the front of their mouth that are easily apparent. Just at the front end of the mouth, there is a noticeable collection of 4-8 long pointed teeth that are well-positioned to grip and hold tiny prey fish.
  • The enamel and dentine sections of walleye fish teeth are similar to those of other vertebrates. They can, however, replenish themselves continually throughout their lives, unlike mammals and humans. To put it another way, walleye may shed them and regenerate them. They do so at a sluggish rate continually, and there’s no indication that this shedding and regeneration follows a seasonal pattern.
  • There are sets of shorter canines between them, as well as even smaller ones inside the mouth cavity and on the surface of the gill rakers, in addition to their long canines. All of these are designed to aid the walleye in clinging to squirming prey fish with a slick surface.
  • The head of its prey is swallowed first by the walleye. When they capture a live fish, they must maneuver it around until its head points down the gullet, and their teeth are intended to keep the struggling prey from escaping.

Also Read: Rigging Guide For Walleye

How Many And What Kind Of Teeth Do Walleye Have?

Walleye can have up to 40 canine teeth in total. The largest ones can reach a length of half an inch (1.27 cm). The large ones are separated by a considerable distance. This figure comprises huge canines as well as the teeth that surround them.

Although the points of their teeth appear to be pointed at first glance, they are rather blunt, especially in comparison to pike. Pike’s teeth are likewise closer together.

Walleyes with smaller mouths have teeth as well. They begin to develop them throughout their juvenile years, and as they mature, so do their teeth. As they expand, so does their number. Their tiny teeth are used to hunt insects and extremely small fish when they are young.

Larger specimens have more teeth, larger teeth, and more noticeable teeth in the front region of their mouth. Their favored prey grows in size as they mature.

Smaller teeth might develop to the cheek lines of their mouths. These are normally around a sixth of an inch (4 millimeters) long, but the size might vary significantly.

Deep in their mouth, their teeth are small, measuring roughly 1/16 of an inch in length (1.5 millimeters). These figures are average, and giant walleyes may have larger teeth, while little walleyes may have much smaller ones.

How Big Are Walleye Teeth?

The larger canine teeth of a walleye can grow to be around half an inch long or just short of that, which is pretty large for a fish of that size. Again, truly enormous, previously undiscovered animals might have even larger teeth!

The walleye’s lesser canines are about 1/8-1/4 inch in length. Its tiny, needle-like teeth grow to roughly 1/16 of an inch in length, which is why they are more numerous than the walleye’s larger canine teeth.

Walleye Teeth Pics

1.) walleye mouth 2.) walleye fish teeth

3.) walleye gullet

4.) walleye teeth pics 5.) walleye teeth


Can Walleye Bite Through Line?

The pointed, blunt, and spread-apart teeth of walleyes make them almost impossible to bite through your fishing line. Monofilament, fluorocarbon, and braided mainline are all affected.

Of course, like with any fish with teeth, the more fish you capture with your line, the more abrasion occurs, so if you’re not using a leader, you should always check your line for weak places around your hook or lure.

Though, you must use the right pound test mainline to avoid line breakage. Even if a large walleye doesn’t bite through your line, its weight and pressure might shatter a fishing line that isn’t strong enough.

Can a Walleye Bite Your Finger Off?

Some anglers, especially those who are new to fishing, wonder if walleye have teeth because they are terrified of being attacked by a fish. Walleye fishermen, unlike pike anglers, don’t have anything to worry about.

As previously stated, their teeth are blunt and pose no major harm to humans. Furthermore, walleye will not bite you on purpose. On the other hand, some prudence and common sense are recommended. If you put your hand into the mouth of a walleye, it will bite you and perhaps leave marks on your flesh.

When it comes to major damage, such as losing a finger, walleyes are incapable of doing so, and you need not be concerned. They can’t bite and break the line because their teeth are so wide apart and the tips aren’t razor-sharp.

This is true for all types of lines, including mono, braided, and fluorocarbon. They can, however, inflict abrasion damage to your line, so examine it periodically while walleye fishing. At the very least, the bit that gets into their mouth.

When walleye fishing, it is not a good idea to use leader lines. They’ll detect it and steer clear of it. Because of its resilience and poor visibility, fluorocarbon can be used as a leader if necessary. In this scenario, metal leaders are unhelpful.

When walleye fishermen encounter line break, it’s mainly due to the fish’s size and the fact that they fight aggressively. In waterways where pikes dwell, walleyes can be found. If you hook a pike by accident, it may bite your line.

Do Walleyes Lose Their Teeth?

A tooth that has been lost by an animal, including humans, will never grow back. Fish species, such as walleyes, are, nonetheless, distinct.

Do walleyes, on the other hand, lose their teeth?

Walleyes may regenerate their teeth for the rest of their life. They spit out their teeth and replace them with fresh ones. This is a long-term process with no discernible seasonal trends.

For the fish, regrowing them offers several advantages. If they accidentally lose a tooth, it will regrow. They wouldn’t be able to hunt successfully if this wasn’t the case and they lost a few.

Furthermore, losing and regrowing teeth allows them to always have strong and healthy teeth for hunting.

When the walleyes aren’t biting, there are some rumors regarding seasonal tooth shedding, and you’ll probably run into folks who believe it, but such claims are bogus. The same reports abound about pike teeth shedding in the middle of the summer.

If the walleyes aren’t biting, you may be using the incorrect lure, looking for them in the wrong spot, at the wrong time of day/year, or the water just lacks oxygen, making the walleyes feel sluggish. For new fishers, it’s critical to dispel these fallacies.

Are Walleye Teeth Poisonous?

The teeth of a walleye fish are huge, thin, and blunt, and they appear to be venomous, but are they?

The basic explanation is that the teeth of a walleye are not harmful. They don’t create or release any venom that may injure you if it got into your system. However, there have been reports of certain negative side effects from walleye bites.

So, what could go wrong?

Walleye may irritate your skin, causing abrasions and even wounds. Bacteria can enter via these wounds and cause a variety of diseases. When you go fishing, your hands get wet and muddy, and your expedition might last several days.

If the wound is exposed to all of these factors, it is very likely to become infected. You’ll notice that the region is bloated and uncomfortable, and pus may appear.

Simply put, this indicates that your wound has become infected. If you have a serious illness, you should seek medical guidance and, more than likely, medications will be required.

It’s vital to note that any fish bite might result in infection if the wound isn’t properly treated.

When you’ve been bitten by a fish, rinse the wound with clean water and wrap it with a bandage or anything to keep it clean. Because the bandage must be kept clean, it should be changed frequently. It’s preferable to let the wound “breathe,” but if you can’t keep it clean any other way, covering it makes sense.

This is true of any open wound you receive when fishing, not only those caused by a fish bite.

Can We Touch Walleye? How to Unhook it Properly?

Walleyes are not harmful, as previously stated, and you are allowed to contact them.

Avoid placing your hands in their mouths. If you’re worried about bites, you can always handle the fish using gloves. Rather than using your hands to unhook it, you may use pliers.

It’s not always simple to get rid of the hook. Anglers that use live bait will understand what I’m talking about. Fish can swallow it whole, and the hook can sink to a great depth.

To unhook a walleye, you must first learn how to hold it.

Small specimens can be handled behind their heads without difficulty. Make sure your fingers are firmly gripping the fish in front of the dorsal fin, around the body.

Due to their diameter, larger specimens cannot be handled in this manner. If you don’t want to plant the fish, you can slide your fingers beneath it and hold it behind the gills. The fish is held beneath the belly with the other hand.

If you’re doing catch and release, you can’t utilize the gill approach since it might hurt the fish. If you move your fingers too far down, you’ll reach the red section. Experienced fishermen may regulate this action by sliding their fingers beneath the gill cover, but this is not recommended for novices.

Use a net to bring the fish out of the water if you wish to release it, and gloves if you’re still terrified of bites. You must unhook the fish after it is out of the water.

Walleyes have a protective skin layer that can be damaged if handled incorrectly or with too much contact. This is crucial for people who are going to release it. While holding the fish with one hand, remove the hook using pliers.

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