Do Walleye Have Teeth? – Facts You Need To Know

The Walleye is one of the popular fish that comes from North America. You can easily recognize this type of fish with its large eyes and big mouth, which often raises a question for those who are unfamiliar: “Do walleye have teeth“?. The answer is YES

Knowing their basic characteristics will be a huge strength for you in fishing it. Follow us and find the answer right away in this article!

Do Walleye Have Teeth?

The Walleye –  a freshwater perciform fish (Sander vitreus, formerly known as Stizostedion vitreum) is native to the northern United States and Canada, close to the European pikeperch (aka Zander).

Walleyes are classified as carnivores, so YES, they do have teeth. They have a similar structure to other predatory fish, so their fangs are very long, and you can easily see them from the front.

Specifically, in the incisors, they? have from 4 to 8 teeth to easily bite prey. Along the upper and lower jawlines, the Walleye possesses numerous tiny canines.

A walleye can have about 30 to 40 fangs in totality. The biggest of these can grow to be around a half-inch long. Walleye’s teeth are sharp, pointed, and detachable. The teeth of walleyes, like those of other vertebrates, are enameled and serrated. But they can repair them continuously throughout their lives, unlike mammals and humans. 

Walleyes, in other terms, can remove teeth and then regrow. They do it at a sluggish pace all year, and there’s no proof that this transformation and creativity are seasonal.

Between them are groups of shorter canines, along with even smaller ones inside the oral cavity and atop the gills, in contrast to their long canines.

How sharp are their teeth? Compared to pike and muskie, Walleye’s teeth are not as sharp. They can bite other fish easily but have difficulty reaching harder objects.

Because of the blunt point in the teeth structure, Walleye can’t cut your line. If you watch closely, you can notice these spots on their teeth. So it’s unnecessary to use metal fishing lines if you want to catch them.

In contrast, metal lines are weak points because Walleye has good eyesight and are a predator in the dark. 

Does It Hurt If You Are Bitten?

Walleyes may be carnivorous fish and have sharp teeth, but they are not intended to hurt humans. There were no records of Walleye fish attacking people. 

However, that does not mean their teeth will not hurt you when you handle them improperly. Please be careful when putting your hand inside their mouth to remove the hook!

To prevent the Walleye from biting while unhooking, ensure that you have a good, long set of pliers to reach the rear end of the large Walleye’s mouth. Additionally, remember that you should never put your hands directly inside.

In certain situations, the hook can be reached through the gill slits, allowing you to escape the front of the mouth.

The simplest and best way to unhook the Walleye is to use one hand to clamp the back of its head and the other hand to open its mouth with other pliers.

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How Should We Hold A Walleye?

To catch Walleye easily without any problems, you need to know how to hold them properly.

First of all, you must know where to grasp the Walleye when you draw them out of the water not to be attacked. 

You can hold them behind their head with little fish with your thumb. For larger fish, all you need to do is run your fingers under its belly and slide it down until you reach the V-shaped part, and pull them out of the water. In this way, your hand will be danger-free because it is in a position where the Walleye cannot reach their teeth.

Next, use your other hand to support the fish’s lower belly once it is completely out of the water.

If you want to avoid touching the fish entirely, you can use tools like a landing net or a lip clipper. These tools will greatly assist in your being bitten by Walleye, but it will affect the oily layer on the fish’s skin and even its jawbone.

Note that if you want to catch and then release the fish, pay close attention to the red part of the gills. To be more specific, you may damage the fish’s life if you slip too hard, as this is a sensitive part. Make sure you go with professionals or have specific tools to assist you during this process!

What Are Other Facts About Walleye?


Aside from the fact that Walleye have teeth, there are also some interesting facts you should know about this kind of fish.

Why Is It Called “Walleye”?

The fact that this fish’s eyes point outward prompted the name. As mentioned above, Walleyes are predators in the dark because such eye construction allows them to see brighter and clearer in low-light environments.

What Color Are They?

Walleye are mainly olive and yellow, with patterns of the same color divided by five stripes extending down the back to the sides, and they are completely white on the lower abdomen.

How Big Are Walleye Fish?

Walleye have a length of up to 79 cm and weigh nearly 9 kg. In herds, females tend to be larger than males.

Female Walleye is larger than males.


How Long Does Their Lifespan Last?

This fish has a long life cycle, which can be up to 30 years if they live in the right environment.

In about 3 to 4 years, the male Walleye can be considered an adult, and the female is fully mature after about five years.

What Are Walleye Habitats?

Large areas of water, such as cisterns or lakes, are ideal habitats for Walleye. They can also be found in smaller spaces, which is rare.

In addition, they also like areas with gravel and sand, where you can easily find Walleye in places like rocks or coral reefs.


Although it can hardly attack people, you still have to be careful when touching it. Nevertheless, please be mindful and note the important things we’ve mentioned in the section on holding a Walleye safely.  

Always be careful and apply reasoning skills to protect yourself when going walleye fishing. Have fun!