Can You Tell Me More About Mooneyes?

The Question

Dear Gord,

I am 12 years old, I’m hooked on fishing, and I love your magazine. This year I was fishing in northern Ontario by Kenora, on a lake attached to the English River. While I was there I caught a mysterious fish. It looked like a goldeye but it was silver and black, and around 20 inches long. When I got home I researched it on Google and I think it might be a mooneye. Can you tell me any more about these fish?

Northern Ontario

The Answer

It’s great to hear from you Ryley, and I’m glad you enjoy reading the magazine!

I looked at your photo, and you are correct—it’s definitely a mooneye, and a pretty good sized one, too. While goldeyes and mooneyes are not widely distributed across North America—certainly not like walleye, bass and most trout species—I would not exactly call them “rare” either. That is because when and where you find them, especially in places like the English River, they are actually quite plentiful and common. And, as I am sure you discovered, they are also a lot of fun to catch.

Because mooneyes are not widely spread geographically across North America, not very many anglers can lay claim to catching them, so you can be proud to have hooked and landed a real trophy. Well done!

A friend,

Gord Pyzer

Gord Pyzer

Gord Pyzer

Fishing Editor Gord Pyzer is widely regarded as Canada's most scientific angler. Known in fishing circles as Doctor Pyzer, he worked for 30 years as a senior manager with Ontario's Ministry of Natural Resources before devoting all his energies to fishing. A member of the Canadian Angler Hall of Fame, the award-winning writer is also an internationally sought out speaker, tournament angler and field editor with In-Fisherman Magazine and Television. As well, he co-hosts the Real Fishing Radio Show with Bob Izumi. Catch Gord on the Outdoor Journal Radio Show live every Saturday morning 8:05AM EST. If you're in southern Ontario, tune your radio to Sportsnet 590 The FAN AM or visit and listen live online.

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