The summer has unofficially began along Ohio’s Lake Erie shoreline, with it comes better weather and amazing fishing. The month of June has already been underway for almost a week and here I am four days behind with a fishing report. The last few days have provided some great days on Lake Erie catching plenty of quality Lake Erie Walleye. We ran a trolling trip on Friday June 2nd fishing in the South Passage that seems to be a hot spot for Walleye right now. The fish have been in that area for the last few weeks and for those that have been able to get out, the results have been productive for most. We started our trip a little late that morning due to schedules of those fishing with us. As we made our way about half way across the passage, reports from others were that the fish were plentiful in the area. We decided to set the gear and began setting our Okuma rod and reel combos with Stinger spoons. It was hard to get all the lines in the water with some of the shorts hitting as soon as our depths were set. We ran a program of 25-35 back with purple and pink spoons using 40 Tru-Trip Jets at 2.1-2.4 mph. As we passed through the schools of short fish the action was nonstop and we slowly entered a school of great 18-22” fish, which we prefer for eating. The action was steady as we trolled north past the Lake Erie Islands and made a turn to come back through the pass. We took some shorts along the way but it was mostly filled with legal fish that was quickly filling the cooler. We ended our day with 23 fish and only fished for about four hours since the crew had other obligations that day and were happy with the fish we had caught.
On Saturday June 3rd we were involved in a Company’s Walleye Casting Tournament with 18 other Charter boats. The clients that I was to take fishing on my boat didn’t let me down that day; it was one of the fastest days of catching limits of Walleye’s that I have ever had, this crew of four knew how to fish and made for an enjoyable day for me to relax a little while fishing with them. They netted fish all day without losing any, had no line tangles, and were laughing all day while enjoying catching about 150 fish total in 7 hours. We had our limits by 1 pm that day but fun fished for another hour practicing catch and release. We used Erie Deeries and casting harnesses, also known as Mayfly rigs or weapons. It didn’t seem to matter much as long as you let the line sink for an 8 count there was a hungry Walleye waiting for you once you started your retrieve. The smaller sub legal fish put up a great fight and we had a nice grade of fish in the 18-22” range. We fished in the same area as the day before which is an adjacent flat to a few shoals and deep water drop-offs. While we didn’t win the tournament that day we seemed to be one of the few boats with a limit of fish. I had a great time with these guys and believe we have made lifelong clients and friends to fish with for years to come.
The next day June 4th started with a little bit of a bumpy ride as the forecast for strong southwest winds made the trek across the passage a little choppy. The crew this morning decided that trolling for Lake Erie Walleye would be the best for them since the crew had a younger child on board. It proved to be a wise choice as we quickly started catching fish once again after beginning to set the gear. Today provided less short fish as we searched the deeper water north of the islands where bigger fish seemed to be waiting to hammer the stinger spoons as fast as we could set them. Our program this day started the same as Friday with 25-45 back on 40 Tru-Trip jets at 2.1-2.4 mph. We were able to narrow that lead length to 30-40 and started hooking up with quality fish in the 22-26” range some of which seemed to have been feeding heavily as they showed a bit of a belly with a good color to them. We ended our day with the kid onboard catching all the bigger fish except 1. His uncle couldn’t take the torture and wanted to catch the last big one of the day. It was comical to watch the banter back and forth from them. The day came to an end after some big rain storms, bugs and humidity with 15 quality fish and we lost about a dozen before we could net them. The day was filled with training lessons on how to run the trolling gear, drive the boat, and having fun.
Yesterday June 5th my crew that came in from South Dakota wanted to cast, as they had a great day before with another Captain that helped me out, since I was booked the first day of the guy’s 2 day trip. They did well the day before with 22 quality Walleye that they were able to land while casting. Since casting for Walleye is my preferred method of fishing for them I was happy to oblige. The day started off very slow as we searched north of Kelley’s Island for some of the bigger Walleye. I was beginning to feel a little pressure since they had done so well the day before. Our network of Captains that we work with seemed to have found an active pod of feeding Walleye just a short distance from us so we made a quick move over. It had been about an hour and a half into the trip and we were sitting on a big old goose egg of keeper Walleye. It didn’t take long into our first drift after the move before we caught the first one and managed to pick a few each time we reset. The tally was quickly rising to double digits and then suddenly hit the imaginary brick wall. Some radio chatter and a couple of upwind moves was all it took to start picking away at another limit each time we reset our drift. We approached the four limits they needed as the time was nearing an end to their Lake Erie Fishing Charter, I asked them if they were ok with staying just a bit longer to try and fill the Captains limit. The response was a resounding yes, which proved to be a good choice because the last 6 fish needed to end the day was caught in less than 20 minutes. We had handled over 200 fish that day to get our 5 man limit of 30 fish and there wasn’t much of a down time at any point. We caught fish most of the day in the 8-10 count range but had to drag the bottom for the last 10 fish of the limit. The Erie Deerie seems to be making a comeback as we continue to catch fish at a comparable rate to mayfly harness rigs. The time to fish Lake Erie is now, book a trip on a Lake Erie Fishing Charter or find a friend with a boat, because you aren’t going to want to miss some of the best fishing that we have seen for years. As always we hope to see you out there and thank you for all the support.