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Fishing Remains Very Good in the Western Basin

At this time last year, the fishing had slowed down close to shore, and long runs were expected to get to the larger schools of walleye roaming the lake. Trips to Canadian waters, the weather buoy, or the sandbar were expected. That isn’t the case this year, thanks to the cooler water temperatures and diminished amounts of shad in the system. While those areas are still good at this time of year, there’s no need to use up all that gas to get there. It’s been very good walleye fishing between Kelleys Island and Vermilion, and shorter runs of only a few miles out of Cedar Point, Huron, and Vermilion have been producing limits of walleye for many lucky anglers who have been chasing the roaming elusive walleye.

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Fishing remains outstanding in the Western Basin of Lake Erie

Steve Chapman and his catch.

While most of us can agree this past winter was a real challenge to get through, because of the extreme cold temperatures brought on by the Polar Vortex, no one who has been fishing lately can disagree that is has helped with this years walleye and perch fishing.

I believe the last time Lake Superior froze over was in 2003, and if my memory of what the fishing was like during that season is correct, it was also an outstanding year for walleye fishing on Lake Erie.  It was also the year of the largest walleye hatch the lake has seen in many years. My fingers are crossed that this year’s hatch will rival that of 2003, but we won’t know until the DNR does their creel surveys in the fall.

The reason the freeze over was helpful is that the water temperatures have stayed much cooler than normal, as the waters move down through the Great Lakes, helping to keep the bigger walleye from moving to the deeper waters to the east.  

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Perch fishing Lake Erie’s Western Basin

With this season’s perch fishing is firing up into full swing now, and I’d like to share a few tips with those who may be going out to try it for the first time. Hopefully, it will help you put more fish in your cooler.

Minnows: The emerald shiner, which is native to Lake Erie, and can be found in most of the bait shops in the area, is the best minnow for catching perch. While the golden shiner, can work in a pinch, if you present the emerald shiner and a golden shiner at the same time, the emerald shiner will out produce the golden every time.

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