Gabe Fassler, 8, with his catch.
As we all know, weather plays a big role in fishing. This summer has been up and down in the temperature division, and we’ve had more rain this season than we have the past couple of seasons. While it might not be desirable for those that like to sit by the pool and tan in their bikinis, the good news is it’s been a blessing for the walleye angler. After all this rain, the cooler than normal temperatures have kept the algae bloom down, and the fishing is still productive for walleye and perch.
Hot temperatures after a big run off would have turned the Western Basin into a bowl of pea soup, like we have all experienced in previous years. Yuck! But, thankfully, the cool nights and cooler days have kept the bloom like that from happening. While there are still areas that show some algae, it’s nothing like we’ve seen in the past.
As for the fishing, the cooler temps have helped keep a lot of the big fish from moving too far east this season. Many charters are still reporting great catches on this side of the lake, with many of those fish being “Fish Ohios” (walleye that are 28” or better). There are also reports coming in that show the fish are moving closer to shore and in shallower water.
As I have mentioned before, walleye do not like hot water and will seek out a comfortable temperature near the 70 degree mark. When the Western Basin is too warm, the big fish move east to deeper water. The fishing out in front of Cleveland, Geneva, and Ashtabula has been phenomenal this summer, but unlike previous years, the Western Basin has had its share of success too. I can’t remember the last time a specific area or two held big fish for as long as it did this summer. For months the charter boats were working an area east of Pelee Island and the weather buoy with much success.
With the cooler days and nights, the walleye have been moving shallower and closer to shore in areas in and around Huron to Vermilion. To the west, from Davis Bessie to the intake, has been producing smaller fish, but in good numbers too.
So, if you don’t want to make long runs, don’t hesitate to start looking shallower right now.