BY MARK CAHLIK
The walleye fishing remains to be the best fishing we have seen. West of Catawba and the Islands has been the spot to be. The happy problem we have is that there is a ton of fish to be caught, but there is a lot of sorting we are doing because of the size of the fish.
Walleye that are a year old are being caught, but they are only eight to 10 inches long so we are having to throw those back. The walleye daily bag limit on Lake Erie is six fish per angler with a 15-inch minimum length limit. Walleye hatch success has been exceptional for six of the past eight years. Anglers will catch 2- to 4-year-old fish ranging from 15 to 22 inches. Larger fish from 2015 and earlier hatches will provide chances to reel in a Fish Ohio qualifying walleye (minimum 28 inches).
Abundant young fish will show up in the catch and range from 9-14 inches, with an increasing number of 2-year-olds reaching 15 inches as the season progresses. Anglers are encouraged to release these sub-legal fish with as little handling as possible so they can contribute to the future fishery. Fishing off the Can lines off Port Clinton and Camp Perry is producing walleye as well. We are even going east as far as Vermillion to get walleye.
Trollers are still using Tru-Trip Diving Planers with spoons set back 35 to 50 feet. Some anglers are going to the Huron dumping grounds and the Cedar Point dumping grounds and getting walleye. At these two spots they are setting their leads back 60 to 80 feet.
Casters are using a splash count in the mornings and, as the day progresses, they are using a 15-count before retrieving their line. Some shallow rock fishing is beginning to produce walleye now as well. Water depths of eight to 15 feet is what is working.
Bass fishing around the islands is still strong, in 10 to 15 feet of water.
Catfishing in the Sandusky Bay has not waivered at all this year. You can now start to use nightcrawlers as well as fresh shrimp as bait.
Many anglers will be fishing Canada for the upcoming Demeter drift-and-cast only fishing tournament, and we will have a report on that next week for you.
Last week I attending ICAST in Florida, the world’s largest sportfishing trade show, which is the premier showcase for the latest innovations in fishing gear, tackle, accessories and apparel. The ICAST fishing tackle show is the cornerstone of the sportfishing industry, helping to drive recreational fishing product sales year round.
I am excited about all the new fishing products that are coming out soon, and will tell you more about this fantastic show next week in The Beacon. Until then, get out there and enjoy our beautiful Lake Erie and all she has to offer and of course, keep a tight line!