Finally! Wind, weather, walleye a winning combination on Lake Erie

BY MARK CAHLIK

Young Josephine Snively was fishing on Lake Erie with Dana Jean Daugherty-Klonowski and her husband, Mike, of Ravenna when she caught this 30.125-pound walleye, good for third place in the FishCrazy Walleye Derby. (Photo courtesy of Dana Jean Daugherty-Klonowski)

With the weather finally cooperating, the Lake Erie walleye bite is on fire.

Casting and trolling have both been phenomenal and we see it only getting better from here on out. Just to let you know how good the fishing is right now, the fish cleaning shop here filleted over four tons of walleye in a three-day period.

Those numbers alone are ample display as to how much better the fishing has gotten.

Since there have been some winds, anglers have chosen to use bottom bouncer rigs with two- to five-ounce weights keeping spinners and nightcrawlers just off the lake bottom. The walleye our crews were catching were mainly hugging the mud along the bottom of the lake.

That usually means they are not biting aggressively, but that is not the case now because they have been biting very well. Sometimes, though, they were biting more like yellow perch do than true walleye. Don’t be fooled if you see a pecking at your line. It could be a walleye.

At Bay’s Edge Bait & Tackle, Shannon says many have reported that gold spinner blades, No. 4 and No. 5 Colorado blades and Tommy Harris purple blades are the “go-to” hot blades for limit catches of walleye. One last tip on the casting, though.

This past weekend, the walleye started coming up off the bottom. Using a 10 to 15 count, casting harnesses have also been a good way to catch fish. Use the harnesses with two hooks and be sure to use a full nightcrawler. This will change within the next few weeks because of the upcoming mayfly hatch. You will want to use an egg sinker that is ¾- to 1-ounce in weight, as well.

Successful trolling techniques have remained the same over the last few weeks. Bandits and Reef Runners set 80 to 100 feet back. Keep your trolling speeds between 1.7 to 1.9 miles per hour. Don’t forget to work with your speed and direction if the trolling bite is slow.

The best spots to go to when trolling have been up on the Canadian line and northwest of Gull Reef. Over the weekend, the waters west of Catawba lit up as a good area to troll, along with the Lakeside area.

At the fish cleaning service, Misty reports she has seen an increase in catfish coming into the shop. Casting from the banks of Sandusky Bay has produced quite a few nice coolers full of catfish. One area where people have said they have caught catfish is at the Old Bay Bridge area off of Bayshore Road. Nightcrawlers have been working the best to entice the catfish to bite.

I want to encourage everyone to get out there and fish, because the fish catching is great right now. Have fun but be safe and as always, keep a tight line!

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