Lake Erie walleye anglers heading north for success

Jun 14, 2023 | Ottawa Outdoors | 0 comments

Lake Erie walleye catches blossomed last week as warmer weather arrived, putting Canadian waters in spotlight. This trophy walleye was caught on a Deadeye diving plug.

BY MARK CAHLIK

We finally enjoyed some consistent Lake Erie walleye fishing last week, thanks to lots of warmer weather around Western Lake Erie. A cold front in the forecast will provide a challenge this week.

In recent days there have been a lot of Ohio fishermen making long runs to the Ohio-Canadian border, and beyond. The extra effort has been worth it, with the tremendous quality of the walleyes on the Ontario side of the border right now.

Fishermen using drift-and-cast techniques or trolling for the big walleye have both been doing very well north of the border, bringing in limits of fish.

The casters have switched over from two-hook harness to a single hook this past week with their Weapon and mayfly rigs. There is a strong bite west of Peele Island, with anglers focusing south of the Wagon Wheel area to the Ohio border. For anglers who are casting, a count of five to 15 has been best in 28 to 37 feet of water.

On the Ohio side the casting bite has been inconsistent, but there have been good reports coming from waters off the airport of Kelleys Island.

Trollers are still running the same program, with Tru-Trip diving planers and spoons catching open-water walleye. On the Canadian side there has been a strong bite on the east side of Pelee Island. Anglers have been setting lines 35 to 45 feet back, and trolling speeds are still around 2.1 miles per hour.

Capt. Ray Leach of Mark I Charters, and Bob Hayner from Eagle Eye Charters, brought in some impressive boxes of fish from there last week.

On the Ohio side, they have been doing well a mile west of West Reef trolling lures 35 to 45 feet back with Tru-Trips and spoons. Nice boxes of fish are coming in from there, but anglers still have to sort out the small guys. There are still guys running crank baits such as Deadeye diving plugs try to catch those monsters 30 to 35 feet back.

Catfish are going strong in the Sandusky Bay area, whether you are in a boat or casting from one of the many fishing accesses along the shore. It does seem anglers are switching time frames for the best catfish success. Fishing from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. seems to be best right now. Most fishermen are still baiting up with shrimp for the best for catfish success.

Some of these cats are huge, weighing in the 30-pound class.

Largemouth bass seems to be picking up again in the shallows in the West Harbor and East Harbor areas. The best time for catching largemouth bass has been the early mornings before harbor waters heat up.

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