Outdoor Beacon 6-22-23

Jun 21, 2023 | Ottawa Outdoors | 0 comments

The fun of drift-and-cast fishing for Lake Erie walleye has been very successful in recent weeks, producing limits of fish.

BY MARK CAHLIK

Well, it’s hard to believe it’s the middle of June.

The weather on some days feels like we are still in late April. Fishing is phenomenal, but only if you know where to find the schools of walleye and have the patience to stay with the moving schools of fish.

The traditional drift-and-cast fishing we’ve enjoyed for decades has become the hot tactic again this summer in Canadian waters, producing a great grade of fish. There has been a strong bite off Mill Point and Chickanola Reef. I took a crew up there this week and caught a boat limit of walleye in just five drifts.

These fish were on the deeper ends of the rock piles. The lure of choice has been a single hook casting harness called a Weapon Lure, weighted with a 3/4-ounce barrel sinker. A 10 count allowed the spinner rig baited with a piece of nightcrawler to get bites.

The Ohio waters to the south are still a bit on the slow side, with the best bite west of West Sister Island to the Michigan line.

Trolling lures for walleye has been good on both sides of the Ohio-Ontario border. The schools of fish are in about 30 to 35 feet of water, and running Tru-Trip diving planers and spoons is a top combination.

Make sure you are using your fish finder to find suspended schools of walleye. Four to five miles west of Kelleys Island seems to be the spot on the Ohio side. These fish seem to be deeper, so troll lures 55 to 75 feet back running Tru-Trips and spoons.

There are a lot of great fishing guides out there that can put you on the big walleye this summer. DJ from Double D guide service happens to one of them.

It has definitely not been a normal June. I have been guiding Lake Erie fishermen for more than 40 years, and this has been one of the most challenging seasons I’ve experienced. When the fishing conditions are not right it has been very hard to catch fish.

We do have a couple of yellow perch reports this week. The summer perch fishing starts in the far Western Basin every year, and perch fishermen have been going east of the Toledo Water Intake and east of the Harbor Light. Best rigs have been vertical perch rigs known as Perch Assassins.

Sandusky Bay catfish catches have been outstanding, with a lot of catch and release fishing going on. Many people do keep a few catfish for dinner, as well. This is a great resource people are starting enjoy while fishing from the shoreline and from boats. Sandusky Bay is also a very good place to fish when big Lake Erie is a bit too rough.

Let’s hope for more stable summer weather for the upcoming week.

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