Walleye anglers finding success going ‘up the middle’ around islands

Jun 1, 2022 | Ottawa Outdoors | 0 comments

Dane Neff of Port Clinton has been casting for channel catfish from the old Sandusky Bay Bridge this week, catching some dandy trophies. While Sandusky Bay has been a hot spot for catfish, good numbers of the whiskery fish are being caught all around the area this week.

The fishing this week started out very good and by Sunday it was insane. Most of the week we were in Nor’Easter mode, which means we were fishing “up the middle” off the Western Lake Erie Islands. Casters and trollers were both going up the middle between Kelleys Island, South Bass Island and Middle Island.

Casters were fishing in 20 to 25 feet of water using Weapon spinner lures tipped with nightcrawlers. The were doing this while retrieving lures slowly along the bottom of Lake Erie. Trollers were in motoring in 26 to 30 feet of water and were using Tru-Trip Diving Planers with trolling spoons.

We have been waiting for the deep-water fish to start biting and on Sunday they made their presence known. Trollers put the beat down on them by setting their Tru-Trips and spoons back 30 to 35 feet back and they were using trolling speeds of 1.8 to 2.2 miles per hour. Casters were fishing West of Green Island all the way to Niagara Reef. They were using 15 to 20-foot counts before retrieving their fishing line slowly.

On another note, the catfish have been biting in the Sandusky Bay again. Dava Neff’s son, Dane Neff, and a few friends were fishing for big cats along the old Sandusky Bay Bridge for a few days and caught some monsters.

They young fishermen were using nightcrawlers for bait, but freshwater shrimp have been a working as well.

Next week should produce great reports from both casters and trollers. We needed the warmer weather and hot sun to get the walleye biting better than they have been in recent weeks. So until next week, get out there and fish — and have fun!

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