BY MARK CAHLIK
Canada is the place to fish for nice catches of walleye right now.
Many of Ohio’s charter guides are running north of the Ohio-Ontario line to fish, citing the increased water clarity and lack of hatching mayflies. There are still walleye to be caught on the Ohio side of Lake Erie, but the big schools along the south shore are scattered right now.
This past week, both drift-and-cast fishing and trolling tactics north of the line in Canadian waters have been targeting the hot bite on the east side of Pelee Island.
Anglers generally have begun the day by drift-and-cast fishing around the near shore Pelee Island rocks. As the bite slows, they’ve switched to trolling lures about four miles east of the island. Casters had been finding the fish suspended, but right now they have been targeting walleye close to the lake bottom.
The drift fishermen are still using single hook harnesses known as Weapon lures tipped with nightcrawlers. Weights have been 1- to 1 1/2-ounces with a slow retrieve from the bottom.
Trollers are still running the same program — Tru-Trip diving planers with spoons and worm-burners from 40 to 90 feet back. While they are still catching a few suspended fish, most walleye are hanging around the bottom in deeper waters.
The Ohio side fishing has been a bit slow because of the poor water clarity and plentiful mayfly hatches, which encourage fish to feast on the plentiful bugs. We still have a few reports that there has been a strong casting bite for walleye on the Vermillion dump located about seven miles north of the Vermilion River. There has also been good walleye fishing north of the Cedar Point dumping grounds.
Catfish are still going strong right now all around Sandusky Bay. Long-time customer Ken Pekar of Mark I Charters tried something different this week. He went on his first catfish charter with Jeff Tipple from JigNPig Guide Service that runs out of the Sandusky Bay. It was a catch and release trip, and Pekar said they had a great time.
Baiting their hooks with shrimp, the anglers aboard found a lot of succes, and trophy catfish. Catfish are also being caught on night crawlers and cut bait, such as shad. Certain times of the day the big cats bite better, and it can take a little time to find that sweet spot.
Yellow perch fishing reports are starting to improve. The best reports are coming in from the western end Lake Erie, with fair catches east of theToledo water intake while fishing perch rigs baited with minnows close to the lake bottom.
Perch were also being caught this week around Locust and Little Pickerel reefs in 22 feet of water. The G Can area on the Lake Erie Firing Range has been giving up some big perch, but angers have to be there early in the day.