By Mark Cahlik
With the weather being more stable this week, the walleye have been on fire even more than in recent weeks, which is absolutely amazing. Anglers have been going everywhere on Lake Erie from west to east — and anyywhere in between — to catch huge “gators.”
Anglers that have chosen to continue to cast have not been disappointed at all. They have been heading to West Sister Island and Middle Sister Island. Their choice has been to use “weapons,” the small spinner rigs. Allowing the rig to sink on a 5 to 15 second count has been producing limits almost daily.
Some drifts have been producing 2- to 3-pound walleyes. If you are choosing to drift, then the best spots to be have been on the Ohio-Ontario border between Middle Sister and North Bass islands. The bite there has remained steady for quite a while.
Trollers have been doing their best when going east of Kelleys Island about 4 to 5 miles off the airport. Tru-Trip diving planers teamed up with Silver Streak spoons have been the hot combination in recent days. If you put these anywhere from 35 to 55 feet back they’ll swim at the right depth for the big schools of walleye.
I was out trolling this week and the walleye fishing was outstanding. Whether you have chosen to cast or troll, the norm lately has been coolers filled with limits for every charter boat that has been out.
The yellow perch have finally begun to bite. They have been in the deeper waters out around Gull Reef and off the Kelleys Island Airport in 30 of water. We have been seeing a few more catches of perch coming in lately, a sign of good perch fishing to come.
Another species of fish that has started to bite more has been the smalllmouth bass. They have been sticking around the islands in shallower waters. The best tactic to use has been to go to the shallowest points and to use soft craws and artificial lures, such as tube jigs or drop shot rigs. The goby look-alikes and the imitation craws have been working best. If you are fishing for smallmouth bass and are anchored, you’ll want to bring your bait a couple cranks off the bottom so the small round gobies do not steal your bait.
We have been seeing huge numbers of catfish coming into Bays Edge Fish Cleaning lately, with the bigger catches weighing more than 100 pounds. Hotspots for the catfish bite have been the Old Bay Bridge access and anywhere on the Sandusky Bay shoreline. Raw shrimp and nightcrawlers are taking lots of nice catfish.
With the Fourth of July upon us, there are bound to be plenty of boats out on Lake Erie, whether folks are fishing or just out for a boat ride. If you’re on the water, be safe and have fun, but watch out for other boaters. This season should be the best yet for fishing, so get out there and get in on the action.