Weather, mayflies keeping walleye anglers on the move

Jul 12, 2023 | Ottawa Outdoors | 0 comments

The Ohio Division of Wildlife will officially christen its new Barracuda Fish Cleaning Station at the Mazurik Access Area on Marblehead at 2 p.m. on Wednesday, July 19. The public is invited.

BY MARK CAHLIK

Lake Erie’s walleye fishing will be in the spotlight this week around Western Lake Erie, with Governor’s Fish Ohio Day bringing crowds of legislators, media and fishing guides together for the annual love fest for Ohio’s favorite fish on Thursday, July 20.

Gov. Mike DeWine and the Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR) will follow up a morning of walleye fishing with lunch and a media conference at the Shores & Islands Ohio Welcome Center in Port Clinton.

The ODNR will also celebrate its new Barracuda Fish Cleaning Station at the Mazurik Access Area on Marblehead at 2 p.m. on Wednesday, July 19.

Meanwhile, the Canadian waters of Western Lake Erie is still the best location for consistent catches of walleye, with difficult weather patterns and a large mayfly hatch sending most Ohio fishing guides over the border into Ontario waters.

The Ohio side of Lake Erie is tough right now to get limits. The best bite has been east of the Chickanola reef for both trollers tactics and drift-and-cast fishing. The casters are still running the same program, with single hook casting harnesses matched with 1 1/2-ounce weights, using a slow retrieve off the lake bottom to get strikes.

Trollers have been running lures 70 to 90 feet back using Tru Trip diving planers with spoons or worm harnesses. On the Ohio side, the south and west side of Kelleys Island has been about the best bite right now running lures 30 to 50 feet back.

There has been a good report of walleye being caught west of Gull Island Shoal, as well, in about 36 to 37 feet of water. I know this week’s report sounds much the same as in weeks past, but the fishing has been tough this year with the weather and the mayfly hatch making a difference.

There is some good fishing news, though. The Western Lake Erie perch bite is starting to get a bit closer to home. The most consistent reports are still coming in from the Toledo area, but the green can off Catawba State Park is starting to produce, and anglers are picking up some perch around G Can and F Can. The best tactic has been using vertical rigs baited with with emerald shiner minnows.

Catfishing is still going well, with a few good spots to report this week. Both sides of the old Route 2 Bridge have been producing, as well as around the Dempseys Access Area. Cat anglers are still relying on shrimp, shiners, and night crawlers. Smallmouth bass are biting in Canadian waters this past week on live soft craws and tube jigs.

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