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This past weekend proved to be the start of what will be some phenomenal walleye fishing in the Western Basin of Lake Erie. Lots and lots of fish were caught with several limits this past weekend. Water clarity is improving and water temp is now above 50 degrees, so the fish are becoming more and more active.
We are now in the transition period for both casting and trolling. The jig bite is winding down around the reef complex with people starting to switch over to worms both casting and drifting. For trolling, the typical spring crankbait is still going strong, but several are starting to introduce spoons. If you like to slow troll worm harnesses, look for those to take off as well. The lake is becoming very active as the weather stabilizes and the water temp increases.
The 2018 fishing is officially in the books for Eriegardless Sportfishing. We had a great group of guys this past weekend from Minnesota. The trolling bite has been super slow due to the much colder than normal water temps and dirty water from a NE wind up to 35+ knots a week ago. We did manage some good fish for our group that wanted to go trolling to have a chance at catching some bigger fish. Fished an area just North of Catawaba Island using Bandits 55’ – 75’ back at 1.6 to 1.8 mph. Best color was the IB Frozen green metallic patterns.
Jig bite around the reef complex has been nothing but superb. Lots of quick limits jigging purple hair jigs tipped with a minnow seems to be the most talked about. Some boats have been getting limits in an hour or less! Popular areas have been Toussaint Reef, Cone Reef, and “K Can” to name a few. Most fish caught here will be smaller, younger males in the 16” to 20” range.
With some stable and warmer weather coming in, look for the trolling bite to really start up. I expect as the water warms and clears some this week the fishing is going to GREATLY improve! Check back for next week’s fishing report. You can follow us on Facebook at Eriegardless Sportfishing or our website at www.eriegardlesssportfishing.com.
Captain Kelly Schmidt
Welcome 2018 and what will be a FANTASTIC year for walleye on Lake Erie! Excellent hatch rates from ’14 and ’15 have produced a large number of legal-sized fish ranging from 18” to 22” that will be available for the catching. Early season ice-out will start with majority of the females spawning around the reef complex in the Western Basin with the males to follow. Jigging these reefs early in the season will produce some very quick limits and a lot of fun for those that wish to fish that way. Another great way to target the larger females going to and returning from the spawning grounds on the reefs is to troll. Trolling the outer range markers (A, B, C & D cans) covering water ranging in depth of 15’ to 20’. Post-spawned females seem to like to retreat to 20’+ of water after spawning. The female walleye typically spends only a few hours on top of the reefs spawning, mostly a night before moving off to deeper waters. Here they will rest and feed to recover from the spawn before they start their slow trek back east. Trolling stick baits such as Reef Runners, Bandits, Husky Jerks, P10’s, and etc. both high and low depending on the depth of the fish will produce a great opportunity to catch a fish of a lifetime! A lot of FishOhio 28” plus walleye will be there to catch!
Keep an eye out here for future reports as we get into spring! Come on sun!!!
Captain Kelly Schmidt