Lake Erie Shores and Islands Ohio Lake Erie Shores and Islands Ohio Lake Erie Shores and Islands Ohio Lake Erie Shores and Islands Ohio

Lake Erie "Early Spring" walleye trolling in shallow water

Lake Erie "Early Spring" walleye trolling in shallow water.

Watch the "Fisherman's Digest" TV show.

Availably Locally and Nationally on these networks and times. Set your DVRs.

  • CBSSN - Saturdays at 7:30a.m. January-March
  • Fox Sports Ohio - Saturdays at 11:00a.m. January-June
  • Fox Sports Detroit - Sundays at 7:00a.m. January-June
  • NBC Chicago Sports Net PLUS - Mondays at 12:30p.m. January-June


Welcome to 2019!!! The start of the season for us is getting close now! A month from now we will be watching the weather and determining a launch date for what should be nothing short of a spectacular 2019 fishing season. 2018 was a great year that a lot of people will remember years from now and 2019 will be right there with it. Actually, I expect the next 3 to 6 years to be absolutely amazing fishing for walleye on Lake Erie. As the ’15 and ’16 class of fish reach the 22” to 26” size range and the ’18 fish enter into the “keeper” size range, will give anglers ample opportunities to catch all the fish you want. Remember, the ’18 class of fish was the 2nd best spawn in history for Lake Erie! Add ’15, ’16, and now ’18 together, superb fishing on Lake Erie for years and years to come!

Look for the season to begin with fishing around the reef complex after ice out in March and early April. This will be a great time for jigging on the reefs and for trolling outside the reefs for large pre and post spawn females.

Watch here for updates or at our website at as the season gets underway. If interested in booking a charter with us give us a call soon! Prime dates are booking up quickly!

Till then...tight lines and good luck!

Captain Kelly Schmidt


Well the bite at lake Erie really has never let up all season long. This was with out a doubt the most consistent year for huge numbers of eater sized fish. With that said....we are now entering that "Big Fish" time of the year. I'll let you know just a few things that have served me well at this time of the fall. I typically can always find fish from Cedar Point all the way to Vermillion. My best tactics are these principles: I troll slow, 1.2-1.5 mph. I set out 6 rods with 3 guys and set them up to do the following. The 2 outside boards are always 8' down from the surface, The middle boards are always 15' down and the inside boards are set to chase the marks that I see that are 20' or deeper. I do this because the 2 higher zones seem to always produce fish. If I can't seem to catch the deeper fish, then I'll sandwich a bait 12' down between the 8' & 15' baits. I really think that concentrating on higher active fish will bring good results. The baits are simple. Big, colorful baits with lots of contrast produce well in the fall. Bandits, Reefs, DHJ-12s, P-10s & 20s and Banana Shads all work great. Use the precision trolling app to help you get the baits spread out good. One last tip, Alittle dirty water is OK, but total mud won't work well. Try tpsearch out some reasonably fishable water.
John Bergsma/Fisherman's Digest TV


Another great weekend of walleye fishing on Lake Erie!

Our weekend started Friday morning with a father/son duo trip. It was the son’s first time fishing Lake Erie. We first started fishing an area NW of Kelley’s Island where I’d caught some good fish the evening before fun fishing. Unfortunately they were no longer there. After making a couple passes we moved back down off of Lakeside. By this time is was late morning, full sun, and little wind but we still prevailed catching a limit of good “eater” size fish for them. Trutrip 40’s 35 – 45 back with small spoons was the presentation. It was a blast spending the morning with this father/son group and made for some awesome memories for all of us! Great job guys!

Saturday morning we had a group of 5 up for a Bachelor’s trip. We left the dock at 5:30am and setup again off of Lakeside pulling TruTrip 40’s 35 back with small spoons. Sound like a broken record? Sorry but this presentation is just slamming fish and is very common presentation this time of year. By 8:30am we had their limit of fish plus with some nicer fish mixed in. Awesome group to fish with! Had a great time!

Perch fishing is starting to take off…look for the bite to get better and better as we get into late summer and early fall. This is a great time to book either a Perch trip or Walleye trip or a combo of both. Fall is some of my favorite times to fish!

Captain Kelly Schmidt


Recent mayfly hatch slowed the bite just a touch but limits are stilling being caught in short order daily. With the warmer water and calm summer days, trolling has been producing better than casting but casters are still catching fish and have their days. Popular areas from the past week have been on the Canadian line between Middle Island and North Bass, South of Kelleys in the ferry lane, and east of Kelleys.

We ran three trips over the extended holiday weekend with great results. 1st trip was ran up on the Canadian line running Trutrip 40’s 30’ to 45’ back with small scorpion spoons. Had great results with limit catches. 2nd trip was on Sat after a NE blow all day Friday that had the water still on the rough side Sat morning. We opted to run west of the islands and fished around Rattlesnake Island in some protected waters. Again, ran Trutrip 40’s 25’ to 35’ back with small spoons. Water was stained a little and was a slower bite but still managed 24 fish for the group of 5. 3rd day had much better water conditions and allowed to run east of the islands. We had the same group that we had on day 2. Fishing was great with a limit of a better grade of fish than we’ve had for a few weeks. Here Trutrip 40’s were ran 75’ to 95’ back with small spoons, Dipsys on a 1 and 2 setting back 35’ and 65’ all caught fish. Great weekend on the water with some great people!

Captain Kelly Schmidt


The great fishing continues!!!

Ran 3 trips this past weekend and had limits on all 3 trips. Trolling with Tru-trip 40’s and 50’s along with Dipsy Divers pulling small spoons is the most popular method right now. We fished an area between Kelley’s Island and South Bass Island in water 27’ to 32’. Lead lengths on the 40’s ran from 20’ to 35’ back, 50’s off the corner at 25’, and dipsys set a 1.5 and 3 setting back 35’ and 45’. All trolled in the 2knts to 2.2knts range. Pooh Bear Purple and Blueberry Muffin were the dominant colors for us.

We also recorded some great footage for an upcoming Great Lakes Fisherman’s Digest show. We fished an area between Lakeside and Kelley’s Island. We ran small DreamWeaver spoons back 35’ on #1 Tadpoles off small Offshore boards, Banana Shad cranks on small Offshore boards, and DreamWeaver deep divers on the corners back 18’ to 25’. It was a great time with limits caught plus a lot catch and release. It was a great time with John and Chase! Look for the great footage in an upcoming show for the Lake Erie Islands and Shores area.

Captain Kelly Schmidt


Can you say “ON FIRE”??? That is what the fishing is right now on Lk. Erie. All over the Island and Shores area to Port Clinton is producing limits of walleye! A lot fish being caught are from the great 2015 hatch and in the 18” to 20” with several nicer fish mixed in. Seems from day to day the grade of fish is changing but there are plenty of fish there to be caught.

Drifting/casters with “weapon” style casting harness worked great over the past weekend between South Bass Island and American Eagle Shoal. Most were working an 8 to 10 splash count (count down once your bait hits the water to keep a consistent depth once a target depth is found). Weapon style casting harnesses are a single blade with a single hook harness behind ½ oz. egg sinkers.

Trolling with Tru-Trip’s and small spoons has been the most popular trolling presentation and is working very well all over the Western Basin. Tru-trip’s from 25’ to 50’ back depending on the day and time day with small copper back spoons. Colors haven’t seemed to matter but for us Pooh Bear Purple and Purple Demon had been the best.

We ran a trip for Pooh Bear Charters on Friday with limits caught of 18” to 22” fish. And with the holiday weekend, we had family up to the lake and ran family fun trip on Sunday with limits caught of a better grade of fish with half of the fish being 22” to 26” and one Fish Ohio at 28”.

Give us a call today to book your Lake Erie fishing charter!!

Captain Kelly Schmidt


Fishing is REALLY starting to heat up on the Western Basin. Lot's of limit catches are coming at a fast pace all over the lake right now. Most of these fish are in the 17" to 22" size range with the occasional bigger fish.
Right now, however you like to fish for walleye will work. Troll with cranks or spoons, troll with harnesses, or drift and cast. Popular areas are south of the range cans and Clinton Reef, North/East of Mouse Island, and North/South of American Eagle shoal.
We had a FUN FUN group this past weekend from Michigan. Trolled Tru-Trips 20' to 45' back with small scorpion spoons around 1.9 knots. Quick order to limits of fish for the group!
We have some dates available in June yet. June is some of my favorite times to fish. Weather is getting great...water is cleaning up AND there are not many bugs yet. Plus the fish are feeding heavily! Check back for next week's report. Give us a call to book your charter and get in on some of the awesome fishing that is going on right now!
Captain Kelly Schmidt


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.

We had a group of 5 guys for a 3-day charter, but the wind gusts up to 40+ mph on Friday kept us docked. Saturday was a day of searching and trying to find some active fish after the blow on Friday. The bite was a little slow for most, but we ended with 19 nice eyes for our group of 5. For day 2 on Sunday, we started by running west and settled in just south of the reef area. We were running the same crankbait program of Bandits as the day before, and trolling around 1.7 – 1.8 knots. The bite started a little slow boxing 8 eyes in the first few hours. We decided to make a move east and introduced spoons behind Big Fish Tuff true trip 40’s on one side of the boat and leaving the Bandit crankbaits on the other side. It was GAME ON!!! First pass we boxed 7 nice eyes and after a couple hours we finished the group’s 5-man limit of 30 fish with the last fish being a 29” Fish Ohio.  We had a blast and it was a great group to fish with!



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


Captain Kelly Schmidt




Here is a little update to post... A few have been able to get out over the past weekend for some trolling in the reef complex area, around the cans on the firing range, N of Kelley’s Island, and I have even heard of some E of Kelley’s. Most have been pulling Perfect 10’s with some combination of snap weights finding some fish willing to bite. Also, few have taken on Bandits 50’ to 70’ back.  Keep an eye out here…the fish are here…it is time! Now it is about getting Mother Nature to co-operate and give us some stable weather. The bite seemed to get better each day this past weekend as the weather became more stable, but the recent blow yesterday with strong sustained NE winds has the lake really tore up again. The next week’s forecast is not the best either. Long range forecast has a warmup starting the last couple days of March and going into April. Time to get March over and let's get into April! Check back here for future updates and follow us on Facebook as we progress into the fishing season. Thanks to everyone that has booked with us…days are filling up fast with only a few days left in May!
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!!!

 Feel free to check us out on Facebook at\eriegardless and at

 Captain Kelly Schmidt