An Adventure Awaits Experience That Counts Year-Round Excitement Great Lakes Vacation Peaceful Surroundings

Explore the Great Lakes and our featured Fishing Destinations that can ensure the best possible fishing experience in the mid-west.

John's 18 year career as a professional fisherman shares his experience to help your fishing adventure become a success.

The Great Lakes Region offers a fishing adventure during each season. Winter is an especially exciting time to catch some fish.

Plan for some breathtaking views when you visit our Destinations that we have carefully selected for you to visit and enjoy.

When you come to experience our Destinations, you can expect great fishing, excitement, great food & lodging, along with tranquility.

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 9:00a.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 back. It's Mid December and we're still soft water fishing. Christmas came early! It's been great fishing with big girls hitting the scales. 30 to 45 ft of water seems to be the range. Trolling perfect tens with two ounces off offshore has been the recipe. 30/50,30/60,30/40 and 30/50 has been the best sets. Speed 1.2. Colors has been the wildcard . Some days they want natural some days they want crazy.Look for shad and Marks and send it out. It's some of the best fishing right now . Get out while you still can. Fish Strong Captian Gary.


Fishing in the port Clinton to Sandusky area of the lake Erie Shores and Islands region has been awesome for the last several months. With a little bit of warm weather we have coming fishing should remain good for another couple of weeks. The best areas have been right out in front of the break walls out to 35 feet. Fish are literally scattered throughout this entire region. The best presentations are slow trolling crank baits at 1 to 1.2 mph. The best crank baits have been P-10s bandits and Rapala DHJ 12s. There's really no right or wrong area, there are so many Fish right now. The area from Huron to vermilion has also been great with limit catches by almost anyone who braves the cold temperatures. Be safe and have fun.




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


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



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.comCaptain Kelly Schmidt




Hello everyone. Welcome to the 2018 Fishing season. It's April. It sure doesn't feel like April LOL. Fish has been good to really tough depending on the wind. When we do get out  Bandits and Perfect Tens have been the top producers on our charters. Bandits back 25 to 80 and Perfect Tens at 30/30 with one ounce . Speed 1.0 mph to 1.5 mph. Color has been either your purple perch patterns and your metallics like cheap sunglasses and IB frozen. 
Areas to fish has been the hard part. With all the wind and rain we've had it's hard to find the right water. The Can area is notorious for being the best area because thats where most spawn on the reefs but with all the wind and rain that area has been taking a beating. So we've been going up to the Canadian line between the islands and east of the islands to find the right water.
Once we start getting more stable weather and the water starts warming up things should be going real good. Stay tuned for next week's fishing report. You can follow me on FB at Gary A Zart or Blue Dolphin Fishing Charters or visit my website at Thank you for stopping by. Captain Gary Zart. Blue Dolphin Charters



Hello fisherman and welcome back. It's hard to believe it's Christmas and were still fishing. We've been fishing the river mouths from Cleveland, Lorain and Huron.  Lure of choice has been Smithwick Perfect Tens with 2 ounce snap weights 20 ft in front then another 20 to 40 ft more of line before you put it on a Offshore board and send her on her way.  This time of year we troll real slow 1.0 mph to 1.2. They usually like the natural looking colors. The nice thing about late fall early winter fishing is there's no boat traffic and the fish are big. I mean really big. 8 to 14lb fish are the norm. 

This will be my last report till spring. I want to thank each and everyone of you for stopping in and reading my reports. You can always follow me on Facebook at Gary A Zart or Blue Dolphin Walleye Fishing Charters and on my website at 


Merry Christmas and Happy New Year and see ya next spring. Captain Gary Zart 



The fish are everywhere! Be very careful and stay warm. Lot's of cold weather this week! 


By Capt Juls on 09/24/17

What a beautiful weekend it has been. I had a long time customer of mine, Tim McGlothlin, and his friend Ed this time. Tim normally fishes with his brother, Matt, but Matt couldn't make it, due to being the head soccer coach for his daughter's soccer team, who had games this weekend.

I picked them up each morning at the Sleep Inn and we hit Big Bopper's for breakfast before going on over to Mazurik's to launch at 6:30.  I couldn't believe that when I walked into Big B's on Saturday morning at 5:45 that there were no seats, or clean tables available for us, so I helped out and cleared a table for us to sit at.  Then, when we got to the launch at 6:30, there were already several boats launching already.  
I'm used to having the launch to myself in the mornings, so those that were launching, and leaving their headlights on while backing up, and sitting in the ramp, were really pissing me  Ugh!! Turn your lights off PLEASE! Thank you...:)
Anyway, we were headed north over the boarder each day. No need to call in...just need to make sure you have an Ontario license on you in case you get checked.  I couldn't believe that no one is fishing up there! The perch fishing is very good up there right now, and the size is really really good.  Both days, we managed 90 beautiful perch that weighed in at 38 and 37 pounds. The spot I have been fishing is not a secret's a well known perch spot that is usually being fished this time of year, so that's why I'm stunned that no one is fishing up there right now.  The "Pelee Dumping Grounds" is the area, if anyone is interested in getting on some dandy perch like we did.   



Lake Erie's Western Basin is still holding a ton of small walleye, along with some larger "keeper" walleye too. Finding the larger ones, however, is a challenge, but it's not impossible.

 The same programs are still working. Crank baits, like Bandits, Flicker Minnows, Reef Runners,  and Bay Rats are still catching fish at deeper depths. And, crawler harnesses with #5 and #6 Colorado blades are still producing catches of decent fish.

 The perch bite is what you should be after right now though. There are literally tons of them in the Western Basin right now.  We just came off a 2 day Northeast blow, but the water to the west of the islands and around the islands is still pretty clean. It's dirty up inside near the mainland right now though, so that will take a few days to clean up again.


I'm told the perch bite to the east, over by Cleveland is more of a struggle, so if you're looking for good perch action, fish the Michigan and Ohio waters of the Western Basin and take home a pot of gold to fry up with friends this coming weekend. :)


Please feel free to visit me on Facebook at Julia Davis or Juls Walleye Fishing Adventures


For more information you can also visit my website/Blog at


Capt Juls




For a change of pace, and for those who love to Perch fish, I bring you good news!

The perch bite is very good right now, and will only get better as the season progresses into the fall. Don't miss out on a fabulous Friday night perch fry with family and friends. The perch limit in Ohio waters of Lake Erie's Western Basin is 30 per person.  While it's hard to find Emerald Shiners right now, the Goldie's are working well in their place.  I use frozen Emerald's that I freeze as I find them. A trick I learned from other Captains around here, is to freeze them in Wintergreen Rubbing Alcohol. The alcohol doesn't freeze completely...the minnows firm up, so they don't turn to mush on the hook when they thaw, and the wintergreen is a flavor that seems to attract fish! Try it, and see for yourselves how good this stuff works for freezing and keeping frozen minnows. So simple and no mess! :)
Schools of perch are all over the place right now, and it's just a matter of finding some marks on the bottom with your electronics and anchoring up over them.  It's super easy when you have something like a Minn-Kota trolling motor with the "Spot Lock" feature. It makes checking spots and moving around so much safer, easier, and faster.  But, if you don't have something like that, then just anchoring with an anchor will do the job. Look for perch over by the Toledo shipping lanes, north of West Sister Island, near Catawba Island... to G and H Cans, Green Island, Rattle Snake, Taco Bell, Lucy's Point, the NW corner of Kelly's Island, straight out in front of Mazurek's boat launch, and near Starve Island.  Like I said, they are all over the place, and their size is excellent this season.  You won't be disappointed. 


Please feel free to visit me on Facebook at Julia Davis or Juls Walleye Fishing Adventures
For more information you can also visit my website/Blog at
Stay tuned....
Capt Juls





So far, July has been plagued with on and off high winds and scattered thunderstorms, but when you can get out between the storms, the fishing continues to be excellent from west of West Sister Island to Lorain, OH!
Water temps have remained steady around 70-73 degrees in the Western Basin, and the walleye are comfortable and not moving around too much, which means you don't have to chase them too far each day to find them again. 
The bite remains very good with every presentation you want to use. Crawler harnesses, both single blades at a little slower speeds (1.6-1.8mph) or the double willow leaf harnesses run a little faster (1.8-2.0mph) are both working well.
Crank baits like the Bandits, Berkley Flicker Minnows, Reef Runners, and Bay Rats are all working best at speeds anywhere from 2.0 to 2.5 mph.  The walleye are a little deeper right now, so adding weights, like Snap Weights or inline weights,  or a diving apparatus, like a Tru Trip Diver or a Dipsey Diver will get the baits down to the strike zone for you without having to have a ton of line out.
The best news this past week, was the fact that we no longer need to call in to Canadian Customs to report entry into Canadian waters from Lake Erie. If we are only going over to fish, and do not plan on touching land, or anchoring, I was told to no longer call in.  However, I personally suggest that all US fishermen and women have the necessary documents on their person if they plan on going across the line to fish. Better safe than sorry, I always say! :)

Please feel free to visit me on Facebook at Julia Davis or Juls Walleye Fishing Adventures

For more information you can also visit my website/Blog at

Stay tuned....

Capt Juls




Walleye fishing continues to be very good, despite the big rain and winds that are pounding the area as this system blows through.  Timing is everything, as there are days where you can get out during certain times, by watching a wind forecast's hourly prediction, and getting off the water again in time to miss it.  A wind app that is especially good for this area is one I really like called, "iWindSurf". It's a free app and has proven itself to be the most accurate I have ever come across.

So, when you can get out, you can fish with crank baits like, Bandits, Berkley Flicker Shads, Reef Runners, and Bay Rats for a successful catch. If you prefer to run crawler harnesses, they are proving to be very good walleye catching baits too. Don't forget to put a bottom bouncer off the back corner for those deep fish, that never seem to come off the bottom. White perch will hit that mostly, but when it is a walleye, it tends to be one of the larger ones. 
There are fish all over the Western Basin right now, and if perch is what you're after, they are starting to catch them too! The perch fishing will only get better every day from now until ice up, and is predicted to be a great year for not only numbers of perch, but also for the size of them. The size has been getting better and better over the last several years, and if what I saw last week is any indication, this year will be no acceptation. :)



The fishing on Lake Erie's Western Basin continues to be excellent  The Mayfly hatch is happening as I write this, and is a big one, but it hasn't stopped the walleye from biting.
There are so many young fish in the system right now, and many anglers are having to throw back upwards of a 100 fish a day, that don't make the minimum size limit to keep.  As annoying as that may be for some, it's important to remember that those millions of little walleye will one day be our big fish stock, so treat them gently when releasing them!
Any presentation you want to use right now is working. Trolling with crawler harnesses, spoons, or crank baits will result in catches.  Drift casters are having a lot of success throwing "weapons", which are just little crawler harnesses too.
I wish I could say that one area of the lake will produce bigger fish consistently, but those little buggers are all over the place, and they are hungry! They are fast, and most often times, beat the bigger fish to the bait.  All you can do is catch and release the little ones until you get lucky, and a bigger one gets to your bait first. Or, you might get lucky and find an area that is holding bigger fish and the little ones haven't shown up yet. Good luck!





The water is warming up and in the mid 60's now. The big girls are on the move to deeper and cooler water now, so you can chase them over by their typical summer stomping grounds near Vermilion, Lorain, Cleveland, and east towards Ashtabula and Geneva.
The Western Basin is still holding some bigger fish, but is inundated with the 2014 and 2015 year class, so you go through a lot of "throw backs" to find a "keeper" in most areas.  The little fish are fast and hungry.... and, are beating the bigger fish to the baits!
The water clarity is very good right now, and cranks, spoons, and crawler harnesses are working for the trollers. The drift casters are having success casting their "Weapons" (small crawler harnesses).




The bite in and around the islands has been very good this season. The fish are on both spinners and crawlers as well as cranks. The winds are getting more moderate as summer comes in.


Last Thursday came in like a lion. We had 4 days of strong northerly winds and about 3-4 inches of rain, which caused area flooding along the lake shore and in the rivers dumping into Lake Erie's Western Basin.

The water got super muddy, and water temps dropped 5 degrees from where they were last Wednesday. The fishing was tough on Monday and Tuesday. But, thanks to a good current, the water is cleaning up nicely in some areas that are still holding fish. Look to the reef complex for limit catches of nice eater sized walleye. Bandit's are still the bait of choice. Speed is still upwards of 1.8-2.0 mph.

 I have heard of some using crawler harnesses, and doing well on them, so it's a matter of choice I think. If you like to run meat...then, run those slimy messy little beasts. But, if you like to run the crank baits...they're still working great, so run them! 

Looking for a great charter out of the Port Clinton area? Try my friend Juls Davis. Contact her at: E-Mail:



In between bouts of wild weather, that includes big winds with scattered showers and thunderstorms, the walleye are still being caught on and near the reef complex, west of the Bass Islands.

Trolling Bandits 30 to 50 back, at unheard of spring time speeds of 2.2-2.6mph, has been extremely successful in putting quick limits of walleye into the live wells.
Jigging with 3/4-1oz hair jigs, tipped with stinger hooks, is still happening on the reefs too. The large females are on the move, and are ready to put the feed bag on again since most have now spawned. Large shad are being puked up in the live well, so we know what they are feeding heavily on right now, and why the large profile baits, like Bandits are working so well right now.
As of last Friday, the water temperatures were reaching the mid to high 50's.
A cold front is happening this first week of May though, so hopefully, that won't effect the water temps too much, and we can get to some warmer, more stable weather, for the rest of the month. Here are a few pics of the normal sized fish that we boated last week. 
Looking for a great charter out of the Port Clinton area? Try my friend Juls Davis. Contact her at: E-Mail:


Hey everybody, John Bergsma here. I just got back last night from a short trip to the Port Clinton area. We caught lots of fish and had a great time. Here is a tip for those of you who are heading that way in the next month. If you get some winds that are to big to go far offshore....then don't! I caught over 20 fish yesterday in 13-15 FOW and wasn't more than 1 mile from shore at any point! I have done this tactic for years in big winds and it works from the mouth of the Detroit river all the way thru the Huron area. Big schools of smaller fish will run the shorelines after the spawn. We ran the Strike King Banana Shad in brightly colored combinations. Dave at Domka Outdoors painted them for me last winter as I did well in the fall on this bait, Purple with a pink head and Black with a Chartruese head were best. Bandits are also working well. We ran them out 30-40 feet and then our boards. The water wasn't clean but there are lots of fish in the shallows right now. The area around Davis Besse is good and there is also lots of fish around the islands and the shoreline in front of Cedar Point towards Huron. We fished faster speeds to keep the sheephead off, 2.0-2.3 worked best. You probably won't catch a ton of larger fish but at least you can get a limit and stay comfortable. Most of our fish were 18-22" Perfect eaters on a day where most people would not even go out.



Last week was a big week for the spawning walleye in the the western basin. Water temps are approaching 43- 50 degrees and the big females were busy dumping their eggs on the reefs and in the rivers. Most fish are now spawned out but there is still the random wall hanger that never drop their eggs. The water is starting to clear up and be "The right" color. As long as the winds are not crazy we should be in for some very good fishing. The Bandit crankbait has been the hot lure lately. Custom colored ones are most popular and the trolling speed has been from 1.2-2.0 mph. Fish these in the upper 1/3rd of the water column for the fastest action but the middle third will get going very soon as fish adjust to the warming waters. There are still fish on the reefs and purple hair jigs with emerald shiners and stinger hooks have been good and when the water is dirty try blade baits with extra vibration! The fish will eventually begin to move to the east in search of cooler waters but the next 6 weeks will be "Prime Time" to experience all the great fishing that the Port Clinton area offers. This area never really turns off as there is a ton of smaller resident fish that are here Year Round!

Looking for a great charter out of the Port Clinton area? Try my friend Juls Davis. Contact her at: E-Mail: