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Lake Erie Fishing Reports "Aboard Denied"

Dean

Marc (left) and Travis (right)


If you go fishing and then complain about not catching fish you have missed something, there is so much more to fishing than catching fish, open your eyes and behold what God has created.

"Always do right.  This will gratify some people and astonish the rest." 
                                                                     -- Mark Twain

"Good judgment comes from experience, and a lot of that comes from bad judgment."                                                       -- Will Rogers

"The curious thing about fishing is, you never want to go home. If you catch something, you can't stop. If you don't catch anything, you hate to leave, in case something might bite"                      -- Gladys Taber

 

Fishing Reports & News

April 10, 2012: We are no longer updating this page or taking fishing reports, please read the post just below this one from Travis. It was a good run with lots of valuable information disseminated but as with all things it is time to put it to bed. Travis did a great job of keeping Deans integrity and honest reporting alive and well and it is all archived for your future use. I thank Travis for his efforts and organizing skills and Dean for starting something great. 

The present best Lake Erie information in my opinion is at www.ohiogamefishing.com , WWW.wbsa.us , the Ohio Sea Grant web site and Walleye Central. The web is constantly changing and we all have to adjust our bookmarks and favorites from time to time. We thank all of you known and unknown readers for your past support and wish that you have many days, months and years of wet nets and full coolers in the future.

Marc

March 28, 2012 (Wednesday) Travis 

As I'm sure that you've all noticed I haven't kept up with posting reports this spring.  In my defense there hasn't been a single e-mail report sent in, and despite the incredible fishing that started as early as February I have only been out on Erie one time this year so far.  I'm finding that I have less time to work on the web page than ever with my kids now at ages 5, 3, and 1.  I certainly have struggled to do the page justice over the past year.  I just looked back and I have been posting reports since 2005.  I can't believe that it has been that long.  I really feel like I've hit a point that I'm not able to do the report page justice any more.

I've talked to Marc about the page.  We certainly aren't going to take any of the existing information down.  Even if another report isn't ever posted here again, there is certainly a lot of valuable information in archived posts and articles.  The ultimate decision will end up with the new officers of the club and board of directors, with some input from me too, I assume.  I haven't ruled out putting more time into it at some point down the road.  I might even continue to post some of my own reports from time to time when I get a few minutes.  I definitely don't feel like I have the time, though, to continue maintaining the page every time that a new report comes in.

I hope that you all understand.  I have had an incredible experience working on this page.  I've met hundreds of you through e-mail and in person that I never would have met without this page.  I was very honored to carry on Dean's tradition, and I'd rather see the page at least temporarily suspended compared to only giving a half hearted effort.  It's actually pretty hard to post this, as I'm sitting here thinking back over all the great experiences that I've had that were directly related to maintaining this web site.

Let's hope the 2012 season is much better than last year.  In some respects it has already been better than most of last year.  Drop me a line from time to time if you feel like staying in touch.  If any further decisions are made regarding this site they will be posted here.

Thanks for your support of this web page and for the many friendships that have come from it.

Travis 

December 14, 2011 (Wednesday) Travis 

I was finally able to get out on Monday and Tuesday.  After weeks of poor weather and a busy schedule everything lined up.  We got two absolutely flat calm days, with mild temperatures in the high 30's.  On Monday dad and I fished from about 9:30 to sunset and then dad, my son (Max), and I fished yesterday from 9:30 to 4:15.

We intended to launch out of Huron, but the river was frozen up enough early Monday morning that I didn't feel like scratching up the fiberglass Lund to get out.  We assumed that Mazurik would be open and it was.  With it being so calm we ran down to about Point Retreat (half way from Huron to Cedar Point) and fished different areas all the way back to Marblehead.  There are fish everywhere, not just decent marks, great marks all the way up to 5' from the surface no matter how deep the water is.  The problem is that most of the water is muddy.  Not terrible mud like this spring, but enough mud that you don't feel very confident.  We caught a 9 pound fish in the first 20 minutes on a size 14 husky jerk (custom glass pink/purple) 75' back.  That same bait got hit twice more but neither hooked up.  We only caught one other fish on a rapala f-18 (blue back/orange belly) 40' back.  We tried trolling shallow right at the Marblehead lighthouse as the sun set.  The water was too muddy even right on the rocky shoreline.  We didn't get a bite and called it quits.

Yesterday was a little better day.  All the fish that we caught were from north of Cranberry Creek to north of Ruggles Reef in 35 to 37' of water.  There were areas that were a little more green than brown, but the clarity wasn't good in less than 40'.  In hind sight we should have run out deeper until we hit the cleaner water that was on the satelite picture.  We did catch 6 fish, but 4 were within about an hour at 11:00.  Everything was up high: deep huskys 25' back (glass pink panties, gold/black/orange, glass pink/purple), toucan Reef Runner 15' back, and two on my favorite small muskie bait, Li'l Ernie 20' back (deadly naked princess).  We missed one that didn't hook up, and the size was OK, mostly from 5 to 6.5 lbs.

Both days our speed was 1.1 to 1.5 mph.  Turns and speed changes did not get hits.  It was frustrating to see literally thousands of fish on the screen over two days and only get 11 hits and land 8.  I also thought at least one of them would be really big, but we didn't manage anything over 9 lbs.  The water temps offshore range from 39 to 41.5.  With the 10 day forecast having highs of 36 or higher I dont' think that boat fishing is ending any time soon.  The biggest problem will be ice forming around ramps in harbors and rivers.  If the ramps stay open the lake will be fine for at least a few weeks yet, in my opinion.

Here is a shore fishing report that came in:

"Went to the Camp Perry Pier west of Port Clinton on Sunday Dec. 11th, Got there about 10:30am. It was bright and clear with the sun shinning high behind me and no clouds in the sky. The wind was out of the south/southwest and very light. Tempature was just above freezing. The lake water was a little cloudy, but not to bad for this time of the year. Waves were less than a foot. Had two lines going with 2 small number 6 hooks above a 1 oz sinker. Had some real good shinners - just the right size. Fished from 10:30 to 2:00 without a single bite. Got my first bite about 2:10 and it was so light, the tap barely moved the pole. Set the hook anyway and landed a very small 6in perch. A few minutes later another light hit and another small fish. By 2:30 I had 6 small perch in the bucket. Just before 3:00 I caught my first nice fish, a 10in yellow perch. By 4:00 oclock I had 20 perch in the bucket with 10 of the fish between 8-10 in. I didn't want to fish much longer as it was getting dark and I was by myself. However, from 4:00-4:10 I caught my last 4 fish, with hits on both poles at the same time. All 4 fish were big fat jumbos 13in. nice heavy fish and they hit hard. Wish I could of had more daylight to fish with so I could of reached a limit catch. 24 fish made it a very fun day.

Left just when the best fishing was starting. By the time I walked back to the truck and put my gear away and got out of all my carharts it was dark. Once I was home and had them cleaned, I had a nice mess of perch to put into the freezer
."

Travis

November 21, 2011 (Monday), Part 2 Travis

Please read my report below if you haven't already. If you don't believe that there are many fish near the Huron River, take a look at the screen shot below. It's from my Lowrance HDS, in 34' of water at the 26.4/34.2 lines.  Go to the address below the thumbnail to see a larger version:

http://westernbasinsportfishingassociation.com/denied/images/huronscreen.html

November 21, 2011 (Monday) Travis 

My dad and I got to spend two days fishing this past weekend.  Of course the weather wasn't perfect, but it was fishable.  Saturday was the strongest wind of the two days.  It blew pretty hard out of the SW.  We fished between Sawmill Creek and Point Retreat west of the Huron River.  With the wind we stayed nearshore so that we had some control over our speed.  We ended up catching 4 fish in 24 to 28' of water just NE of Point Retreat.  There were better marks in 30-32', but those fish didn't bite for us.  All 4 fish hit ripsticks 45' back around 1.5 mph.  Two gold colors worked, Gold Banana (X-Tackle's custom gold clown), and the old standard gold clown with a red head.  The first fish was the biggest at 8.5 pounds.

Sunday the wind was a little calmer as it switched from SW to NW.  There was a consistent 1' chop most of the day.  We fished all over between the Huron River and Cedar Point and caught 7 fish.  We caught two fish due N of Point Retreat in 29' of water, 2 fish NW of the Huron River lighthouse in 36-38' of water, and then caught the last 3 from the hump west of the Huron River back to the Huron River dredge spoil in 20 to 24' of water.  One came on the gold banana ripstick 60' back, 5 were on deep huskys that I painted (glass barbie and glass pink panties) from 15 to 25' back, and the biggest, a 9.5 lb fish, came on a bare naked watermellon reef runner 25' back.  All the fish were relatively high, but that was the only pattern.  We had two or three other pullbacks that didn't hook up.  Our speed was 1.4 to 1.8.  The biggest fish hit as soon as I sped up, but that was the only speed change that directly caused a hit.  We caught the biggest fish in the deeper water NW of the River.

With the surface temp still at 49 degrees offshore it's hard to imagine the season ending any time soon, especially with 40 and 50 degree weather on most days forecasted for the next two weeks.  The marks are unreal NW of the Huron River in the deeper water.  I really have the feeling that they will go nuts if we get the right conditions.  There is a blow forecasted for Wednesday afternoon that won't help out much on top of the NE wind earlier today.  I won't be back out until after this weekend.  I'm hoping there are a few good trips left.

Travis

November 7, 2011 (Monday) Travis 

After what has seemed like an eternity, I finally got back out on Lake Erie to fish for walleye yesterday (Sunday).  I got to fish a lot of tournaments this year, and fished on a lot of new water, but I really haven't been able to fish Erie nearly as much as past years.  The good news is that there are plenty of fish in the right places between Huron and Vermilion right now, at least according to my Lowrance.  My brother-in-law, my son and I trolled for probably about 3.5 hours and didn't get a bite.  I'm going to blame the muddy water.  It was really dirty.  In my opinion it was unfishable, but I didn't want to turn down the chance to go.

We fished 20 to 32' of water basically from route 61 over to the east side of Ruggles Reef.  There were scattered fish everywhere, really good marks in places, and too many stacked marks in some areas.  The water temp was in the low 50's and I didn't really see a lot of bait.  I would say that with the right water clarity and right weather it could go nuts around Huron, just like most years at this time.  There has already been good fishing this fall, back when the Fish Huron group had their October tournament and then in the following few weeks.  Right now it's certainly not on fire, mostly due to water clarity or the lack there of, based on what I saw.

I really hope that it clears up enough to get another shot at them.  Last year I had my best day of the year on Veteran's Day (Nov. 11), and had a lot of great fishing both before and after that day.  For me, I will judge most fall seasons against last year.  Just because of my reduced number of days on the water this year probably won't measure up, but I'm still hoping for a few great days before the weather ends it for the year.

Travis 

October 25, 2011 (Tuesday) Travis 

A new perch report came in after a long stretch of no reports:

"Perch report for Monday, October 24, 2011.
Left the dock at 09:30 hours and returned at 17:00 hours.
Ventured out into the lake and stayed in the area of the Toledo Water Intake till 11:00 hours due to the threatening sky and 3 foot waves.
At 10:30 hours we could see sunshine breaking through to the west and the lake was starting to lay down (some what).
The Toledo Water Intake area failed to produce any fish so we moved to the Gravel Pit area where we did pick up 7 Perch but the bite was slow and the water was still muddy. Made four more moves to the east before we found a hungry school of Perch. Our last stop was about 1.5 miles southeast of #2 Toledo Channel Buoy. The water was clearer and 55 degrees F with 2 to 4 foot waves. Air temperature was 56 degrees F with a 15 to 20 knot wind out of the southwest.
It was a bit lumpy out there today. The ride back to the marina took a little longer today.
We fell short of a two man limit by a few fish but can't complain as the size was in the 8.25 to 11.5 inch range. Had a few juveniles that were returned to the lake. Caught nothing but Perch all day.

 Perch Spreaders and Crappie Rigs tipped with shiners worked for us today. The bite was anywhere from a hard hit to very light tap."

Travis

October 12, 2011 (Wednesday) Travis 

Here is a new perch report:

"Tuesday, October 11, 2011
Left the dock at 10:30 hours and returned at 17:45 hours. At the start the sky was clear, air temperature 65*F, wind direction was from the east at about 5 knots. Waves were less than 1 foot, water was still what I would call muddy. All this changed about 1400 hours when the wind picked up to 10 or 15 knots and the waves increased to 2 feet. Sky then became partly cloudy. Still some algae in the lake.

We fished off Little Cedar Point starting in 16 feet of water. (In the same area as yesterday.) The fish were on the move today and after three or four moves we ended up in 22 feet of water. The bite would start and stop. It was not constant. At 1400 hours when the sky started to cloud over and waves increased and the bite picked up. The bite has been very light and often you would not have felt it unless you lifted the rod and felt the additional weight.

We ended the day with a two man limit. One 12 inch Perch, a couple 11's, a few in the 10 inch range, a majority were in the 8.5 to 9.5 inch range, with the rest all greater than 8 inches. Nothing under 8 inches. There were a few juveniles that were returned to the lake and the Goby's now reside in the stomachs of gulls. No Freshwater drum! A few white perch.

Spreaders worked better than Crappie Rigs today. Minnows left over from yesterday became the bait today."

Travis

October 11, 2011 (Tuesday) Travis 

Here are two new perch reports:

"Fished 15 FOW, 3/4 mile NW of the mouth of the Portage River from 9:30 to 12:30, one man 30 perch, 10 lbs. Fair amount of trash, but also a 16" smallmouth."

"This report is for Monday October 10, 2011.
Left the dock under cloudy skies at 0830 and returned at 1400 hours.
Air Temperature was a pleasant 63*F with an east wind of about 8 knots.
Water surface temperature was 62.7*F and waves were less than 1 foot.
We fished in 16 feet of somewhat cloudy water off Little Cedar Point.
Action was steady with a few lulls every now and then.
We did get a two man limit of 60 fish Largest was 10.5 inches.
Had quite a few 10 inchers but most of the catch was between 9.5 and 8.5 inches. We only kept fish that were greater than 8 inches in length.
There were very few throwbacks only one Sheephead and three White Perch.
Perch Spreaders and Crappie Rigs worked equally well.
We did have a few large Shiners and used them as cut bait.
The cut bait seemed to perform better than a whole shiner minnow.

Another quirk was the perch would bite with the engine running but if you turned it off, they stopped biting in about 10 minutes."

Travis

October 10, 2011 (Monday) Travis 

It looks like the run of calm, stable weather really turned on the walleye fishing, at least for big fish.  The "Fish Huron" group had their fall tournament on Saturday.  80 boats went out of the Huron River and the weights were incredible.  5 teams weighed in over 40 pounds for 5 fish.  It took over a 9 pound average to win.  The big fish of the day was 12.3 lbs.  It took over 38 pounds to make the top ten.  Needless to say the cooler water temps have brought some of the big fish back.  Some of the top teams fished north of the 30/30 lines N-NE of Huron.  Fish were caught high and low.  Some of them came as high as 20' back with a 1 ounce weight and a harness, and 30' back on a reef runner also worked.  Others fished deeper with reef runners running 100 to 120' back with a 1 ounce snap weight 20' in front of the lure.  I think that the bottom line is that, despite the massive algae bloom, you have to go out and give it a try when the weather is nice.  It was a hot summer with high water temps, but September was cold and the temps are already in the low 60's and upper 50's.  The algae will end soon and you can still catch them in the mean time.

Here is a perch report that came in:

"Same m-o, myself and 2 buddies went out to 34/22... ( 34/21 was CROWDED!!! HO ho ho!!!) Kept about 75 for 4 1/2 hours.. we left because they quit hitting when the lake got flat & one of my pals wanted to see the ND game... A few white perch, some sheep, and white bass.. nice perch, though -- again 8 - 12". Again, right on bottom, light hits, stripped if you let it sit too long. About 9 am till 1:30... get 'em while you can.."

Travis 

October 6, 2011 (Thursday) Travis 

The wind finally let up Tuesday and now we are into a pretty good run of good weather.  It looks like it could be fairly calm through mid next week.

Here is a perch report that just came in:

"Joe at Central basin bait said they were catching perch around the 34/20 lines...
I got out around 7:30 am, checked a few spots for marks, and then went to the 34/20 area.. There were only 2 other boats there when I pulled up ( 8:30 am), but I stayed away from them ~ 34/21. Got my 30 by noon, a few white bass, and the quality was good -- 8" - 12" again, right on the bottom, spreaders and blades... if I didn't catch or get a hit within 3 minutes of dropping down, I was stripped... again, started with 2 rods, settled on one -- mostly very light hitters. Unless I hear of something better, that is where I would start for this weekend
."

Travis 

September 28, 2011 (Wednesday) Travis 

It looks like we are in for a pretty good blow on Friday, over 40 mph from the SW.  You will definitely want to check your boat's lines if you are docked in the western basin.  The water will drop in a hurry leaving boats hanging from docks or beached in the mud, only to be swamped when the water comes back up.  It also looks like a little too much wind over the weekend from the NW, but hopefully they over-forecasted it.

Here is a perch report that just came in today:

"Four of us left Mazurik this morning around 08:50 and went to the North side of Kelleys to fish for perch.
Arrived around 09:10 and had our first keeper at about 09:15. We were in 32 FOW at coordinates N 41d 37.30, W 82d 42.25.
We stayed there all day until around 13:40. Kept 95, size from 7" to over 10-3/4. Average around 8 to 8-1/2.
Lots of throwbacks, around 2 dozen WB and WP, 1 catfish, but NO SHEEPHEAD.
There were around a dozen boats ther most of the day. We left because of the clouds thickening to the South.

It started to sprinkle just as we left the parking lot, and rained most ot the way home."

Travis

September 22, 2011 (Thursday) Travis 

Here's a perch report from Tuesday:

"Wife and I fished Tuesday all around Kelleys to avoid the silt west of the Bass Islands. Fished noon to 6 pm. total fish 11 for two. Tried SE corner, KI Shoal. and NW corner. All bad algae, visibility less than two feet. Goldies and Frozen emeralds for bait. Hope fishing gets better."

Travis 

September 21, 2011 (Wednesday) Travis 

Here is the first report that has come in since my last post:

"Sept 20, 4 fishermen, 120 perch in 4 hours; (26# live weight) 26 FOW about one half mile ENE of Ballast. Water was very murky and much green algae. Caught quite a few small throw backs, had 3 over 10”,one 12”, a lot of WP and a few SH. No shiners available so used “goldens”??."

Travis

September 5, 2011 (Monday) Travis

I hope that all of you had an enjoyable holiday weekend.  I spent the weekend working on my boat garage.  It took 3 days, but I got a lot of necessary repairs done.

Here are two reports that have come in:

"4 of us set out from Mazurik after the thunderstorm  thursday morning. We arrived at our first stop, 26 FOW, 41d 36.9', 82d 47.0' around 09:50. Settled in with around 10 other boats and kept around 60 fish, 7" -9-1/2"..
The bite slowed down around noon so we moved to 29 FOW, 41d 37.3', 82d 45.9' and kept another 25 fish.. We ran out of shiners around 13:30.
All in all, 85 keepers in around 3 1/2 hours of fishing time.
We had around 2 dozen perch throwbacks.

The other GOOD NEWS was that we ONLY caught TWO (2) non perch all day."

"Out of Vermilion, approx 31/20.. I went to 30.5/18.9 on my gps to avoid the crowd... once I got there, it was on for perch.. started with 2 rods, after 8, I let 1 rod go ... too many strips.. got my 30 in about 2 and 1/2 hrs, 8 to 12 inches, mostly 9's, about 15 toss-backs, nothing else... shiners, cut, mostly..
right on the bottom... once it hit bottom, I already had a hit.. one crank and waited for the 2nd hit.. spreaders with blades.. almost always stripped on 1 hook, fish on the other... many doubles... 47 - 48 fow.. this is where I would start next time."

Travis

August 29, 2011 (Monday) Travis 

Here is a new perch report:

4 hour limit of perch 1 mile north of B can.  Most from 8 to 9", a few from 12 to 13", and a lot of white bass to sort through.

Travis 

August 28, 2011 (Sunday) Travis 

I just got back from a thoroughly frustrating week up at the St. Mary's River in northern Michigan.  One of these days I'll figure rivers out.

While I was gone two reports came in:

"Friday 8/19 limited in three hours off Kelleys Sunset Pt. in 30 ft water depth. Lots of boats from Kelleys to Marblehead. Only 2 throw back perch."

(August 23) "We fished about a mile SSE of Green, probably 3/8 of a mile SW of the South Bass light. 41.37.32 & 82.50.74. Stayed in one spot and four of us caught 120 7”-10.5”perch in four hours – not a great average size – 27# to the cleaners. Caught many WP, two small walleye, and a lot of undersize perch."

Travis

August 21, 2011 (Sunday) Travis 

I'm leaving today for the last east division MWC tournament of the year up at the St. Mary's River up in Michigan's upper peninsula.  I should have stayed up there this month since we spent the first week of August at Bay de Noc.  It will be another new challenge as I've never been there before.  I will not be posting reports while I'm gone over the next week.

Here is another perch report that just came in:

"Aug 19 Three man limit 3hrs 21 lbs Average size SE of green."

Travis 

August 20, 2011 (Saturday) Travis 

A new perch report came in:

"Wednesday, August 15; Three persons, 81 perch, 22#, 5 hours, 27 FOW due south of Kelley