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Lake Erie Fishing Reports "Aboard Denied"

June 2007

Fishing Reports

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Walleye Age Chart 2004-2006 (see April 26 report for details)
June 28, 2007 (Thursday) Travis

Some good reports have filtered in from this week.  On Tuesday  a limit was caught trolling the Northwest Reef area (west of West Reef and North Bass) with PA's spoons in Barracuda and Supermuffin.

On Wednesday a limit report came from east of Cedar Point in 34-36 feet of water drifting with home made flipping harnesses.  Another good report came from east of the Toledo shipping channel turnaround buoy.  Drifting was slow, but a switch to trolling dipsys on a 2 setting 45' back with copper monkey puke spoons turned the day around.  A lot of trash fish were also caught along with a fish Ohio yellow perch.

I'll be away from my computer the next few days so I'll summarize what comes in from the weekend on Sunday or Monday.  Maybe Marc will put up his thoughts if he has anything to say in the next few days.


June 26, 2007 (Tuesday) Travis

More great reports from the weekend are coming in and most are have limits of walleye.  Here is the summary-

"B" can of the Camp Perry range to W. Sister Island: dipsys on a 1 setting 35' back with orange spoons.  Also caught plenty non-target perch.

West Reef: jet30's 85' back with gold, silver, copper, or gold holograph bladed harnesses.

West Reef towards Middle Sister Island: dipsys on a 2.5 setting at 45' back and on a 3.5 setting at 60' back and jet40's 60' back all with Stinger scorpion spoons in Craigs Christmas (copper), Mixed Veg (copper), Bloody Nose (copper), and Chicken Wing (copper).  Speed was 2.1 mph.  Plenty of trash was mixed in with the eyes.

Less than limits came from the 28/15 lines off of Beaver Creek.

Yet another perch limit report came in from today.  The best action was east of the Lakeside wreck.  Limits were caught in 29' of water at N 41 34.222 W 82 42.721


June 25, 2007 (Monday) Travis

The walleye fishing west of the islands is still producing plenty of limits, but it sounds like the best action is farther north than it had been.

Limits are still being caught W-NW of Green and Rattlesnake Islands, but it might take a little more work than it had.  The best set-ups have been harnesses (gold, brown, blue) on 2.5 ounce bottom bouncers 90 to 125' back, gold flash deep tail dancers 200' back, fruit loops reef runners 155' back, chrome-black frenzy 180' back, and willow leaf spoons in purple, silver or clown.  Speeds ranged from 1.7 for best harness results to 2.5 for best crankbait results.  Drifters also caught fish in the same area on purple or blue bladed harnesses.

Farther north good results came from West Reef and also Northwest Reef (32' of water).  Harnesses on jets caught limits on and around West Reef while dipsys with stinger spoons near the bottom at 1.8 to 2.0 mph worked at Northwest Reef.  Bumblebee was the best spoon color out at NW Reef.

Over at Lorain quick limits came from 50' of water NW of the breakwall.  Dipsys and stinger spoons near the bottom caught the fish with blue scale baitfish (copper back) and blueberry muffin working the best.

More good perch reports are coming in from the Lakeside area.  Limits came two straight days from an area around N 41 37.3, W 82 45.3 in 22 to 24' of water.  There was plenty of trash along with the perch, but fast limits were still caught.

That summarizes all of the weekend reports to this point.  I'll post again when more come in.  It looks like Tuesday could be the best day to get out through Friday.

Right now the Vermilion weather buoy has 11 knot E-SE wind, no waves, steady barometric pressure and a temperature of 72 degrees on the surface.


June 21, 2007 (Thursday) Travis

Another good perch report came in from this past Sunday. A 2 hour limit was caught 1 mile off of Lakeside near the shipwreck.  I'm not familiar with the shipwreck, but 1 mile off of Lakeside should get you in the vicinity.  The reason for the perch trip was that walleye fishing 2 miles west of Green Island was slow.

The mayfly hatch is in full swing, but if you want to catch some walleye don't let it deter you.  Woody from Cranberry Creek pointed out that east of Huron most of the mayflies hatch nearshore.  He has been finding the "balls" of emerging mayfly nymphs on his depthfinder and then continues to move north to deeper water until he gets out of the mayfly zone.  Fish nearshore have been better fed and are harder to catch, while moving offshore away from the mayflies has produced much better results.  By the way, there are a ton of fish between Cedar Point and Vermilion right now.  Most of the good catches have come in 30+ feet of water.  I did well west of Vermilion in 20' of water last Friday (off of Sherod Park), but it's rocky enough in there that there probably aren't many mayflies in that specific area.  Mayfly larvae need soft, mucky substrate and usually aren't found in really rocky areas.

Right now the Vermilion weather buoy has 7 knot NE wind, 1.3 feet waves, rising barometric pressure and a temperature of 71 degrees on the surface.


June 20, 2007 (Wednesday) Travis

Only one new perch report has come in since Monday.  A 150 fish limit was caught Sunday off of the Cedar Point bell buoys.

The temperature finally dropped, but NW winds came with the weather change and today was fairly rough.  It should get better by the weekend.  The water temperature on the surface at the Vermilion buoy is 71 degrees.


June 18, 2007 (Monday) Travis

Quite a bit of information has come in the last few days and some of the reports cover the last week or so.  I'm not sure the best way to summarize it all, but here it goes.

Out west the best reports have come from 11.7 miles NE of Anchor Point on gold and copper weapons, "B" can of the Camp Perry Range on dipsys 35' back with purple spoons or jet20's and black and silver thunderstick jr's, and near limits in the West Sister area on gold and copper weapons with half of a worm.

Most reports have come from the island area.  Earlier last week the best action was west of Rattlesnake and Green Islands, but those fish seem to be moving around.  West Reef has produced both numbers of small fish and some big fish.  The big fish came in 20 to 25' of water on the outside edge of the reef on hot tamale deep little rippers 20 to 52' back.

Around Green Island good reports came from 1 mile south of the island on Erie Dearies and Weapons; W-NW of the island on gold flash deep tail dancers 200' back, Fruit Loop Reef Runners 180' back, and tandem willow or gold colorado harnesses on 2.5 oz bottom bouncers 90 to 125' back at 1.7 to 2.2 mph; and also NW of the island on 2 ounce inlines with gold and purple harnesses.

Kelleys Island and Gull Island Shoal have also produced plenty of fish.  From SW of Kelleys Island to Middle Island dipsys on 3 settings 45 back and 1 settings 35 back with stinger spoons; NW of Kelleys Island to the NE with dipsys on a 3 setting 50' back and on a 1 setting 40' back with big spoons in copper monkey puke and silver confusion; and also between Kelleys Island and Gull Island Shoal in 50' of water with 2 ounce inlines with gold and purple harnesses.

I guess that the moral of the story is simply get out to an area that you enjoy fishing and troll or cast whatever you enjoy catching fish on.  If it doesn't work out switch your technique or your location.  The 2003 year class is making this a great season and as long as a few of the older fish hang around the islands there is always a chance to catch a trophy.  As it gets warmer and later the big fish will continue to filter east and then we'll have to wait until fall to catch them back around the islands and Huron.


June 17, 2007 (Sunday) Travis

I mentioned it last report, but it needs to be said again.  The fishing is incredible right now and it's time to go fishing if you can get out.  In the Sandusky LEWT tournament yesterday all 37 teams weighed in their 5 fish tournament limit and most teams caught plenty more.  Dad and I had a great day on Gull Island Shoal.  We weighed in 5 fish that went over 32 pounds and it was barely good enough for second place.  We did have a 9.4 pound fish that won big fish prize for the day.  Congratulations to my good friend Mike that won the tournament.  My first win is still eluding me and every tournament I appreciate a little more just how hard it is to win one.  For now I'll just have to enjoy our top fives.

I had two great days of fishing leading up to yesterday.  On Thursday I had the privelege of taking out students in a sportfishing course at OSU's Stone Lab.  I'd like to thank Fred and the Sea Grant staff for letting me take part as an instructor.  We caught 26.25 and 27.25" walleye at gull island shoal in the morning, but the action was slow.  They came on harnesses and inline weights (2 ounces) in 20 and 28' of water.  The inlines were 10' and 25' back at about 1.2 mph.  For the afternoon we moved to the west shoreline of North Bass Island.  The action was extremely fast and we literally couldn't keep rods in the water.  1.5 and 2 ounce inlines 20' back with any harness caught fish in 18 to 24 feet of water.  The size of fish was small, but limits came easy.

On Friday Dad and I pre-fished from Huron to Vermilion.  We started west of the Huron River in 11 to 13' of water, but only caught drum and 2 small walleye on deep huskys, reef runners and ripsticks.  We then ran down east of the Vermilion breakwall and trolled from the condos to the river in 20 to 29' of water.  We caught some decent fish on reef runners 50 to 70' back in 20 to 25' of water, but nothing over 24".  Out in 25 to 29' of water we caught a few more on reef runners 90' back.  Deep tail dancers 45 to 60' back also caught a fish and missed a few.  Our next stop was in front of Sherod park, just west of Vermilion (well east of the Castle).  This turned out to be the spot that won the tournament for Mike.  We caught some good fish in 20 to 25' of water on reef runners 50' back. Gray ghost and bare naked were the best colors.  We had a few up to maybe 7 pounds, but I wasn't convinced I could count on the area for over 30 pounds on tournament day.  Mike proved me wrong with 35 pounds with the same reef runner set-up and similar colors.  Our last stop Friday was the east side of ruggles reef with the same reef runners on the same leads in the same depth, and it produced one more nice fish and a second small one.  Our speed most of the day was 1.3 to about 1.6 mph.

Yesterday for the tourney we decided to spend the day at Gull Island Shoal.  We spent the whole day there navigating plenty of other boats and sorting through way too many drum.  It all paid off, though.  All together we caught around 15 walleye with the best five over 32 pounds.  The 9.4 pound fish was our first walleye and was probably responsible for keeping us there all day.  Nearly every fish came on 2 ounce inline weights 20' back with harnesses in 20 to 24' of water at 1.1 to 1.3 mph.  The best blades were size 6 and 7 gold colorados with gold holograph tape, and size 6 chrome blades with pink and blue accents.  My go-to fluorescent green blades didn't produce anything but drum.  The last walleye of the day came on a bare naked reef runner 50' back and a few others came on harnesses on a 3 ounce bottom bouncer.

The hottest area for us was the west drop off of the north leg of the shoal.  The north third of the leg produced all of our fish with nothing happening farther south.  As I mentioned earlier all of our walleye came from 20 to 24' of water.  The walleye bit pretty good early on, there was a lull in the middle of the morning, and then it picked back up again after 1:00 or so.  Other tournament boats were in the area and caught decent fish, but didn't get a 9 pound kicker fish.  One bite can make a huge difference.

All together it was 3 great days of fishing that ended with another second place finish.  It was a fitting way to spend father's day weekend.  As competitive as I am I can still say that the best part of tournament fishing is spending so much quality time in the boat with my dad.  Having my 7 month old son Max at the weigh-in was the perfect finish to a great day.

As reports from the weekend come in I'll put another report up early in the week.

We had surface temperatures in the lower 70's most afternoons.  These hot days are really starting to warm things up.


June 12, 2007 (Tuesday) Travis

I feel pretty comfortable saying that prime time is really here.  If you want to catch some walleye without running too far or working too hard get up here in the next week or so.  Sure, not everyone is necessarily catching a limit in a few hours, but you can pretty well pick where you want to fish and how you want to catch them and it will probably work out.  E-mail reports of limits or near limits have come from the following areas and techniques-

NW of Kelleys Island on jets and spoons.

W of the area between Green and Rattlesnake Islands on Jet30's 50' back with cat-dog stinger spoons at 2.2 mph.

SW of Rattlesnake Island on 2 ounce inline weights with purple blade harnesses at 1.6 to 2.2 mph.

W-NW of Green Island on 2.5 and 3 ounce bottom bouncers 90 to 125' back with harnesses, fruit loops reef runners 160' back, and gold flash Rapala deep tail dancers 200' back at 1.5 to 2.5 mph.

From Ballast Island to Kelleys Island on dipsys on a 3 setting 50' back with big stinger spoons from 2.1 to 2.4 mph.

45 minute limit starting at "B" can of the Camp Perry range heading NE with Jet30's 75' back and green monkey puke spoons at 2 mph.

In addition to all of these great reports I've also heard that there are quite a few fish getting caught all the way from West Sister to the turnaround buoy including the gravel pit area.

Two perch reports also came in.  30 were caught at the Cedar Point bell buoy, but a lot of trash fish were also there.  A better report came from a measley 0.6 miles north of the Mazurik ramp at the 33.171/45.792 lines (middle numbers of the coordinates, minutes) in 20' of water. 4 anglers caught 108 perch from 8 to 10.5" with very little trash.  They caught 6 or 7 perch for every one junk fish.

There you have it.  Get out and enjoy this run of stable weather and light winds.  If you are considering entering the Sandusky WBSA LEWT walleye tournament this Saturday only 2 open spots remain the last that I heard.  If you were waiting for a good forecast to sign up you have it.

Right now the Vermilion weather buoy has 3 knot NW wind, no waves, falling barometric pressure and a temperature of 71 degrees on the surface.


June 10, 2007 (Sunday) Travis

I'm back from my muskie trip to the Detroit River and then a work trip to Fairport.  Thanks to all of the readers that sent reports while I was gone.  Marc has done a great job of keeping you up to date and also venting his frustrations on yet another political matter.

The most recent reports from this weekend have been good.  Limits were caught west of Gull Island Shoal on Jet40's 50 and 100' back with Michigan Stinger spoons.  Fish were also caught just west of there between Middle Island and Ballast Island on Jet40's 50-60' back and dipsys on 3 settings 45' back.  The best spoon colors were copper monkey puke and pooh bear purple at speeds of 2.0 to 2.3 mph.

The WBSA social meeting last night at Cranberry Creek was well attended with plenty of great food.  There were boats on the horizon north of Cranberry Creek and it sounds like the fishing from Cranberry all the way to Lorain has been pretty good.

I got a chance last Wednesday evening to troll a few hours around Fairport.  The best marks that I saw were in 25 to 29' of water just east of Mentor.  I didn't have long enough to work them over well and I didn't even land a walleye, but I would go back there in a heartbeat if I had the time to.

Stop reading here if you aren't interested in muskie.

We had a typical Detroit River opener last weekend.  We spent Saturday, Sunday and part of Monday casting huge jerkbaits, topwaters, and bucktails the entire length of the Detroit River.  Saturday between two boats we had hits or follows from 26 muskie and actually landed 5 of them.  Sunday and Monday it was just dad and I.  Between the two days we saw 11 more fish and landed 2 of them.  The biggest fish landed was around 42" with most being 35 to 40".  I think that it is a late spring and they are still spawning.  I'm used to catching skinny beat-up looking fish in the river this time of year and that wasn't the case.  One of the fish that I landed was the fattest Detroit River fish that I've handled (at least relative to it's length).  The biggest fish that we saw (and weren't able to hook) either blew up on topwaters or lazily followed jerkbaits.  A few were legitimate upper 40, MAYBE 50 inch range.  As always it was a blast.  The fat fish that I was talking about can be viewed here.  Check out the gut, and I'm not even holding it to show the gut.

I did have an interesting experience on Monday.  I had the mis-fortune of having to help another muskie angler remove himself from a huge muskie hook.  Someone fishing alone tried to unhook a small muskie with a jerkbait totally in it's mouth.  When he picked it up by the gill plate the back hook buried in his index finger.  Without help from us he would have been taking a muskie to the hospital attached to his hand.  At least we were able to cut the hook and send him to the hospital withouth the fish.  It was pretty gut-wrenching to see.  NEVER muskie fish without bolt cutters and also take a buddy with you whenever possible.  By the look of shock on his face a fun day of muskie fishing had just turned into a nightmare.


June 7, 2007 (Thursday) Marc

Well the weather turned on us and Small Craft Advisories were up for today and going into Friday but they were south winds and guys went out anyway. The fish bit right through the fronts that passed through but not everyone went home with fish. Those that persisted or fell into the right program in the right areas did well and it sounds like the fish moved deeper with the best reports being closer to the sandbar in Lorain/Vermilion, North of Kelleys and west of Green and Rattlesnake. Spoons trolled at speeds of 2MPH and over 3MPH and behind jets anywhere from 50-125 feet back were the big takers with dipsy's not producing as well although I suspect people are running their dipsys under a lot of fish(too deep). Try them at 25-30 back even on a 3 setting. Harnesses are being pestered badly by Sheep and White perch and crankbaits appear to be taking better quality fish but not in big numbers. Drifters are still doing well especially with the wind we've had the last couple days. A can on the range has been mentioned a couple times and traditional gold spinners, suspended and on the bottom, and copper backed purple based spoons are taking the majority of those fish.

I haven't been out myself this week but will be attempting a short trip Friday out of Vermilion and then again on Saturday to give it a days worth of effort before the WBSA Fish Fry Sat Night.  Gas prices are coming down again so it makes spending my retirement money a little easier to take but $3 a gallon is still hard to swallow. Thank god for that Gas miser Rude I'm running.

I did get one great report about Musky fishing on St Clair and the Detroit River so Travis ought to be having a banner time up there. hope he has some good pics to post! the bite is heating up in the cleveland to Ashtabula area also for those of you that fish over that way. 45-50 FOW is a good place to start. Look for bait and good marks and you should be good to go.

What I write below is political in nature but this 9/11 Homeland Security response is getting under my skin. You can stop reading here if all you're looking for is fishing reports. How does a boatload of graying white guys look like a boatload of young and middle aged Arab terrorists anyway?

There is some confusion going on about Border crossings and some complaints are showing up about harrassment while fishing near the border or crossing into Canadian waters even if properly licensed. I'll find out what I can but the problem seems to be (as always with the feds) with different agencies being involved and the different goals that those agencies have. Depending on who you talk to, you get different answers. I'm just going to skip getting my Canadian license this year cause I don't think it's worth the hassle.

Needless to say, if you get pulled over by a boat that has machine guns mounted on it or a pistol & rifle packing crew, you need to be courteous, don't argue and be prepared to be inspected and delayed for a while. Kinda like the little old ladies getting strip searched at the airport. Somehow I don't see a terrorist trolling for walleyes on their way to blow up a Nuclear plant but evidently someone in Washington does, while millions are crossing our southern border and we have border agents going to jail for shooting illegal smugglers. I must be getting cranky with not fishing as much as I want to. Nuff Said.

Good fishing this weekend everyone!


June 4, 2007 (Tuesday) Marc

We got a lot of good reports from over the weekend. I apologize for being so late with them but in reality they aren't much different than last weeks. The weather has cooled some but the bite continues to be strong for both drifters and trollers. We even had 1 report that said during a lack of wind that they tied jigs on and got them that way,

18-24 FOW from Port Clinton to the Toledo lighthouse produced many limits and some really fast ones. The same with NW of Green Island (very few boats), American Eagle Shoal, Starve Island area and Scott's Shoal. We didn't hear much about Kelley and Gull shoals but that could just be people trying to save some gas money. The drifters are using weight forwards and casting harnesses with mostly gold blades. The trollers were all going a little faster in the low to high 2 MPH range. Stinger and Ole Pete's spoons with the copper backs and purples and pinks behind jets and Dipsy's were mentioned most often as the hot lures.

East of Sandusky and to Lorain the bite was in a little deeper water with Sawmill, north of ruggles and Vermilion and off Beaver as trhe most consistent catches. Most were trolling in this area especially with the lack of wind that was around. Same colors and presentations although the fish seem to be higher in the water column overall. Again purples and golds are taking the bulk of the fish. In a little closer just north of Cranberry and to Sherrod Park crankbaits and harnesses are working pretty well with some bigger fish being caught. You'll have to sort out the Sheep, White Bass and White perch though.

I would expect the Mayfly hatch to pick up soon and some people have the misconception that the walleye quit feeding as good when the hatch is on. That is not true though. Some of my best numbers days ever have been during the mayfly hatch. If you are drifting use a Weight Forward or a casting harness with a small gold blade and small piece of worm to trigger strikes. Also fish high with either a splash count or short pause before retrieving your lure. If your trolling, use small gold spoons, small gold spinner harnesses and small crankbaits like Reefrunner lil rippers up high. I've even done well trolling Erie Dearies less than 10' behind my boards. This usually happens when the mayfly carcasses are  all over the lake surface.

Perch are still being caught near Ballast with John Hageman from Ohio Sea Grant getting a surprise 30" Sturgeon last weekend. John said the fish had gill netting wrapped around it's midsection but that he got it cleared and returned to the water in good shape. Here's a picture of it.  I've asked for a better photo of this protected species and hope he can come up with one.

The WBSA is having a fish fry this coming Saturday at Cranberry Creek Marina at 6 PM. This should be a good place for those of you that can make it to meet me and Travis and enjoy the atmosphere and good food with the place that has helped so much in getting this club off the ground. You don't have to be a club member to attend but we do ask that you let us know how many will be coming with you if you do decide to come over. You can email us at the above link or call me at 419-680-4459. Hope to see some of you there!


June 1, 2007 (Friday) Marc

Well Travis is out chasing his beloved Musky. I hope to see some more awesome pics and that he has a successful trip.

We got lots more good reports in the last couple days and the storms don't seem to be affecting the fish nearly as much as us humans. I got chased off the lake at Vermilion today and just barely beat the rain back to the shelter at the Vermilion Police dock. It got ugly fast! The good folks at Cranberry Creek warned us that it was coming from their computer information. Thanks Mike (Sea Dawg) from Cranberry for staying on top of it!

Anyway for the hour that the 3 of us were out we did very well with 6 fish in the cooler, a few released smaller fish and a couple that got away from us in 32-38 FOW due NW of Vermilion harbor. Our biggest kept was around 5-6 pounds and a couple down around 18". The hot lure was a purple/gold based Ole Pete Spoon and a Purple based Stinger Scorpion Spoon  (I'm terrible at remembering names) behind a #1 dipsy at a 3 setting 40 back and jet 30's at 60 back. I haven't been a big spoon user in the past but this year I've been playing with them more and they are producing well for me although sizes are down from what I'm used to. Harnesses only got stripped today and we got no bites on our crankbaits. I'm still trolling in the 1.6 - 1.8 range but most people around me were going 2.3 and faster with a couple stating speeds over 3 MPH to trigger strikes and to stay out of the Sheep.

Other reports in today were:

Off Crane Creek in 20-24 FOW, limits taken quickly with weight forward spinners in purple, gold and Green.

2-3 miles north of the Toledo water intake, green bladed weight forwards took a near limit for 5 guys before being chased off by storms, again in 20-24 FOW. We didn't get a drop count on the weight forwards but assume they were fishing toward bottom.

SW of West Sister in 18-23 FOW trolling  dipsy's at 50-60 back with Tangerine, Chicken Wang, Snatch it and Blueberry Muffin Stinger spoons. Lots of White Bass, sheephead and White perch are showing up in the catches.

I've gotten quite a few responses to my rant the other day. Most agreed with me but I did get an interesting  alternate veiwpoint from one of our readers. I'm going to share it with you and while I don't agree with the veiwpoint in any way, I think it's interesting to see why there may be some sympathy for those that decide to risk getting caught. Here it is:  

I read with interest your concern about small fines for double tripping and over the limit fisherman.
I have a different perspective. Since I live 3 hours from the dock, I don't get to fish Lake E as much as I would like. I read with envy the reports from Dean that gave glowing reports of daily limits for him and his boat load of fishing friends. My thoughts were this guy is catching 24 or 30 walleyes a day every day. Here I am driving 6 hours to catch 6 walleyes every other week. WHat makes his license worth 300 walleyes a season and mine worth 30 or 40?
Perhaps the state might consider a license for the fisherman to catch so many per season. Of course it would be impossible to enforce. But, isn't the current law impossible to enforce?
Thought you might like a little food for thought before beating up on the judge. If a guy is going to cheat , he will find a way. The amount of the fine will not offset over harvesting. On the other hand , is it really over harvesting when a guy only fishes 5 or 6 times a year............think about it.
Have a good and safe weekend and watch out for these hot weather generated storms! I won't be putting up the current weather conditins like Travis does but here is the link to the weather Buoy off Vermilion and the NOAA forecast is linked from there. http://www.ndbc.noaa.gov/station_page.php?station=45005


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