This year the place I stayed at last year was full 4 weeks ago. So we have to take days I don’t want in a place I didn’t want. It’s probably partly my fault for showing people how good the fishing is in my Walleye DVDs and videos. So I would like to share a little of what it is really like. The State Park has a new marina, they want $30 a night to dock a boat. There isn’t a good place to store the boat where I stay so I will have to pay dockage fees. They also don’t have a fish cleaning facility where I stay nor does the park offer one so keeping fish is out of the question. It costs $50 for an Ohio license, if it hasn’t went up that is. The ferry costs about $120 each way and reservations have to be made ahead of time, and the time I wanted was already full. You are limited to how much gas you can take over and gas is very expensive on the islands.
Some people get claustrophobia being on the islands, there is no way to get off once your there. There is no clinics, no doctors, no hospitals. There isn’t much to do and it can be incredibly boring. If the weather is bad and the wind is blowing hard, it makes one miss being home more than ever. These days fishing can be out of the question, even for charter boats and usually about half the days are unfishable.
Fishing can be tough as nails. Most people do not catch many fish if any at all. That is why so many take charter boats out there. There is not fish everywhere, and spawning has a huge affect on fish. If the Bass are spawning they won’t bite very good at all. The Walleye spawn early, then make their way out to deep water for the summer and it takes a big boat to be able to go out in the middle of the lake looking for fish. More times than not I hear the fish aren’t biting and it can take me a few days just to get a pattern going and I have been fishing there for 15 years and with 50 years fishing experience. If the right pattern isn’t found it is possible to get skunked and not catch a fish at all. This happens to most people and they never return.
If the wind is blowing expect to get wet and beat up by the waves. Boat control can be extremely hard. It is easy to get seasick, or worse, it is easy to sink a boat. There is also shallow areas, like 6″ deep with bog rocks. These shallow areas can be out in open water, miles from shore. If your motor breaks you can end up in New York before you get help.
There is a lot of things to consider before braving Lake Erie. There are many places that are much better to take a vacation. This is going to be my last year going to the Bass Islands. I am only going to get more footage for a new DVD. Our fishing on the Mississippi River can be better at times and it’s close and much cheaper.