The truth is, Lake Erie can be tough as nails. Every time I make a trip there I am confronted with the challenge of finding fish and figuring out a pattern to catch them. It seems most every trip is different, they never bit like they did the year before so I have to figure out new patterns all over again. It might take me three days to get something going, unless I get lucky and start catching fish right away, but even then the next day is probably going to be different and I will have my work cut out for me. By the end of the week I do have them figured out and I always remember it as being the greatest fishing, until I go back and have to start all over again. I have made many second trips, go back by myself a few days later and set up a tent and camp and go fishing only to find out every changed again.
The weather is another hurdle. When its windy, it won’t be possible to go fish in the wind so I may not be able to stay on the pattern that I figured out. Then after the wind storm the conditions will surely be different with dirty water to contend with. Sometimes it can be windy for days and it is known for fisherman to go home after a miserable week of sitting in the cabin waiting all week for the weather to break. It doesn’t take much wind to make big waves on Lake Erie. One windy day I came back early and we went up on Perry’s Monument and the wind picked me up off the floor and tried to throw me over the side. The lady that worked there saw this and closed the Monument down for the day.
If that isn’t bad enough, you have huge cross waves from the constant boat traffic, and I’m talking big boats with huge wakes. I have to cover myself with a rain coat almost all the time or else I risk getting soaked from a fluke wave. There is always an occasional giant wave that will come over your bow and sink your boat if you make one mistake and aren’t ready for it. The Island really aren’t much of a wind break, the wind can usually find its way around the circular islands.
If fog happens to move in, you have a lot of big boats running around lost and there you sit waiting to get run over. People drown in Lake Erie about everyday. Been there done that. Always keep a compass and GPS if you have one. Always wear a life jacket too.
Having said all that, there is no greater feeling of accomplishment when a fisherman does battle all the obstacles and catches fish, especially big fish. Lake Erie is dream land for fishing, if it doesn’t kill you. I’ve caught two Walleye over eleven pounds, I usually get at least one over ten pounds every trip and lots and lots of big Bass. I do hope to start going back one of these days, babysitting my Grand kids doesn’t permit it right now but we are wanting to start making our annual trips again.