Fishing Lake Erie

I started going to Lake Erie back in 2004 because the Mississippi River was high all spring and summer. It was around the first week of July. I didn’t know it at the time but the fish by then had headed out to the main lake and not many were left around the Bass Islands. So I didn’t catch many. The last day of my camping trip on south bass I was loading my boat up defeated again, no walleye. I talked to a local doctor and he convinced me to try again and told me his secrets for summer fishing, so I did what he said and came back a couple hours later with a limit. His secret was to troll as fast as a could pulling deep diver crankbaits.

After that I went back once or twice every year and over time I learned how to catch the Walleye pretty good. Even though it can be called the Walleye capital of the world, fishing isn’t always easy and it usually took me two or three days to find fish and get a pattern going. Half the time it was too windy to even go out walleye fishing so I just stayed around the islands bass fishing.

In the spring the walleye head for shore to spawn, from Sanduski all around toward Detroit and into Canada. After they spawn the move past the Islands as they head out to deep open water in the main lake where the cooler water is. So I would try to catch it when the weather would finally calm down and the fish were still around. Then I would try to get a pattern going and the fishing was different about every year and in different places too, so it took a lot of work before I could catch fish.

Once I started using clip on sinkers fishing became much easier, I could now target different depths using crank baits and spinner rigs while using my kicker motor to move me along on the calmer days. It it was windy I could drift pretty good in my small boat using a trolling motor to boost my speed. After catching my first 33” walleye (11 pounds with no eggs) I bought a video camcorder.

I didn’t film much while I was fishing but I did get some. Then I found other people were interested so I started selling my videos on ebay. In 2009 I went out with my brother just to make a video, this time showing how I fish. This was my best seller for a couple years but has since slowed since everyone and their brother wants to make a Lake Erie video. People even have walleye schools teaching others how to catch fish. Well it’s pretty easy to catch fish when you live near the Walleye capital of the world, try doing it when you live seven hours away. I do sell some of my Lake Erie sinkers but I think people caught on to that too and they just make their own.

Tournaments also help spread the word on the fishing and these days everyone knows everything everyone else knows. But I do have things to teach people that others don’t know and or want to talk about. One is using clip on sinkers affectivity to have full control of the depths your fishing.

The other thing is that Lake Erie can be brutal and if you aren’t careful you could end up being another casualty. People drown out there about everyday. There are shallow areas you can go over one day but not the next when the wind pushes all the water to the other side of the lake. Even though it is a lake, it has current. Waters is pushed around by the wind and the stronger the wind the stronger the current. The wind also muddies the water and there is nothing more disheartening than to have zero visibility where you were catching fish the day before in crystal clean water. Unless you have an airplane or satellite images to see from high above, you won’t know where to go. The island zebra muscles do clean it up fast and the fish start showing up in these small areas first, so it can be a waiting game. I had one of my best vacations ever when the water was like chocolate mild, but after a few days the water started to clean near shore and by the last day the fish were there in great numbers. That was a trip guys packed it up and went home losing all confidence. There is a lot of things to know about Lake Erie, it is not so easy as it sounds. Sure they may have tournaments on the spawning fish and make it look easy, but that only lasts a short time and fishing can be tougher than nails unless you know the secrets like I have learned over the years.

About Dave Tackett

Dave Tackett is from Sterling Illinois. An avid fisherman since childhood, he has fished all over the Midwest, mainly the Mississippi River pools 8-19. His home waters are pools 13 & 14. After fishing Bass tournaments for many years, he gave it up to fish for Walleye year round. He now guides and fishes for fun. He likes to take photos of the scenic places he visits on the river and likes to keep a video camera running to get footage for his Walleye DVDs. Photography is now where he most of his time working, using professional DSLR cameras and lens. These photos include landscape around the Mississippi River and the Rock River, river birds like eagles heron, egrets etc.
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