The First Time I went to Lake Erie – was back in 1994. The river was high all spring and summer, which happens often, so after doing so much reading about Lake Erie Walleye I decided to take my bass boat out there and go camping. I had very little information, but enough to get there. When I arrived at port clinton I stopped at a bait shop and bought a license and looked the tackle over, but it all looked strange to me. I didn’t ask any questions. I took a ferry out to south bass island and found the park and got a campsite. It was wet and stormy and everything at camp was soggy.
I went out fishing and didn’t have a clue what to do. I just started doing what I knew, I trolled a jig along ledges but I was catching anything so I tried drifting with night crawlers but only caught a couple perch. While bouncing in big waves the coast guard came out and did a circle around me and about sank me with their wave. I just waved at them and they left, they thought IO was broke down but I was just a fool drifting in a storm. I decided to head back and i was bouncing in about 20 foot waves and I was a nervous wreck, the roughest water I had ever been in. Then some little girl passed me on a jet ski, and I laughed at myself for being scared when she was having fun in the same waves.
The third day I did see fish on the depth finder and figured I would try downsizing until I caught one to see what they were and why I wasn’t catching anything. I went down to a 1/4 oz jig with just a piece of rubber and half a worm and started catching bass and drum. That changed everything. I trolled all around all three islands and caught lots of fish.
the last day I tried for walleye one more time, hadn’t even caught one. I came back defeated again. When I was loading my boat up to get ready to pack it up some retired doctor came down and talked to me. He asked how I was doing and I told him I couldn’t catch any walleye and was giving up trying. He told me not to give up, that he would share how he catches his walleye. Troll to green island as fast as I could pulling crankbaits. When I hit 18′ turn and head for another spot on south bass and when I hit 18′ turn and come back here to the ramp. So I went out and started to troll in the big waves. All the sudden I saw this huge passenger ship running right toward me. I had to decide to turn left away from the ship or right into the ship’s wave. I decided right, and his wave pushed me back out of the way. I was angry and looked for the captain but no one was up their, it was on auto pilot.
I got to green island and made my turn and all the sudden caught a walleye. So now I was trolling sideways in the waves and going all over out of control but catching fish. I got back to the ramp an hour later with a limit of walleye and I left on that note. Now I was in love with lake erie and returned once or twice every year.