Memorable/big fish you have caught? Memorable/big fish you have caught? Memorable/big fish you have caught? Memorable/big fish you have caught?
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  1. #1

    Default Memorable/big fish you have caught?

    With all the little 'eyes swimming around, I thought I'd take it the other way. What are some memorable/big fish you have caught, be it recently or in the past?

    For me, 3 come to mind in the walleye side of things.

    1997. Dead flat lake. Fishing off of Manilla Bay (North Bass). No walleye biting, July 30th. But we were pulling in a lot of perch on walleye lures. So, having had good luck catching perch on Mr. Twisters before (tipped with just a small piece of worm for scent), I thought, "let's target perch." I do just that. Go in the cabin, get out my perch pole (ultra-lite spinning reel with 6 lb clear mono on an ultra-lite Mitchell pole), tie a 1/8 oz jighead to it, feed on the smallest Mr. Twister I have from the bass box. Which measured about 2/3" long. Was doing pretty good for perch on it too, till I hooked something BIG. Initially thought "must be a sheephead" as I was in 30 FOW, jigging on this dead calm lake. My buddy says, "sheephead hell, look at how he's staying down and not pumping, that's a hog walleye."

    He was right. Only one we caught all day. I played him carefully and he spit the hook in the net. 28", 1 oz shy of 8 pounds. Not the biggest I have gotten before or since, but given the tackle and situation, surely the most memorable. I got him mounted, and along with the 34" pike and 22" smallmouth, he is hanging on my wall right now. Along with the jig I caught him on. And with the 1/16" minnow I caught on a hook as the SMALLEST fish I ever caught. Little guppy on a tiny home made hook, just dipped him in varnish and stuck him on the wall.

    No. 2. Was out fishing with dad off huron (closer to vermillion) on our first trip east ever. From East Harbor. We got our limit that day, with the smallest fish being 25". We were throwing back anything under that size as the big ones were biting so well. Biggest fish in the cooler that day was 30." Got back to the marina and had our pictures taken. Even the regulars and charter captains were dumbstruck, as while they had all done well in the same area, apparently we just got over THE lucky spot, with the biggest fish. I don't think a single fish we caught was under 22". This was in early august 2001.

    So now Mr. biggie, no. 3. Fishing SW of Kelly's shoal. Wind was picking up. We were about ready to go in (and probably should have earlier, given the wind). Wind right out of the NE, fish weren't biting well, we had 2 in the box. With white-capping waves running over 6 feet I said to dad, "Hit the blower, we should go in." Just as I said it, "WHAM." Had a TON of line out given the wind, and that we were drifting. Ten minutes later we netted the biggest walleye I have ever caught, and maybe ever will catch. 32" 12 pound monster. This was in 2005. June, though I couldn't tell you what day offhand. Classic old chartreuse erie dearie. Heavy one, 1 oz. As it turns out, she was actually hooked really well, in the side of the mouth in the joint. Not going anywhere. Though I KNEW it was a huge fish, and the whole way in, reeling in like 200 yards of line- 95% of the reel spool- I was petrified that I'd lose it. First year I was using braided spiderwire line, and have been a convert ever since. Side note to THAT story is, it took us 3 hours to get home, and by the time we did, the waves were higher than the hard top on the 24 foot Thompson. Just about every time we went into a trough, the nose dug into the water, the boat shuddered, and green water broke over the hard top... which sits about 8 feet out of the water. Scariest time on the lake for me, personally. We were really close to putting into a marina on the south side of Kellys to overnight it and wait it out, but once we got on the south side of the island, with the wind from the NE, it got a lot easier.

    Actually we ate that one, and despite it's size, gutted, scaled and grilled it was yummy!

    Two honorable mentions.

    1. We started walleye fishing when I was 12. My grandpa's boat (1969 Sea Ray, 19 footer) was just gathering dust, and I wanted to use it. This would have been... what, 1991? 2? We had no idea what we were doing, dad and I, and only caught a few walleye that year. But my first was a memorable one. Zebco 606, on a perch rig, when not even trying. The monster- all 10" of him- hit the minnow and broke my reel off the pole! Back story as to why: we had been fishing in hinckley lake from our canoe for bass, and with none biting, I went with a sinker and worm to catch some catfish. No cats... but I snagged into a reel and pole someone had lost. Kind of grungy, had obviously been underwater some months... but being the kind who likes to repair stuff, I fixed that reel up... but the pins that held the reel to the mounting bracket were kind of rusty, and that little walleye broke the reel right off the pole! As I tell folks: my first walleye broke my reel it was so big!
    2. Just recently, catching one from the canoe in east harbor, fishing for bass. I've caught 'eyes through the ice in the east harbor channel, or from the canoe in the channel around dusk in like March, but never one on a bass crankbait IN the channel in July. Till this year. Little 14 1/2 incher. Obviously tossed him back.

    So in your time on the lake, what are your memorable ones?
    Last edited by jonk; 07-20-2017 at 12:23 AM.

  2. #2
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    When I turned 8, I got my very first rod and reel that was my own, not just one on the boat I could use. I pestered dad all day to take me out, finally he did just to shut me up. It was after dinner early August and nasty hot and humid. We left east harbor and he went just over between lakeside and the lighthouse. I knew he wasn't going to go far since he was just ting to shut me up. It wasn't 5 min later fish on. It took all the strength my little hands had to keep ahold of pole, I couldn't actually reel it in like normal, I had totwist my wrist, half crank a time. All I could think was I was going loose my rod and reel and new green and white Erie derie. I remember papa whispering to dad" big sheephead". It took a long time to get it to the net but when dad lifted it in, it was a 29 inch walleye. My first fish ohio. They took the time to explain how some ppl fish their entire life's to not get a fish of this quality. Paps called it a fish of a lifetime. So after pictures, smiles, a drink of water i put out again, very next cast wham, rod bent just as before. I couldn't even put 2 mins in, I was so tired from the first fish. They tried to root me on, it's not that big your just tired from the last one, come on you can do it. But my little arms and hand were done. I gave it up to dad and intensely watch over the back of 24ft Thompson hardtop to see what came up. It took dad a long time to bring it in but is was another 29 incher. We made it in just in time to go have the walleye checked in and get the paper work done for the fish ohio. From that point to on I've had the bug.

    2) don't remember the month, but was hot, so had to be July or aug, I was in my early teens, dad me and brother went out just off rattle snake. Was a slow day only had a couple, water was flat as glass and super clean. We were about to leave and tied into something big and I knew it. I had learned a lot since my last big walleyes and I knew I could feel it wasn't hook well. My brother is 3 years younger and had just started netting fish, I told him let dad do it, we would only get one shot since I knew it wasn't a good hook up. As I worked in, drag loosened so not to put extra pressure on it. The water was so clean you could see it coming in a long way off. As it got close it came up and slid across the surface and I could see just how little it was hooked by. I asked again but he was not giving the net up. Just as I get it into net range it mouth opened up, I remember I thought you could had put a softball down the thing, dad yelled net it, my brother thrust the net down an hit the fish square in the mouth with the aluminum bar of net. My Erie derie come into the boat, he hit the so hard it just floated there on the surface, dad finally pulls the net from his hands to try again but just as hit gets it into the water my monster turns and swims back into the depths, I watch the sun reflect off it what felt like forever. Not sure of length, but to and early teenager it look like a small shark, to this day it's still the longest one I've ever seen in person.

    3) not a biggest fish, but fastest catch. It the next spring, we were out on the nw corner of kellies, wind blowing, all of us getting cold, dad tucks up into the cove there on the north side just to get some shelter and eat some lunch before we start the rough ride home. Water was flat but dad put the anchor out cause the wind would still had blown us while eating. I finished first followed by the rest shortly. Dad wanted 's few more minutes to rest so I bait up, and so did my brother. 1st cast each we had a double, dad got the net as papa cast out, now it's a triple. This went on till we had our limit in less than 25 mins. Every cast was a hook up, dad never got pole in the water. There fish were all over the floor. We we slipping and tripping on fish, we radio 2 other friends in same story. Woke extra early the next day to hit the honey hole again, fight our way through the rough water again, anchor up in the same spot, we knew it was the same, it was the first year they had the towers up for what we now know as gps, but then it was done off towers, it was our new toy on the boat. Get to the spot as yesterday cast out with high hopes of repeat, 3 hrs later not a single fish of any kind, no marks, nothing. Here one day gone the next.
    Last edited by branhamautomotive; 07-20-2017 at 06:32 AM. Reason: Typo

  3. #3
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    Have caught a few 29" walleye on Erie and the Maumee during the spawn. One may have been 30". Two stories of fish that got away... First was on a bigger inland lake in Minnesota. Was trolling for pike and walleye all day long (so my drag was set fairly stiff) and we divided to hit the shallows for a bit with a hook/worm for bluegills. 5 minutes in to having a little piece of worm on a small hook something took it and ran with my drag out. Zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz and snap... Line broke. Seriously didn't even seem like taking the line out with my drag setting was any problem for this fish and it was set for big pike... Similar story out on Erie once but I'm assuming that one was a big sheepshead. Trolling for eyes and something took my line and ran. Let it take my drag back until I hardly had any line left and really tightened it and it snapped my leader off... Almost forgot... My biggest fish was a 17lb lake trout on Superior. Spoons off down riggers. Two other cool stories. Was trolling the Mississippi and lost a lure. Next pass I caught my lure lol. Also was fishing for rainbows and an inland lake and had 6 nice ones on a stringer. Stringer broke off and started to sink to the bottom in 40 fow. My buddy stripped down to his underwear and dove in. Couldn't even see the fish anymore and the clarity was at least 10ft. 15 seconds later he comes up with our stringer
    Last edited by Pauken23; 07-20-2017 at 10:43 AM.

  4. #4
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    I remember a day during the Walleye run back in the early 1990's A friend of mine and myself put in a small 12 ft. boat at Orleans Park in Perrysburg. Right off the bat we had trouble with the outboard so we drifted down stream perhaps 500 yards and was able to get back into some slow water on the South bank. We had waders and all so we decided to fish from there and drag the boat back at the end of our day.

    Long story short I think the limit was 10 per person back then. We both caught our limit easily, but what sticks my mind the most were two specific fish I caught oneof the fish a male weighed 6 pounds, but the odd thing about was is that it did not have any eyes. It never had ever had eyes!! Just skin and it was a strong healthy fish. The other memorable fish from the same day was another jack that weighed about the same. It had a hog ring tag in its lower jaw marked ( Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources), but that is not the odd part. The memorable part was that I caught it by the hog ring.. lol I have a living witness who just shook is head that day.
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  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by pimplepounder View Post
    I remember a day during the Walleye run back in the early 1990's A friend of mine and myself put in a small 12 ft. boat at Orleans Park in Perrysburg. Right off the bat we had trouble with the outboard so we drifted down stream perhaps 500 yards and was able to get back into some slow water on the South bank. We had waders and all so we decided to fish from there and drag the boat back at the end of our day.

    Long story short I think the limit was 10 per person back then. We both caught our limit easily, but what sticks my mind the most were two specific fish I caught oneof the fish a male weighed 6 pounds, but the odd thing about was is that it did not have any eyes. It never had ever had eyes!! Just skin and it was a strong healthy fish. The other memorable fish from the same day was another jack that weighed about the same. It had a hog ring tag in its lower jaw marked ( Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources), but that is not the odd part. The memorable part was that I caught it by the hog ring.. lol I have a living witness who just shook is head that day.
    Wonder how the warden would view this today??????

  6. #6

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    1 was trolling off crane creek me and 2 buddies pulling hot n tots when my pole went off i grabbed the pole and told my buddy who was driving to slow the boat down it was big he said it aint that big when the line snapped other buddy was standing there with net when my other pole took off of the back off boat he caught it with the net i grabbed pole and started reeling got my hot and tot up and the line from the pole that broke was tangled in the hotntot so i started to pull the line in by hand it still had the fish on got it to the boat and got the net under the fish when buddy lifted the net the net broke so i leaned over the boat and pulled the fish in by hand got the fish which was 29 1/2 inches 9 1/2 pounds #2 we were riding down the maumee when buddy wanted to ski so i let him we rigged up a ski line he was in the water when i thought he gave me a signal to go i took off and he went up then down i went back and he was bleeding from his hand the board he used to hold onto had a nail in it and cut his hand open we dropped him off at portside and the ambulance took him to hospital he had 8 stitches and we met him at the bar later that night we made the decision to go perch fishing the next day well we ran a couple miles off wards home port we caught maybe 4 or 5 perch but we got a couple walleye so i said lets try for walleye we went out to the edge of the firing range using spreaders and worms when buddy hooked up to a 8 lb walleye but he couldn't reel it in so i reeled it in by the time i got it in he had another 1 on i reeled it in then he had a double on the spreader the water picked up out of northeast but with us in a school of hogs we didn't notice had a 19 ft boat back the so its been 35 years ago we ended the day with a limit of walleye smallest probably 6 pounds biggest 11 mostly 8 and 9 pound fish this was in September when going back end the waves were rolling over the pier so when i took the fish home and my dad seen them he said were going tomorrow we left the dock and we had a ft chop later that day we were in 5 footers again there was 4 of us not 1 fish i knew we were in same spot because we were fishing next to a marker bouy firing range marker on the way home my windshield busted out and we got soaked with no fish at all we went from a walleye fest to nothing here today gone tomorrow #3 perch fishing with my dad and his friend aboard a 37 ft boat 40 years ago 1 of my first memories of fishing lake erie no fish it was slow and i was seasick rough water and pukeing so to the cabin i go i remember my dad saying scott get out here and help us catch the perch so back out i go put my pole in and it was 1 of those days where it was non stop action doubles after double as i remember there was no limit back then and i forgot all about being sick and we had a cooler full of fish i think that was the reason i bought a boat first 1 when i was 17 a 16 ft winner then i graduated to a 19 ft aristocraft to a 27 ft sportcraft which i still have today

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by branhamautomotive View Post
    Wonder how the warden would view this today??????
    Well its hard to tell. It was by the mouth, much more so than some of the eyes we catch on cranks that seem to be hooked all over the face sometimes.. And it was not mentioned as to whether it was kept or not. I just cannot recall?
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  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by pimplepounder View Post
    Well its hard to tell. It was by the mouth, much more so than some of the eyes we catch on cranks that seem to be hooked all over the face sometimes.. And it was not mentioned as to whether it was kept or not. I just cannot recall?
    And that's my story and I'm st st st sticking to it. Lol

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    After a 20 year hiatus to attend to life, (had a boat from age 16 to 29) in February of 2016 I bought a used fishing boat. Bought on a Saturday and tested it on a Sunday, in Feb. (no ice) As a side note, I have fished on lake erie every month since my purchase.

    Went home and grabbed a couple rods and reels, bought a couple bandits at Dicks. Got two nephews and we headed back up the first of Mar. None of us had ever trolled and had no clue. Thanks to this site, after I launched at Catawba I knew to head W. toward the reefs. It was real foggy so we only went a mile or so and put in two lines with bandits. I did not have line counters, we guessed. In less than 10 minutes, one of the poles bent, my nephew reeled it in and a 31" Walleye appeared. We were all stunned! I had never ever seen a Walleye that large, or even knew they existed. Within 10 minutes the other pole bent and it was a twin to the first. Now I am thinking, holy crap, if it is this easy, how big do they get??? I may need a bigger boat. lol.

    We fished the rest of the morning and caught a few more mid 20 inchers and called it a Great first day back fishing Lake Erie.

    Needless to say, I had found my new hobby! I came home and read back two years almost every post, especially Capt. Juls & Capt. Jim. Went out and spent a couple grand on Okuma coldwaters, matching rods, Big Jon stuff, off shore boards, dipsys, jets, cranks, harness, spoons, met DJ and handed him few Franklins.

    Rented a dock this year and hope to buy a cottage up there this fall.

    THANK YOU TO ALL who contribute here! Your help means more than you can imagine to some of us who want to learn. I have fished every month since then, learned a ton and have had good success finding fish each time out. We have caught a few more over 30 but that first day sure set the hook. My wife thanks you also, I could be doing worse things!!!
    Dave(snothere)
    2352 Trophy Hardtop WA
    Channel Grove Marina
    Sammy the Lucky Golden

  10. #10
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    Great post Dave and I agree on your thanks to everyone here. Following these posts will really teach you how to fish Lake Erie quick. This group is an amazing source of good information. Lake Erie plays its role though being such an enormous fishery and no reason to keep secrets... It's not like "I found the only walleye hole on this lake!" kinda thing lol. In fact I'd argue we need consistent reports to follow schools of fish etc... This group really benefits everyone and the population is healthy so fish on!!!


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