Advice for Casters/Drifters Advice for Casters/Drifters Advice for Casters/Drifters Advice for Casters/Drifters
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  1. #1

    Default Advice for Casters/Drifters

    Hello everyone! I finally made an account, and want to say thanks for all the information that you folks put out! I see lots of good information about trolling, but I'm wondering if anyone can point me in the right direction for casting and drifting.


    I'm putting together a big family trip for this upcoming weekend (if the thunderstorms cooperate). We're going to camp and likely launch out of East Harbor with two 20-23 boats. We're all amateurs in the walleye arena... in the past we've just tried to find the other boats and hope for the best. This time, I'd love to go somewhere with some purpose, maybe get the kids of the group some nice fish! As long as the weather is decent, I don't mind motoring a bit if there is reason to. Should we be heading to the reefs? Cans? East of Kelleys? We typically cast Erie Dearies (gold, green/yellow) and use bottom bouncers with worm harnesses. What about casting crankbaits like Hot N Tots or Wiggle Warts? Any suggestions? What about color selection for this time of year? Should we be looking for suspended fish or will they be down on the bottom now? Any help is appreciated, thanks!

  2. #2

    Default Re: Advice for Casters/Drifters

    Shallower reefs (10-18 ft) should be active morning until 10am ish and then active again toward the evening starting around 5/6pm.
    If fishing mid-day, Id focus on the drop offs from the shallower reefs (20-30 ft) or any similar depth where you mark fish. There are lots of reports on here about areas holding fish in these depths.
    Id definitely target suspended fish, as they are most likely to be feeding walleye. You may pick up some with bottom bouncers, but more likely would be sheepshead and catfish generally speaking.
    In terms of presentation, weve had most luck casting and drifting single blade worm harnesses with an small egg sinker 24 above the rig. This has produced more consistent walleye days for us when casting than Erie Dearies. They sell these at just about any local bait shop any more. Like your Erie Dearie, cast either off bow or stern so the bait swings on the retrieve. Give it a 5-15 second count depending on depth, then start a slow, sweeping retrieve. Sweep the rod, pause, reel down to tension, pause then sweep again. Most of our walleyes come on the pause.
    Hope this helps. Good luck with your family.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jul 2015
    Location
    nroyalton
    Posts
    958

    Default Re: Advice for Casters/Drifters

    We also are looking to fish this weekend.According to my IWindurf forcast,looks like south winds to 20mph on friday and Sunday.Wind forcast looks fishable Saturday,but weather forcast has 80% chance storms Saturday.So may be difficult to find a window to fish.
    There is an occasional group text on this site that could help you find some active fish if you join the group.Since coming out of East Harbor,a good place to start,and close by is American Eagle Shoal.I have seen alot of people casting in that area,at this time of year in the past.
    As for how to cast,I came across a well writen and thorough article on how to cast for walleye on lake Erie.Go to Coe Vanna Charters website.Look under fishing reports and scroll down to lake erie fishing techniques and lake erie news.Some great info on casting and the news articles talk about the different class hatches too.Good luck.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Location
    north coast ohio
    Posts
    172

    Default Re: Advice for Casters/Drifters

    Keep it simple, hope one of you knows how to read your sonar. Yes American Eagle should hold some fish, also Middle Harbor shoal, any drop off area between Catawba, MH, Kellies, and SBI. I have also done well at East side of SBI. Try shallow in early mornings maybe even 5fow.

    Back to keep it simple concept. Find fish, find active fish, fish above fish with lures/ baits. Cast outside area the fish have seen the boat. Work whole boat as a team. If one person hooks up, call out and get another bait over there asap. When you hook up, try to know your count down and how you worked it back. Tell the others.

    Don't fish in a crowd, fish the outsides or downwind of the crowd if you have to. I will likely be on West side of Catawba. You can travel around if you don't find them but there are fish in front of you within 4 miles each way.

    Have fun and be safe.
    Rickerd

  5. #5

    Default Re: Advice for Casters/Drifters

    This is some great information, thank you everyone! We'll give it a go and hopefully I'll be able to report back Monday with some good fish stories!

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
    Location
    Reside in Columbus, OH. Have place in Perrysburg, OH.
    Posts
    347

    Default Re: Advice for Casters/Drifters

    Randrasik,

    All good advice so far.

    You are lucky in that the walleye are close to west harbor this time of year. The South Passage, the area between South Bass and Kelleys Islands and the mainland, is a typical hotspot right now. I see quite a few charters fishing it. It will depend on the day, but you should not have to go far to find active fish.

    Drift fishing is starting up now. I think the two most important things you need to concentrate on, other than making sure you have walleye around, is first starting out with a variety of depths and second knowing how to feel and hook a walleye.

    When you start out, assuming you have a depth / fish finder and you see at what depth the walleye marks are at, you need to get your lure into that depth and keep it there as long as possible. Ues the countdown method. Once you cast out and the lure hits the water, start counting (thousnad one thousand two etc.). A typical lure sinks about 2 feet per second. Count as high as it takes to get the lure to the walleye depth. Then start your retrieve. Have your crew use slightly different counts. Fish that count for a few times and if no walleye, then change the count. The idea is to figure out the correct seconds count to get the lure into the "walleye zone" after you start retrieving it. Experiment until you find the right count and retrieve speed to keep the lure in that zone as long as possilbe.

    The second thing is to learn a "walleye suck" or how walleye hit a lure. They are not like bass or pike, they typically don't "hit" a lure. Generally you won't feel a define hit. It's more like a sudden feel that the lure got heavier, or a little more tension on the line. it's usually a weak "hit". If you feel this drop the rod tip back 4-6 inches just for a spit second then try setting the hook. It you hook it, great! if not, let the lure fall back, give it 3-4 feet of slack for a second, then start the retrieve again and be ready for a second try by that walleye. This takes time to learn, but spend the time to learn. Experiment. You'll figure it out. Once you do your catch rate will definitly improve. And it's fun to figure out!

    Otherwise check here for fishing reports and you can actually see where one charter is fishing on the charter webcam. Read the "Live fishing webcam" post on this Western Basin forum, it's probably 5-10 treads down the list now.

  7. #7

    Default Re: Advice for Casters/Drifters

    The fish have been very active early on American Eagle Shoal. Start on the shoal and as the sun gets higher move further north off of the shoal to deeper water. try different counts on your retrieve to find the best depth for feeding fish. good luck and have a great weekend!

  8. #8

    Default Re: Advice for Casters/Drifters

    Quote Originally Posted by West Basin View Post
    Randrasik,

    All good advice so far.

    You are lucky in that the walleye are close to west harbor this time of year. The South Passage, the area between South Bass and Kelleys Islands and the mainland, is a typical hotspot right now. I see quite a few charters fishing it. It will depend on the day, but you should not have to go far to find active fish.

    Drift fishing is starting up now. I think the two most important things you need to concentrate on, other than making sure you have walleye around, is first starting out with a variety of depths and second knowing how to feel and hook a walleye.

    When you start out, assuming you have a depth / fish finder and you see at what depth the walleye marks are at, you need to get your lure into that depth and keep it there as long as possible. Ues the countdown method. Once you cast out and the lure hits the water, start counting (thousnad one thousand two etc.). A typical lure sinks about 2 feet per second. Count as high as it takes to get the lure to the walleye depth. Then start your retrieve. Have your crew use slightly different counts. Fish that count for a few times and if no walleye, then change the count. The idea is to figure out the correct seconds count to get the lure into the "walleye zone" after you start retrieving it. Experiment until you find the right count and retrieve speed to keep the lure in that zone as long as possilbe.

    The second thing is to learn a "walleye suck" or how walleye hit a lure. They are not like bass or pike, they typically don't "hit" a lure. Generally you won't feel a define hit. It's more like a sudden feel that the lure got heavier, or a little more tension on the line. it's usually a weak "hit". If you feel this drop the rod tip back 4-6 inches just for a spit second then try setting the hook. It you hook it, great! if not, let the lure fall back, give it 3-4 feet of slack for a second, then start the retrieve again and be ready for a second try by that walleye. This takes time to learn, but spend the time to learn. Experiment. You'll figure it out. Once you do your catch rate will definitly improve. And it's fun to figure out!

    Otherwise check here for fishing reports and you can actually see where one charter is fishing on the charter webcam. Read the "Live fishing webcam" post on this Western Basin forum, it's probably 5-10 treads down the list now.
    That is very sound information. One additional point. Different baits, weights and lines will allow the bait to sink at different rates. Therefore, on your first cast, start counting when it hits the water, and then stop counting when it hits bottom. That way, if you are in 24 feet of water and the bait hit bottom at a 20 count, then you know that half-way down would be a 10 count, and so on. If you are marking fish from 12-15 down, then a 10 count should be about right.
    https://slimshadycustoms.com/ Slimshady Customs - Custom Painted Crankbaits & Blanks. (Bandit Style Deep-Divers and other various crankbaits)

  9. #9

    Default Re: Advice for Casters/Drifters

    Thank you to everyone for the advice! We ended up with a shortened trip, but a great one none the less. With the threat of thunderstorms looming, we cancelled plans of camping and fished Saturday only. The weather ended up working out great, the 11 am storms missed us and we were able to get a full day in.

    Up at 345, kids and boat loaded by 430, met everyone at Mazuriks by 7, on the water by about 730, and motored straight to Middle Harbor Shoal. We thought about hitting American Eagle, but weren't sure what would happen with the storms, so opted to stay close in. Got to Middle Harbor Shoal, first cast of the day was made by my 5 year old son, who immediately hooked into a beautiful 23 inch walleye! Needless to say, everyone on the boat was now very excited for a good day of fishing. Mere minutes later my cousin hooked into another 22-23" walleye. We worked the shoal a handful of times, then moved off towards the crowd to the NE of us in the South Passage.

    We ended the day with a full cooler (by our standards) - kept 6-7 nice walleye, 5 channel cats, and even got a nice perch in the mix. Threw back another 6 or so shorts, couple white bass, and the obligatory sheephead. We weren't able to work as effectively as hoped, we ended up with only 1 boat with 6 adults and 2 kids - not a lot of room to effectively cast! But that didn't stop everyone from having a great time and we're all excited to do it again!

    The bite was definitely best in the shallows, early in the day. Yellow/Red and Yellow/Green Erie Dearies were the big winners, casting worm harnesses got their fair share. Bottom bouncers were used to get some cats (my 7 year old loves cats!).

    Once again, thank you to everyone that gave advice, we certainly appreciated it and are excited to do more trips!

    Rob

  10. #10

    Default Re: Advice for Casters/Drifters

    Quote Originally Posted by Randrasik View Post
    Thank you to everyone for the advice! We ended up with a shortened trip, but a great one none the less. With the threat of thunderstorms looming, we cancelled plans of camping and fished Saturday only. The weather ended up working out great, the 11 am storms missed us and we were able to get a full day in.

    Up at 345, kids and boat loaded by 430, met everyone at Mazuriks by 7, on the water by about 730, and motored straight to Middle Harbor Shoal. We thought about hitting American Eagle, but weren't sure what would happen with the storms, so opted to stay close in. Got to Middle Harbor Shoal, first cast of the day was made by my 5 year old son, who immediately hooked into a beautiful 23 inch walleye! Needless to say, everyone on the boat was now very excited for a good day of fishing. Mere minutes later my cousin hooked into another 22-23" walleye. We worked the shoal a handful of times, then moved off towards the crowd to the NE of us in the South Passage.

    We ended the day with a full cooler (by our standards) - kept 6-7 nice walleye, 5 channel cats, and even got a nice perch in the mix. Threw back another 6 or so shorts, couple white bass, and the obligatory sheephead. We weren't able to work as effectively as hoped, we ended up with only 1 boat with 6 adults and 2 kids - not a lot of room to effectively cast! But that didn't stop everyone from having a great time and we're all excited to do it again!

    The bite was definitely best in the shallows, early in the day. Yellow/Red and Yellow/Green Erie Dearies were the big winners, casting worm harnesses got their fair share. Bottom bouncers were used to get some cats (my 7 year old loves cats!).

    Once again, thank you to everyone that gave advice, we certainly appreciated it and are excited to do more trips!

    Rob
    Wow, 6 adults and 2 kids in one boat casting...sounds like a perfect recipe for a trip to the emergency room to get hooks removed from someone's head. It's impressive that you were able to catch any and not have that happen with that kind of crew. How big was the boat?
    https://slimshadycustoms.com/ Slimshady Customs - Custom Painted Crankbaits & Blanks. (Bandit Style Deep-Divers and other various crankbaits)


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