Couple Questions if someone could help. Couple Questions if someone could help. Couple Questions if someone could help. Couple Questions if someone could help.
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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Nov 2015
    Location
    Indiana
    Posts
    5

    Default Couple Questions if someone could help.

    Hello,

    I’m sure lots of these questions been asked before but I live on Lake Michigan and finally got a boat to fish Lake Erie after lots of dreaming. If someone has a couple minutes who frequents the lake a couple questions please.

    How long (meaning until what time of year) is casting or trolling good in the western basin? I’d be coming from Indiana so prefer to stay in the western basin. If it slows in the western basin how Far East do you have to go later in the summer to keep catching?

    My main interest is casting (done lots of trolling in Lake Michigan, looking for something different) and seems there is nice structure in the western basin on the Canadian side. I don’t see any reports from people running into Canada to fish for walleye? Is there a reason for that? Fishing better, worse or the same on that side?

    I know the St Clair guys run to Canada to fish musky all the time so assuming it would be allowable on Erie the same?

    Thanks for any advice anyone can provide!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Location
    north coast ohio
    Posts
    168

    Default Re: Couple Questions if someone could help.

    WB casting when does the music end? Some charters operate all year casting here. But it becomes difficult to get limits if you don't have a good crew and current info on where the fish are located.

    Once WB fishing slows around 3rd week of July for me, go East to Huron to Cleveland. Cleveland is only another hour from Port Clinton by car. The deeper waters allow fish to be closer to shore than in WB so casting is still possible.

    Fishing in Canada? People still do go into Canada. During Covid the country was shut down to visitor fishing so it may have tailed off. That and the fact there have been so many walleye around you didn't have to go into Canada. If you are fishing Kellies Island shoal and not having success and have your Canada license, I'm sure it makes sense to go North a few miles North and try for fish that have way fewer people fishing for them.

    Hope this helps,
    Rickerd

  3. #3

    Default Re: Couple Questions if someone could help.

    I will start with your last question first. I fish Canadian waters often from the MI side. You are allowed to run into Canadian waters to fish, as long as you have your CAN license, don't touch land, don't anchor and don't come in contact with any other vessels. You do not have to call in or report to customs, etc.

    The fishing can be better over there at times, however, it has been so good in US waters that there is no need to run over there right now. We used to go over by vehicle and launch out of Leamington or Wheatley, but that changed with the pandemic. Haven't been back over by vehicle since. We are allowed to now, but you have to have a vax card, a negative Covid test within the last 72 hours and the traffic at the bridge has been a nightmare (from what I hear).

    The western basin is usually pretty good through July 4th or so, then it starts to slow down. Prime casting time for the western basin is really from the end of April until July 1st or so. There are always some fish in the western basin (mostly eaters) well past that date. But if you want the bigger mature fish, you need to follow them East. IMO, casting for them is much harder in the Central basin, as the water is much deeper, so trying to keep your baits at the right depth can be a challenge.

    Around mid July or so, we would normally run to the Central basin on the CAN side and fish out of Wheatley for Steelhead with spoons. We typically get a ton of walleyes as "by-catch". Several trips over there they were actually a nuisance. We had to check each line every few minutes to remove the 13"-16" walleyes. It was not uncommon to have them on every line as we checked them. They were like white bass. But we do get big ones too. They are usually a bit higher in the water column than the steelies, and they don't like it moving quite as fast. We troll 2.8 - 3.4 mph for steelies. Walleyes are usually best at 2.4 - 3.0.
    https://slimshadycustoms.com/ Slimshady Customs - Custom Painted Crankbaits & Blanks. (Bandit Style Deep-Divers and other various crankbaits)

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jul 2015
    Location
    nroyalton
    Posts
    951

    Default Re: Couple Questions if someone could help.

    The reason nobody has been fishing Canada yet,has been the fishing has been so good in American waters,no need to burn Expensive gas.Canada also has been closed to fish the past two seasons due to pandemic.We have recently got our canadian liscences and looking foward to fishing up there soon.
    Back in the day when we would only cast and mostly fish west of the bass islands,we would fish for walleye through the end of July and switch over to perch the first of August.There were also good numbers of perch back then though.
    About 15yrs ago i started fishing with a guy who enjoyed casting for walleye on the rocks in canadian waters.We would target the east side of Pelee,beginning in June and did very well catching nice fish.Very few boats and we would catch well through August some years.Then the emerald shiners crashed and did not catch well on the rocks when there were no minnows there.
    When the waters start to cool around the first couple weeks of Sept,the walleye start moving up onto the reefs to feed.By the third week of Sept,have done well casting on those reefs.Particulary,the easterly reefs.Our favorite was Gull Island Shoal.
    We almost exclusively troll now,and we do need to head further East to catch our fish as the water warms.We have done well around the weather bouy the past two seasons.Thats about as far east as we go,since we do not trailor our boats.But with $6 gas,not sure how many of those runs we will be making this season.

  5. #5

    Default Re: Couple Questions if someone could help.

    Quote Originally Posted by itsbob View Post
    The reason nobody has been fishing Canada yet,has been the fishing has been so good in American waters,no need to burn Expensive gas.Canada also has been closed to fish the past two seasons due to pandemic.We have recently got our canadian liscences and looking foward to fishing up there soon.
    Back in the day when we would only cast and mostly fish west of the bass islands,we would fish for walleye through the end of July and switch over to perch the first of August.There were also good numbers of perch back then though.
    About 15yrs ago i started fishing with a guy who enjoyed casting for walleye on the rocks in canadian waters.We would target the east side of Pelee,beginning in June and did very well catching nice fish.Very few boats and we would catch well through August some years.Then the emerald shiners crashed and did not catch well on the rocks when there were no minnows there.
    When the waters start to cool around the first couple weeks of Sept,the walleye start moving up onto the reefs to feed.By the third week of Sept,have done well casting on those reefs.Particulary,the easterly reefs.Our favorite was Gull Island Shoal.
    We almost exclusively troll now,and we do need to head further East to catch our fish as the water warms.We have done well around the weather bouy the past two seasons.Thats about as far east as we go,since we do not trailor our boats.But with $6 gas,not sure how many of those runs we will be making this season.
    I only cast I fish for eyes in WB until middle of August then it slows do to warm water. We then start fishing Canada not prior 2 years as it was shut down We primarily target structure around Hen island. Some days we are only ones around. Casting later in the year does require patients as it can be long time between fish especially on calmer days as you are not drifting much. Use you Fish finder & work the fish you find As Bob said as the water cools you can start catching eyes again late September through time to pull boat around the reef complexes. But Perchin is good September through time to pull boats so we do our fair share of that as well. Canada trips this year may be held to a minimum with $6.25 gas.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Nov 2015
    Location
    Indiana
    Posts
    5

    Default Re: Couple Questions if someone could help.

    Thank you so much for the informational replies!

    I live right on the southern tip of Lake Michigan and realistically will only make 3-4 trips over per year, only looking for eaters and action.

    I have no contacts on the lake so every time would rely on “finding fish myself”. Thought maybe if the fish on the Canadian side see less boat traffic it would be a possibility to run there and consistently have some action, versus searching all over on the US side.

    I could also trailer to the central basin and troll (yuck) and while setting rods wouldn’t be any problem whether boards, dipsy divers or such (from Lake Michigan trolling) I still wouldn’t know if cranks catch all year or I’d need to pull spinners, spoons later into the summer.

    Don’t want to drive 4 hours and troll when I can do that 10 minutes from home.

    Thanks so much again.

  7. #7

    Default Re: Couple Questions if someone could help.

    If your trolling, huron or Vermillion would be my choice nearly year round. There's always fish out front with short runs usually. Just need the depth they're coming from.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
    Location
    Reside in Columbus, OH. Have place in Perrysburg, OH.
    Posts
    347

    Default Re: Couple Questions if someone could help.

    Icingeyes,

    Previous posts all good advice. It comes down to this:

    1. There will always be some walleye in the Western Basin, just not nearly as many once the water temperature gets to summer temps, over 72-74 degrees. April / May / first half of June lots of migratory fish are in the Western Basin. Starting mid June or as the water temps get high enough they start moving to a little cooler and less algae waters, either east or north / northwest. This transition takes about a month or so for those fish to leave. Many fisherfolks follow that pattern and move to fishing from Huron east or they head way up to the Canadian line out by West Sister Island closer to the Detroit River's inflow of cooler higher O2 water or east of Kelleys Island to deeper water.

    2. There is a "resident" population of walleye in the Western Basin that remain all year. They move around looking for the best water conditions and prey. Wind direction and speed change the currents and move water around. You will find good to decent numbers in a location one day and the next they are gone. After the mayfly hatch is over (going on right now) it's hit or miss. Yes, having good fishing reports makes a big difference then because the number of fish is much less, so finding them and feeding groups isn't as easy, but can still be done and you can have some really good fishing. Late June and July still provide good walleye fishing in the Western Basin, it's just a little harder to find them.

    3. The Lake is full of walleye as the population is very high right now and will continue to be for years. So fishing everywhere is better. There will continue to be good populations of "eater" size walleye in the Western Basin all summer. The bigger fish generally move out by mid July. If you want bigger fish then fish Huron east, as the fishing is closer to shore even then (less fuel). Otherwise on any given day you can catch a limit in the Western Basin.

    4. Walleye can move a long distance in a short period of time. They can move 8-10 miles in one day to find the water conditions they want. This is one reason a location might have few or no walleye one day and a day or two later have plenty. The experienced charter captains know this as well as years of fishing patterns. Once one location slows down they know where to try next. I know one captain that only drift fishes and he fishes the Western Basin (or maybe will go as far east as Huron) all season. He's always full booked. He knows where to go all season. Right now he's fishing Canadian waters mostly to "get away from all the boats". But he'll be back around the Islands in a week or so.

    5. Canadian waters do provide some great to good fishing. But those waters are the same depths as the rest of the Western Basin, so they have the same pattern. But they get a lot less fishing pressure, thus a lot less boat traffic, so the fish are less disturbed. And they get more direct Detroit River flow so the waters up there, in the western portion, tend to have more O2 and less algae from mid-summer on into September.

    The Western Basin provides good walleye fishing all the way in to early August. But it generally takes more knowledge, good updated fishing reports, and fishing skill to catch limits after mid June or so. That said, there are days in late June and July that are as good as earlier in the season.

  9. #9

    Default Re: Couple Questions if someone could help.

    If you are going to attempt casting in the central basin, I would start by trolling first to locate them, and then switch. Otherwise, it might take you forever to get them dialed in. You can also drift for them with the right wind conditions.

    If you are just looking to catch fish casting, you can go into LSC and cast for smallies during July and August. I do well on top-water baits early in the day, and then switch to other stuff. Cranks, spy-baits, swim-baits, etc. Last August, when they reopened the border, we were getting limits of keeper walleyes along with some giant sheep & some bonus muskies jigging in the upper D-River. We didn't get any large walleyes, but the action was great and the sheep will make your wrists sore fighting them Couple Questions if someone could help.-giant-sheep_aug_2022-jpg. Couple Questions if someone could help.-tims-musky_aug_2022-jpg
    https://slimshadycustoms.com/ Slimshady Customs - Custom Painted Crankbaits & Blanks. (Bandit Style Deep-Divers and other various crankbaits)

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Location
    north coast ohio
    Posts
    168

    Default Re: Couple Questions if someone could help.

    Now that is the experience he is missing, sore arms from giant sheephead!

    Rickerd


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