Keeping Lake Erie waters safe
The perfect time, the perfect place - it is not often that anglers face this
situation. Lake Erie is the best walleye lake in the U. S., and summer is the
best time to fish it. Lake Erie anglers commonly bring home ice chests full of
walleyes, any one of which might be the walleye of a lifetime in another part of
According to Doug Johnson, a biologist with the Lake Erie Fisheries Unit at
Sandusky, Ohio, there will be a boost in the harvest of 1999 year-class
walleyes, fish in the 13- to 15-inch size range. Last year, the catch was
dominated by the 1996 year-class, which was the best in a decade. The 1999
year-class has been the best since then. Larger walleyes, mostly 28-30 inches,
still remain from the 1991 and 1993 year-classes.
Photo by Michael
Prime fishing occurs through July and August while the big lake is relatively
calm. Lake Erie is one of the most treacherous bodies of water on Earth, though
summer is typically the calmest time on the lake. Boaters should make frequent
use of weather radios.
Most July Lake Erie walleye trolling takes place miles from shore. Though
there are many launch sites, it is not uncommon to fish 10-20 miles from launch
Lake Erie can be divided into three major areas - the western, central and
eastern basins - each with different characteristics.
Generally, from west to east, the lake becomes deeper and the water clearer,
and trolling tactics vary accordingly.
"You have to be ready for a lot of things," said Charlie Brant, who
directs and competes in walleye tournaments from one end of Lake Erie to the
other. "But it really is not as difficult as it might sound. It is just
crankbaits, spoons or 'crawler harnesses. The real trick is getting your gear in
front of the walleyes."
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