Gone Fishin’

Lake Erie fishing is a sport and a pastime that appeals to young & old, male & female, novice & competitive angler. Check out that whopper on the right side of row eight above. That’s a 51.5-inch Muskie. WOW!!!!!!!  Me? I’ll be at the grill with some sides ready to whip-up a tasty Walleye or Perch dinner. Yummmm!!!!!!! :))))

Now that the lake is starting to clear, and the ice is headed east, it’s time to get out the boat (or call a buddy with a boat) and do some fishin’.  Lake Erie fishing, especially for perch and walleye, is some of the most prized angling in the United States and the best fishing in Ohio. Anglers often carefully watch the fishing reports to plan annual treks to Lake Erie, sometimes several times a year, to enjoy the chance at catching an impressive haul after a day or weekend on the water.  I know that serious anglers love heading out really early in the morning (it’s my favorite time of the day!) when the water is calm, and the fishies are biting. I on the other hand will be glad to get the skillet or grill fired up!  I am not a fisherman, something about bobbing on the water doesn’t work well for my constitution!  Here is some good info for the novice fisherman, along with links for charters, and more.  So, call some buds, grab a hat and some sunscreen, light snacks, and head on out to enjoy the day.  Thanks to eriecharter.com, lakeeriewalleyecharterfishing.com, and planetware.com.  Enjoy, and call me when it’s time to eat!!

Play this tune while you read to get you in the mood.

Lake Erie is the fourth largest of the five Great Lakes serving as the international boundary between the United States and Canada. On a clear day on the open water, you can see the mainland of Canada and the Lake Erie islands.

Lake Erie is the shallowest of the Great Lakes, and the entire shoreline stretches for 871 miles, touching the US state borders of Ohio, Michigan, Pennsylvania, and New York. There are so many fishing opportunities in this body of water, but most anglers come specifically for the walleye and perch.

In order to enjoy the best fishing that Lake Erie has to offer, you either need to hire a Lake Erie fishing charter, which is easy to do, or know a private captain who can take you. Fishing with an experienced captain on Lake Erie is essential.  Here’s some links: Try This and This

The weather conditions on the water are finicky, and the fishing regulations are strict. Having knowledge of the lake and its islands allows you to safely fish in just about any weather.

Lake Erie regulars know that the bait shop intel is some of the best information available. The walleye and perch are constantly on the move, and while most captains will know generally where they should be throughout the year, their specific locations and bite action will change by the day and oftentimes by the hour.

A favorite of Lake Erie fishing is perch.  Anglers say the best set-up is the hook sinker with a worm bait. Although you can also use a spinner tipped with a worm or a small jig head with a worm or minnow bait. Perch fishing with worms tends to produce the best results, but maggots, prawns and lobworms are also amongst the best bait for catching perch. Recently released Ohio Department of Natural Resources yellow perch hatch results indicate more of the same: overall mediocrity, leaning toward the not-so-good side.     )Depending on the fishing zones you choose, you will likely experience different results.

Many anglers also head to Lake Erie for the prized walleye. Walleye require different bait and fishing methods. Strict bag limit and size regulations for walleyes keep the fish populations in Lake Erie in check. It’s one of the reasons that the walleyes in these basins are able to grow to such large sizes.  People come from all over the region and US to fish for walleyes in Lake Erie, especially in the early spring and fall. The sheer quantity of fish and relative unavailability in the supermarket make it a popular sport fish.

There are various techniques used for getting bait into the strike zone for walleyes. Trolling is a common method that enables anglers to use crank/stick baits in the spring and fall and spoons and nightcrawler harnesses in the summer. All Lake Erie anglers have their own preferences when it comes to the use of planer boards, divers, downriggers, weighted spinners, or flatlining while targeting walleyes.

1. What to Know Before You Go. Lake Erie fishing is exciting, and you will relive the trip with every bite of perch and walleye that you cook for dinner, but there are some key things to know before you go. First things first: educate yourself on the Lake Erie fishing regulations. Since bag limits are reviewed each year, it is important to know what they are for the species that you are targeting, as the regulations are strict.

2.  Be sure to obtain a valid Ohio fishing license from the Ohio Department of Natural Resources or from the state you will be fishing from. Lake Erie is surrounded by the US states of Ohio, Michigan, Pennsylvania, and New York, which all have their own regulations and fishing license requirements.

3.  If you are susceptible to sea sickness, be sure to wear a motion-sickness patch or take motion-sickness prevention pills with you. The Lake Erie waters can mimic the ocean in inclement or windy weather, making for a rocky day on the boat. Hence the reason I do the cooking!!

4.  Hiring a Lake Erie fishing charter is easy to do, and it is one of the best ways to make sure you get right on top of the fish that you want to target. There are several types of charters available depending on your preference. You can hire a private charter, which is more expensive and generally takes groups of four to six people by pre-booking.

5.  Another option for Lake Erie fishing charters are walk-on head boats, where you just show up and go. These are nice options for people who decide to go fishing at the last minute because they are convenient. They are also more affordable than private charters, making them great options for families and groups who are on a budget.

6. Where to Depart. Lake Erie has three main basins from which anglers generally depart to fish for perch and walleye. Port Clinton is the Walleye Capital of the World, so it is the go-to launch for the Western Basin and that is where you will find the largest concentration of Lake Erie fishing charters. The Western Basin is productive in the spring during spawning season and in the fall.  The Central Basin, stretching along the northeastern Ohio border and part of Pennsylvania, is popular in the late spring and summer. Popular Ohio departures for the Central Basin include Huron, Lorain, Fairport, Geneva-on-the-Lake, Ashtabula, and Conneaut.  The Eastern Basin stretches from Pennsylvania to New York and Canada.

7.  Other Fish to Catch on Lake Erie. when it comes to Lake Erie fishing, there are other species that are great to target as well. Here are some of the other species that are likely to make an appearance:

Smallmouth Bass. The smallmouth bass in Lake Erie are a popular species for anglers. There are some strict regulations regarding smallmouth bass to help the populations get through spawning season, so you will want to review those if you plan to fish for this species in the spring or early summer. Smallmouth bass can be fun to catch, as they are active fighters and oftentimes jet out of the water.

Steelhead. Anglers enjoy fishing for steelhead because they are quite aggressive on the line. They also make for great table fare. The Ohio Division of Wildlife has been releasing steelhead trout in Lake Erie since the mid 90s, and they have become a popular fish for anglers.

Lake Trout. Lake Erie lake trout can grow quite large and are nice to catch. They are stocked in Ohio waters, so there are generally healthy populations.

Sheepshead. Often considered by anglers to be a junk fish, sheepshead are exciting to catch. These are quite popular to get on the end of your line while fishing for something else. Most anglers do not keep sheepshead, but they provide a lively intermission to your day of fishing.

8.  Planning a Lake Erie fishing trip is fairly simple and can become a yearly tradition as it is for so many anglers. Start your planning by deciding what type of species you want to fish for, as that will determine the time of year to go and the location of your departure.

If possible, give yourself a couple of days to make the most of the trip and ensure you have an ice chest full of fish to take home. At the very least, if one day is all you can do, try to plan the trip when you have the most flexibility to change the date if weather conditions are not favorable. Keep in mind that the captain has the final say when it comes to assessing the weather conditions.

Look up local resources like the Lake Erie Shore & Islands to find information on things to do in the area, lodging, and restaurants that you can plan to visit during your stay. They also provide daily weather and fishing reports that you can check before and during your time on the water.

Catch & Cook with Robert Field

How to Get a Fishing License in Ohio with pictures

 

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DO YOU LIKE CONTESTS?
Me, too.

As you may know the Kowalski Heat Treating logo finds its way
into the visuals of my Friday posts.
I.  Love.  My.  Logo.
One week there could be three logos.
The next week there could be 15 logos.
And sometimes the logo is very small or just a partial logo showing.
But there are always logos in some of the pictures.
So, I challenge you, my beloved readers, to count them and send me a
quick email with the total number of logos in the Friday post.
On the following Tuesday I’ll pick a winner from the correct answers
and send that lucky person some great KHT swag.
So, start counting and good luck!  
Oh, and the logos at the very top header don’t count.
Got it? Good.  :-))))
Have fun!!

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Rising

(top) I just love Dave Sandford’s photos of waves on Lake Erie…see more photos and his story HERE. (row two) A profile of all the great lakes. Erie is by far the shallowest. (row three) A really cool illustration of what’s going on with the water. (row four) A map of our location and a Great Lakes water flow map. Who knew? (row five) A nice simple wind set-up illustration. (row six) No, it’s not a graph of my heart rate while at a CAVS game, it’s actually 100 years of water levels on Lake Erie. Download a version you can even read. (row seven) High water levels or not, these people can still enjoy our fresh water lake. (row eight) This guy just caught a Perch! And if he knows what he’s doing in the kitchen, tonight’s dinner could look like this.  (row nine) Ducks over the lake. (bottom) A satellite view of the lakes. Ontario at the lower right. Huron at the middle right. And Erie in the middle. There I am waving to you at the base of that gigantic map pin. 

 

As I look out my window (yes, I have an THE most amazing view of Lake Erie), and watch another rain storm pass by, it got me to thinking about this year’s water levels in Lake Erie, and the surrounding great lakes.  What causes the levels to rise, how does the water flow, and will we have relief when the sun starts to burn through the clouds (hurry).  So, I did some digging and found some answers and trivia you can use at your next backyard cookout.  Enjoy, and special thanks to Laura Johnson, author of Rock the Lake (rockthelake.com) and The US Army Corp of Engineers for these great up to date links and info.

  1. Is Lake Erie higher than normal this year?Yep. Click this link  This means boaters are struggling to climb up from their docks as the waves are destroying property as it erodes beaches and bluffs.  The shoreline and marinas are dealing with ice and high-water damage.  So far, the lake is still 7 inches short of the record high set in 1986 (surprisingly it’s now about the same as last year). In mid-February, water levels jumped quickly, so they were nearly a foot higher than they were in early spring 2017, said Scudder Mackey, chief of the Coastal Management office for the Ohio Department of Natural Resources.  Lake Erie is as high as many people can remember.  “This year it went through the roof,” said Rob Quinn, who lives on Kelleys Island four months a year and has seen his boat lifts torn right off the dock. “There are weird things happening because the water level is so high.”
  2. Do the winds effect water levels?The high-water level further intensifies a natural effect called a seiche (pronounced SAYSH) – a standing wave in an enclosed or partially enclosed body of water. Seiches and seiche-related phenomena have been observed on lakes, reservoirs, swimming pools, bays, harbors and seas.  Locally we experience a change in water level across the lake because of wind or atmospheric pressure. Winds across Lake Erie can mean a 10-foot differencebetween Toledo and Buffalo.
  3. What determines water levels?  All the Great Lakes have high water levels right now. Lake levels generally depend on the amount of precipitation in each watershed and the amount of evaporation of water off the lake – especially in the fall, when cold, dry air sucks moisture out of the warmer lakes. Get this great tracking link 
  4. Why do levels change?Water levels change very quickly on Lake Erie because it’s so small and shallow, Mackey said.  “You could have a major precipitation event and the next day you’ll see a change in the water level.”  Lake Erie levels are also affected by the amount of precipitation in the upper Great Lakes: Superior, Michigan and Huron.  About 92 percent of the water in Lake Erie comes from the upper lakes, through the Detroit River, into Lake Erie. Lake Erie then flows into the Niagara River, into Lake Ontario.
  5. Why are lake levels high?There was an increase in rain and snow the last two years in the upper lakes, Mackey said. There were also more frequent, stronger storms on Lake Erie, especially this past June.
  6. Have lake levels broken records?  Not this year.  Lake Ontario broke records last year, but for Erie, the highest water was in 1986. That was 7 inches higher than now, according to the Army Corps of Engineers. There was high water across the Great Lakes in 1973 and 1974 and in 1997 and 1998, Mackey said. In 1999, the water level dropped dramatically, about 3 feet. It stayed relatively steady until about 2007, when It gradually began to build.
  7. Can the government control water levels? There is no human regulation of water levels in Lake Erie, unlike in Lakes Superior and Ontario, at either end of the system, Mackey said. Ontario set records and suffered massive flooding last year.  Lake levels tend to be cyclical.
  8. What’s happening to land?  Clay bluffs in Lake and Ashtabula counties are especially susceptible to erosion and can quickly lose large slumps of land into the lake. Cuyahoga County has bedrock bluffs, which tend to be stronger.  Property owners have lost docks, stairs to their beach and structures meant to combat erosion, Mackey said. Though whole houses have fallen off cliffs in the past, he hasn’t seen that this year.
  9. How are people reacting?  Boaters may think the high-water levels are great, since they don’t have to worry about hitting rocks in shallow areas or having to deal with marinas being dredged, Mackey said.  But there are some issues for boaters.  On Facebook, Jeff Walker said boats cannot get under the Route 6 bridge in Vermilion and so, can’t leave the dock. John Ready said the east breakwall in the Cuyahoga River is barely visible, creating a hazard for inexperienced boaters.
  10. Is this effecting property owners?  Property owners have experienced major damage, though.  So far this spring, property on the east side of Kelleys Island lost 8-10 feet of land, said Ned Williams.  Quinn added 30 feet of concrete to his dock, so he can reach the end. “I’m just one guy. The whole shoreline is that way,” he said. “A lot of concrete trucks have been coming to Kelleys for construction projects.”
  11. What can property owners do?Many property owners installed sea walls, rivetments, groins, concrete modules and other kinds of shoreline protection the last time the lake was high, 30-40 years ago, Mackey said. Those projects are coming to the end of their useful life. “People will put almost anything in the water to try to protect their property,” Mackey said. “We want to make sure the materials that are used don’t pose a public health or safety hazard and don’t degrade Lake Erie. You don’t want broken up concrete with rebar sticking out.”
  12. What’s the forecast?  Lake Erie folks should see some relief. The Army corps of Engineers forecasts that lake levels will drop 3 inches by July 15.

 

Some things to do right now:
Watch & listen to the Eurythmics – Here Comes the Rain Again
Watch & listen to Singin In the Rain
And…
10 Things You Didn’t Know About Lake Erie

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I’m So Lucky

lake view 768 blog

(top left) From my office window. (top right three photos) From my roof top. (second row left) Freighters pass everyday. (second row middle) A commemorative stamp to Great Lakes Transportation. (second row right) Great Lakes depth chart. (third row left) Frenchman Louis Jolliet first sighted Lake Erie in 1669. (third row middle) Great Walleye fishing! (third row right) Balloonist John Steiner’s first attempt at crossing the Lake Erie in a flimsy balloon didn’t pan out very well. But the whack job from Philadelphia finally made it in 1857. (bottom left) Cool view of Lake Erie from space. (bottom right) Cool view of Lake Erie from the lake during a storm in October. Sports photographer Dave Sandford’s passion is shooting Lake Erie’s monstrous waves. Read about this guy and see more of his images HERE

 

Years ago when Mom and Dad chose our current location, they knew it was special because of the visibility from the highway. They both wanted everyone to see KHT! Although they probably never realized just how special it was. Back then, inexpensive rent, open manufacturing space and capable local workers, coupled with easy “on/off” access to the highway was what caught their eyes. Being just outside of downtown, along with the local/regional “neighborhood” customers, made Dad’s decision a good one when he started KHT.

Over the years, as most of you know, we’ve acquired adjoining land, added buildings and built needed additions to handle our growth and our expanded array of PIA (pain in the @%$) specialty treatment services. We’ve remained “committed” to Ohio City and Cleveland, and see positive things happening all around us still today.

One great outcome of our location on the “Northshore” is the office view I have, designed to take advantage of the beautiful views of Lake Erie and downtown. Each morning, being the early bird I am, I get to come in really early, and watch the lake and the city come to life. With spring finally here, it’s even more beautiful – awesome trees, blue water, the return of lake freighters, sunrises/sunsets and the renewal of the highway and walkways across the street. If you are ever in town, swing by and take a peek with our telescope … and Thanks Mom and Dad for the great spot!!

So, for my engineers and trivia lovers out there, as I sit here soaking in the views, I thought I’d pass along some Lake Erie trivia. Enjoy.

  • Lake Erie is the eleventh largest lake in the world (by surface area), and the fourth largest of the Great Lakes.
  • The Lake is 241 miles long, 57 miles wide and has an average depth of 62 ft., with a maximum depth of 210 ft. The water surface area is 9910 sq. miles and its shoreline equals 871 linear miles.
  • Ninety-five percent of Lake Erie’s total inflow of water comes via the Detroit River water from all the “upper lakes” (Superior, Michigan and Huron) with help from the St. Clair River, Lake St. Clair and numerous tributaries. The rest comes from precipitation. The lake’s water retention/replacement time is 2.6 years.
  • Lake Erie is the shallowest of the Great Lakes and is especially vulnerable to fluctuating water levels, fast storms and choppy waters.
  • In 1669, the Frenchman Louis Jolliet was the first documented European to sight Lake Erie, although there is speculation that Étienne Brûlé may have come across it in 1615. Lake Erie was the last of the Great Lakes to be explored by Europeans, since the Iroquois who occupied the Niagara River area were in conflict with the French, and did not allow explorers or traders to pass through.
  • The name Erie comes from its southern shore which was at one time occupied by a nation known to the Iroquois League as the “Erielhonan,” or the “long-tails.”. This name is always mentioned by the early French writers as meaning “cat”; Lac du Chat means “Lake of the Cat.” (reference to the wild cat or panther).
  • Wind Setups (wind pushing the water from one end of the lake toward the other), usually from west to east, have produced large short-term differences in water levels at the eastern and western ends of the lake, the record being more than 16 ft. Throughout the lake’s history, winds have been so strong, they have stranded boats in the western basin harbors due to shallow waters.
  • In 1857, a balloonist named John Steiner of Philadelphia made an ambitious trip across the lake. During his trip, he arose to the height of about three miles, but said he thinks his balloon bounded from the water at least twenty times, striking and then rebounding like a ball, going into the air from twenty to fifty feet, while still rushing down the lake at railroad speed. Just off the shore of Canada, he splashed down, abandoned the balloon, leaped into the water and swam to a nearby boat.
  • During the Prohibition years, a “great deal of alcohol crossed Erie” along with “mobster corpses” dumped into the Detroit River, which sometimes washed up on the beaches of Pelee Island. According to one account, Al Capone hid a “fortune” in the walls of the Middle Island luxury club, that featured a basement casino with poker tables and slot machines. No money was found.
  • In 1999, the warm lake almost became a problem for two nuclear power plants which require cool lake water to keep their reactors cool. The warm summer caused lake temperatures to come close to the 85 °F, the limit necessary to keep the plants cool.
  • The Lake is home to one of the world’s largest freshwater commercial fisheries, and is the most abundant of the Great Lakes. Due to the lake’s relatively mild temperatures, it’s “loaded with superstars” such as steelhead, walleye, pickerel, smallmouth bass, perch, bass, trout and salmon.
  • The lake is also responsible for microclimates that are important to agriculture. Along its north shore is one of the richest areas of Canada’s fruit and vegetable production. Along the southeastern shore in Ohio, Pennsylvania, and New York is an important grape growing region, as are the islands in the lake. Apple orchards are abundant in northeast Ohio to western New York due to the climate created by the lake.