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



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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