Tim and Nick Becker
Walleye fishing is about the same as it has been for the past few weeks, with scattered pods of fish moving from area to area as the water warms, but there is good news. The weather is improving and it’s making the time on the water fishing for the elusive beasts much more enjoyable. You can keep the long underwear in the dresser, and heavy layers of clothing at home. It’s time to start thinking shorts and flip flops. Finally!
It’s been an up and down spring with the warm temperatures taking their sweet time getting here, but they just might be here to stay now. Water temperatures are reaching the high 50’s to the low 60’s now, so it doesn’t feel like a refrigerator out there when the wind blows.
Good walleye catches are being reported from west of the islands all the way over to Lorain and Vermilion, and are scattered throughout the area.
Water conditions, water temperatures, and water clarity change in this system faster than most lakes, due to the several rivers that dump into it and the current that pushes from the western end to the eastern end. So, with these ever changing conditions, you need to be willing to move around a little more to find the fish again. That spot that was on fire last weekend might be a ghost town this weekend.
The best thing you can do before heading out to go fishing is to read the internet reports for the latest locations and presentations being used. Ask your local bait shop, too. They are very knowledgeable and will share the info with you if you ask them to.
Right now, just about everything is working to catch walleye. The jig fishermen are still catching fish off the reefs, whiles others are drift casting with the wind, using weapons and bottom bouncers all over the west end.
Trolling slow (1.3-1.6 mph) with single Colorado blade crawler harnesses behind 1 and 2 oz inline weights, or #1 and #2 Tadpole diving weights, attached to inline planer boards, has been my presentation for the past several weeks, and has been successful for both walleye and the pesky white perch and white bass. This weekend I will be switching up to the double willow leaf crawler harnesses, so that I can speed up my presentation to 1.8-1.9 mph, to help keep the white species from stealing my crawlers.
Some of the larger charter boats captains, like “Pooh Bear” and “Budman”, are on the radio a lot reporting what they are doing to catch fish while they are out there, and their presentation of Stinger Spoons behind Tru-Trip Jets, at speeds of 1.8-2.0 knots, has been working very well for them.
Listen to channel 79 on your marine radio while you’re out there and the chatter will help you catch more fish. All you have to do is ask, and someone will usually help you out.
Good luck this weekend and be safe!