Lake Erie fishing report for the week of June 3, 2018.: , ,
Fishing Report Posted: June 03, 2018

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Posted by Capt. Walt Ermansons on June 03, 2018 at 12:53:24:

Turn the page. One of my favorite Bob Seger songs come to mind as we turn the page from May to June. May for me was filled with plenty of highs and lows. Just this past week on Tuesday and still May we had our best trip to date this year. With a rare 5 man charter for me anymore, we easily boated 28 Walleyes and we were done before 1pm. And in my own defense, we should have easily had the limit of 30 because we lost plenty of fish just short of the net that I was looking at as they came off including a couple of real slobbers. But thatís fishing and you will never get them all. I was just excited to be moving rods at the pace that we were! The day I got into the fish the lake was calm and it was blistering hot. In the shallows surface temps jumped to 67 degrees! Game on! But the same afternoon a wicked cold northeast wind kicked in which lasted throughout the night. The next day I was off but when I got back out the following day I was dismayed to see a surface temp of 49 degrees! And just like that it killed the good bite. We struggled to capture 13 Walleyes that day and the following day even one less and we came in with 12 fish. Back again to being the ďKing of The DozenĒ! Pretty much as we did aboard THE TROPHY all of May! Still not horrible but just not up to everyone's expectations including my own. Highs and lows. Yup. I was more than ready to turn the page.

I would be lying if I did not admit how disappointed I am so far at the lack of easy limits. Last year by now it was stupid how many fish we were handling. Granted most were undersized but it was non stop Walleye and everywhere we went. I assumed that if even a fraction of these same fish were back this year on the same exact dates that they all would all be legal fish and without having to throw any back, we would easily be done in no time each day. Well, I got part of that assumption right. They indeed are all legal sized fish. We finally had one throw back undersized Walleye this past week. But thatís it for the whole month of May! Just one lonely 14Ē incher which was returned to the water unharmed. But the numbers of Walleye in the area right now compared to last year are flat not there. Just like the fish we caught all of May I figure the ones we are catching are just local Walleyes that are probably here year round. The huge schools of Walleyes including the crop of throw backs that we were throwing back in big numbers by now last year are still hung up out west somewhere. Blame it on near record high water levels and near record cold water in the eastern basin for this time of year due to the exceptionally cold spring. We have had no big westerly winds at all this May to push the warmer water from the shallower west end of the lake out our way. I am certain if that happened it would also push some migrating Walleyes out this way as well to join up with our local fish. But all we get is either nice calm weather or easterly big blows. Itís like a stopper in a bottle right now. All we can do is wait and hope.

As more proof that we are stuck with exceptionally cold water here off of Ashtabula Harbor, we caught for this area yet another very rare exotic cold water fish. In last weekends fishing report I told you about the nice Chinook Salmon that we caught the week before. Well we had yet another big surprise this past week when a good sized Lake Trout decided to once again hit our inside #2 Dipsy. This time hitting a big spoon. As did the Salmon, the strong Laker peeled the drag and put up a good tussle before we managed to slip the net under the beautiful fish. At first I thought it was either a big Steelhead Trout or another Chinook since we already caught one that fought similarly. But as the fish neared the back of the boat and I could see the bronze colored fish I immediately started thinking itís either a big Brown Trout or possibly a Laker which again is very, very rare for this region. Lake Trout are deep water, cold water fish. There is a fair number of them in the extreme east end of Erie where the water stays cold year round. Seldom are they caught this far west however. That alone along with the Salmon tells you that we have some real funky water out here right now. Again, in 32 years of chartering and thousands and thousands of trips run, (literally) we have only captured 5 Lake Trout including this fine specimen.

And not quite so exotic but kind of rare for trolling, we also had one day where we got into a slew of HUGE Catfish! We trolled into shallow water at one point this week in our never ending quest to find schools of Walleye when all of a sudden rods started going off like crazy. I knew they were all big fish and Iím thinking I hit the mother load of 10 pounders! Well I was wrong on both accounts. They weren't 10 pounds and they weren't Walleyes! They were more like 20 pound Catfish! WTF! (what the fish!) Unreal! At one point we even had a triple. All Cats and all HUGE! We went on to catch 7 or 8 and I had to get the heck out of there! Although Iíve trolled up a number of Catfish over the many years, itís always been just one here and one there. Never a bunch in short order like that. Chinooks, Lakers, Catfish... Itís like a friggin zoo out there right now! Lol! OK, that about does it for another week. My reports are never sugar coated like most ďFacebookĒ fishing reports that you see where when the guide struggles and sucks there are no posts that day but when they catch fish good they trip all over themselves to brag how quickly they caught them. Lol! Iím not afraid to tell you how it is. Keep it real I figure. And itís not easy out there right now. This slow fishing was acceptable back in early May. But not now. Not June. Weíve turned the page! Stay tuned...

Capt. Walt

[ Lake Erie & Tributaries Fishing Report ]