Lake Erie fishing report for the week of June 24, 2018.: , ,
Fishing Report Posted: June 24, 2018

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[ Lake Erie & Tributaries Fishing Report ]

Posted by Capt. Walt Ermansons on June 24, 2018 at 00:04:53:

A very special year! Itís becoming to be quite clear that we are all witnessing something very special and unprecedented in 2018. A school of hungry younger Walleyes that literally consumes the entire lake. It's hard to believe that last month off Ashtabula that we were struggling to catch a dozen or so fish each day. Now that the water has warmed and some of the Walleyes that were in the western basin have moved out this way it has been incredibly easy fishing. Everyone is limiting out! I wrote about it last year when we were throwing all those 14Ē inchers back. Wait till next year. I wrote about it in my mid winter Jan. 1st report. Wait till this summer! And after the tougher then normal start out this way earlier in our season I was beginning to second guess myself. Could I have been that wrong? But when the fish finally arrived, they arrived in numbers that nobody could have ever imagined. Even myself!

My career has spanned 4 decades now. The 80ís, the 90ís, the 2000ís and right through the 2000ísĖteens. I have lived and worked through and enjoyed what the biologists and Dept. of Natural Resources have described as the greatest Walleye hatches ever. In the 80ís we had the hatch of 1982. These fish quickly grew and overtook the entire lake. Fishing was incredibly good starting about 1985 and lasting for well over a decade with the fish being bigger with each passing year. This batch of fish is what enticed me to quit my good paying machinist job and pursue a career as a full time charter boat captain and fishing guide on Lake Erie. This hatch made for fabulous fishing for well over a decade. It seemed like the well would never go dry. But after a series of poor hatches and constant pressure the class of 1982 was finally about depleted and we had a handful of leaner years.

Along came the record breaking hatch of 2003. Mother Nature always seems to know when to throw us a bone. It took several years for these fish to come online but man oh man was fishing ever fantastic the latter 2000ís and early 2000í-teens when these fish matured. The ODNR still insists this was the greatest Walleye hatch ever. Same scenario. The great fishing from this record hatch carried us for well over a decade. But as before with the 82 hatch, this year class finally got thinned out and between fishing pressure and natural mortality things were beginning to look rather grim. And then came the hatches of 2014 and especially 2015. Although the ODNR still claims 2003 was the greatest, anybody that spends all their time fishing on the lake and is constantly aware of what others are doing up and down the lake will argue that point. I for one am one of them! I thought I had seen some spectacular fishing after those other record hatches but all those great years are pale in comparison with what's going on out there right now. Up and down the entire lake now. Everyone. These 3 year old fish are everywhere and thicker than fleas. I have never seen anything like it and can only imagine how much better it will be in the coming years as these fish continue to mature and soon all become the 5 to 10 pounders that Lake Erie is famous for! I have never been more excited to be a charter captain!

But is too much of a good thing a bad thing? I personally donít think so myself but it has brought on some problems that we have never had to deal with before. Everyone and I mean everyone, all the charters alike and all the private boaters have been limiting out much quicker then most are accustomed to. Some days actually too quick. I know that aboard THE TROPHY I have literally done what I can short of going to one rod or something stupid like that to slow things down to give my guests some sense of a longer trip before we are maxed out. I have even reeled in fish myself so we can come in with more fish or try to spend more time out there. It matters not. Fishing is just too good right now. We do not do catch and release when trolling because most trolling fish are stressed out and do not survive if you throw them back. And itís pointless. All the fish right now are practically all the same size. Itís not like you can weed through them looking for larger fish. I say just enjoy it. You are witnessing history. Things will settle down with time as these fish get thinned out some and become more spread out over time. It will also be a whole different ball game as these fish indeed start to become trophies rather then the good eaters that they are now. But I always say, take what the lake gives you and be happy. Of the two evils, I would rather catch them too quickly then not catch them at all or struggle doing so. Been there, done that. Not fun! But right now we are living through something that nobody has ever seen before. Something very, very special! Enjoy!


[ Lake Erie & Tributaries Fishing Report ]