Fishing report for the week of September 3, 2023: , ,
Fishing Report Posted: September 03, 2023

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[ Lake Erie & Tributaries Fishing Report ]

Posted by Capt. Walt Ermansons on September 03, 2023 at 11:17:52:

From bad to worst! After I posted my last report that primarily dealt with how bad the winds had been on Erie here off of Ashtabula in that previous time period, I went and re-read my own report. And I thought to myself, man I sound like a complaining, whining little Nancy. After all this is Lake Erie. It should be expected to be rough from time to time. Just suck it up! But as bad as that two week period was, it was NOTHING compared to what Mother Erie had in store for us for the following two weeks. Dear Mother of God has it been rough! Almost everyday in this last two week period it has been down right horrific! Even to the point where I lost a good half dozen trips that I flat out canceled the night before and one trip where I scratched and crawled my way out there about a mile before I aborted in 6 foot plus waves and said, F this! And out of the remaining days, we fished almost daily in just plain nasty crap seas with maybe with just one or two days out of that period that were actually halfway decent conditions.

I've been fishing Lake Erie a long time. 37 years as a full time charter captain and fishing guide. And I fished Lake Erie a good 10 years before I started my own charter service. I can tell you that I truly believe that this past month of August, 2023 was bar none the roughest and windiest August that I can ever remember. I mean, just plain horrible! As I mentioned in my last report, August is usually a month where you pray for a breath of air. Super hot air temperatures, stagnant humid air and buggy to boot. We had absolutely none of that . Most mornings we all had sweatshirts and light jackets on in the gusty cool winds. Super long, hard beating slow rides out to near the Canadian line where the big schools of Walleye have been holding tight for the last 5 or 6 weeks at least now. And with no signs yet of them wanting to move back any closer. What a month it was!

But if and when you got back out there the Walleye fishing has been simply outstanding offshore! The rest of this fishing report as far as catching is concerned you can just go and copy and paste from my previous reports. Fast and furious! As I had mentioned before, most days in the rough water it takes us longer to get out there and then back home again then it does to knock out full limits of Walleyes. Some very nice fish at that! Steelhead Trout continue to evade us now after a strong showing earlier mid summer. People ask about it everyday. Personally it does not break my heart. Most people donít enjoy eating them anyway and all they do is break crap and tangle lines. If it donít go on the counter, it may as well be a Sheephead. Speaking of which as they most always do in the late summer and early fall, the big Sheephead are starting to make their presence known. I absolutely hate when they start turning on. Big brute half snagged Sheephead on a long wire rods will make the toughest of muscle men cry like a little girl after trying to winch them in after about 15 minutes or more! And heaven forbid if you donít have any real strong guys onboard that are willing to put up with that kind of punishment! Donít look at me! Iíll cut the damn line before I ruin my friggin arms! Lol!

I get people that ask me all the time why are all those Walleye that far out there. In this final picture, you will see the reason why. Smelts! Mountains and mountains of rolling bait towers down super deep and the Walleyes are mixed in right with them just gorging themselves! Believe it or not, this gob of Smelt in this picture was all in one Walleyes mouth when I netted it. I couldnít believe my eyes! It wasnít even one of the bigger ones! What a glutton! And almost all the others that are making it to the boat are spewing mouthfuls of bait as well including Emerald Shiners and even some Shad. What a feeding frenzy that is going on out there right now! Itís actually a miracle that with all that forage thatís out there and as full as they are that these fish will still hit a artificial lure. Fortunately they always have room for ďjust one moreĒ Lol! So it is indeed now September. Weíve put that nasty windy August in the rear view mirror. What will September bring us? Lord only knows. I canít imagine September being as bad as what we all just went through. Time will tell I guess. This most likely will be my last full bore fishing report for this year. Iíll have a little something for you in two weeks but it will most likely be me signing off for the season as trips begin to dwindle off and my attention will be focusing on winterizing and wrapping things up for another year. Talk to you one more time here in another couple of fast weeks...

Capt. Walt
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