Lake Erie fishing report for January 1, 2016: , ,
Fishing Report Posted: January 01, 2016

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Posted by Capt. Walt Ermansons on January 01, 2016 at 06:52:41:

30 years of memories! Happy New Year & happy new fishing season everyone! Our 30th season of running fishing charters on Lake Erie! It does not even seem possible that I have been doing this for so very long now. Seems like just yesterday that I as a very young man had a dream of fishing for a living. I took some schooling, got my Coast Guard license, bought my first big brand new charter boat and quit my good paying machine shop job to be a full time charter boat captain. As scary as that all was I never looked back and here we are 30 years later. Not much has changed over those many years except that we are on our 2nd (and last) boat, have run several thousand charter trips and well, I am not quite such a young man anymore!

Most of my mid winter reports here online in the past have just been recaps of my previous fishing season that I had just finished up. In this special anniversary report, Iím going to take a moment and try to ever so briefly reflect upon the past 29 years. Though not so much has changed for me personally in these 30 years, much as changed around me in the sport. Most notably, my colleagues that I started out with so very many years ago are all but gone. Some have just given up on it, some have retired, and sadly some have passed away. Names of good friends that have passed away such as Capt. Ed Shavelin-Fish Chaser Charters, Don Mansfield-Happy Hooker Charters, Capt. Freddy Wells-No Slack Charters, and a couple of my very biggest idols that I myself really looked up to. The very BEST of the best. Guys like Capt. Rick Lightner-Osprey Charters, and the legend himself, Capt. Ron Johnson-Thumper Charters. What a fisherman and a genuinely good guy. I miss Ronny everyday, especially during the fishing season. There were many others especially lake wide over the years. But these are all guys that I started out with so long ago and local to the north east Ohio area where I fish.

There are a handful of us from the class of the mid-eighties still hanging tough though in this area. Good friends and fellow fishermen such as Capt. Curt Anderson-There He Is Again Charters, Capt. Mark Szekely-Gizzmo Charters, Capt. Bill Anderson-Book Maker Charters, Capt. Taylor Click- Taylor Made Charters and a few others. Not too many though. Iíve seen a lot of guys come and go in these last three decades. Some only lasting a season or two. Some maybe a handful or so years. But there are very few of the 30 and plus years guys like myself and the few guys that I mentioned. There are still plenty of new captains out there however to choose from as the door is always revolving in this business. But it certainly is a different new breed of young guys in all of their fancy charter shirts and what not My own work uniform is usually a NASCAR or Jimmy Buffett t-shirt and a pair of old comfortable shorts! Lol! Just the way itís been for 30 years now! It donít make the other younger guys bad guys though. There's some real good fisherman out there. But us old timers have already run more trips then these young guys can ever dream about. When it comes to experience and making the right decisions and knowing the lake like the back of your hand, itís pretty hard to beat the old guys that have made this our living for this very long!

And customers or as I prefer to call them, my guests. I am truly blessed for the most part to have a long list of loyal returning clientele. Really good guys that many I consider to be my very good friends and not just customers. Some that have been with me every year that Iíve been doing this or very close to it! It amazes and humbles me both as almost everyone that that gets off my boat instructs me to go ahead and put them down for ďThe same dayĒ again next year! Sadly, some never do return because I find out the next year that they have passed away. The list of people that I consider to have been my friends and that we have lost is extensive over these past three decades. I miss all of you and not just because of the business! Well thatís about it. I could bring up many statistics such as how many trips Iíve run in all of these years or how many fish weíve caught but heck, nobody would ever believe it anyway! Lol! So, 2016! The year of the IíM STILL HERE!

Capt. Walt

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