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getting wEYESer every day
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Look through the posts every day, but most of what I see is for the Cleveland area now. Are any of you catching eyes west of the islands any more? I'll be heading back to troll on the 8th (weather permitting) or the 15th. I thought I'd head out around Green and Rattlesnake. I see some of you taking them on harnesses.... how about trolling spoons and RR's?

Any help appreciated. This will probably be my last trip til fall.
 

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The fishing right now is good for trollers west of the bass islands to the line - west to middle sister-south to west sister island. July 8th or 15th should be good to excellent periods, weather permitting. Don't be surprised by then to expect the fish to be slightly deeper near the bottom, #40 jet's maybe 90 - 125' back and reefrunners 180 to 210 back in the time frame you're seeking. Right now as we speak and still in the immediate time frame, #40 jets 50-65' back and dipsies (w/rings) 55-75' on #3 setting. It's possible for the fish to be feeding higher in the water column and it possible to still run between 50-75' back on 40's

There's plenty of western basin fish. I get a kick out of people who think that the walleyes west migrate east when the water temps climb. Those who think so are very, very wrong. There are a certain % of fish that travel through the islands heading towards Cleveland/Pa., but not as many as you think.

The vast majority of the fish stay in the western end. They work a circular path, for the most part, east to the islands - north into Canada - west back to Michigan and Ohio, then back to the east just north of the reefs and west of the islands by late summer.

What effects the overall late summer bit (for drifters) are the overabundance of natural baitfish and warmer temps, which are common in the western basin. Trollers on the other hand, will oftentimes outfish drifters from late July/August in the western basin.

To give you a better perspective, last summer the walleye fishing out west never did stop or even slow until late October. Ask any of the better charter captains, better private walleye anglers and the ODNR/DOW. The biggest thing that anglers have to understand is the yearly movement in the western basin and how to pattern them. This comes from experience and alot of trial and error.

Just because you're not catching walleyes in the western end in late July or August is more due to fishing the wrong areas. Better areas oftentimes is the Canadian waters north of middle & east sister islands or down west near the shipping lanes. Whatever you do, don't get caught up in the misnomer that the western basin fish when the water temps rise.
 

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Lumberjack
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Nice post Hunt-N-Fish...your comments mirror what I have studied over the last few years...fish move around but not out!!!
 

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I think a lot of guys (self included) decided to wait out the mayfly hatch with the gas prices and the heat the way it was.

I plan on going out Monday and again on Wednesday. Got the in-laws coming tomorrow and the grandson's birthday on Sunday.

Another thing Eyesman... there is far and away more OGF members that live in the central/eastern basins, there will always be more reports out that way.
 

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Sorry guys walleyes do migrate. In April,May and early June you can catch them regularly west of West Sister all the way to Luna Pier, the water intake and Monroe shipping channel. Depending on how hot the weather is you can regularly catch 2-3 year old walleyes in these areas thru mid July and sometimes later. This year with very few fish in the 1-3 year classes the fishing is poor in shallow areas of the lake and my circle of fishing fanatics quit fishing almost 2 weeks ago, since these areas have few fish. We also run to Middle Sister and will not spend $75 for gas when often the trip is good for very few fish. In my opinion the worst decision was going to 15 inches on walleyes as we still catch 14 inchers that we must throw back so that the guys east of the Kelleys can catch them for several years because they when they are bigger they migrate. Now I agree with you that there are pockets of fish out there especially in deeper areas such as Middle Sister and Stony Point on the Michigan part of the lake. Also trollers by covering more ground are more likely to be successful than drifters. Consider however that earlier in the year everybody generally catches fish where later this simply is not the case as the number of fish just are not there. Further consider that those fishermen east of Kelly's catch very few in April because their fish migrated previously to the shallow reefs and Sandusky and Maumee rivers.
The bigger fish then migrate back to the deeper areas of the lake as can be seen by all the recent posts. I have fished the lake for 40 years as have several of my friends, when we have a reasonable chance of catching walleyes we go after them. Right now we are hoping that the perch come in.
 

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getting wEYESer every day
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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Thanks guys. Each time out this year has been out of Turtle Creek, which to me, is a good central location for the Western Basin. Was curious if I would be better off launching further east or west.

Good luck KaGee, let me know if you do any good. Toledo would be closer, but will head to the islands if need be. Canadian water is a bit far with my inexperience.

I'll be watching for reports as the week goes on, along with the weather reports. Either way, I see I'll be looking for deeper water.

Thanks again. Hope to see you out there one day.
 

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Lumberjack
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Sorry guys walleyes do migrate.
Not saying they don't migrate east in a general sense, but there are resident fish that hang west of the islands year round...as they mature, their instincts to move east to colder and deeper water for better eatin' may kick-in, but you can find those pockets of non-migrating fish west of the islands all year long...may be tougher to locate and track their movement, but it can be done.

That being said, I still move east to increase the odds for nicer fish...why make this sport more challenging than it already is!!

Eyesman...you should try to get over to Huron, Vermillion, Lorain area now and also plan on fishing that area in the fall...you will thank yourself for doing so when your boards get buried from :B
The drive further east will only add 30-45 mins to your windshield time.
 

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eyesman,
Don't forget to check out happyhookerlivebaitandtackle.com. Capt Dave has a report for the western basin and he is there at Turtle Creek at the Happy Hooker Bait Store.
Thanks,
ron
 

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getting wEYESer every day
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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Eyesman...you should try to get over to Huron, Vermillion, Lorain area now and also plan on fishing that area in the fall...you will thank yourself for doing so when your boards get buried from :B
The drive further east will only add 30-45 mins to your windshield time.
I've been wanting to try that area, but haven't been brave enough to venture that far yet. This is my first year with my own boat on Erie. Each trip builds my confidence a little more. I take it that is your regular stomping grounds? I have coordinates for west of the Islands, but wouldn't have the slightest idea where to begin in the Huron area. But maybe I'll have to do my homework and make that a fall trip. Hopefully I'll get the chance to catch up with you out there.

You guys will have me chasin' 'eyes all the way to Cleveland before I'm done. :D

The buddy (or two) going with me on this trip are Erie virgins. Hoping to make it a trip for them worth coming back again.

Ron, I stop at Happy Hooker every time to that area, and ask Capt. Dave for his report and add to my collection of tackle. I figure for this trip I will do the same. Maybe this time I'll actually get the chance to meet you if you are going out then too. Still figuring I'll have to head over by the islands from there.

Checking the forcast and it's still too far off to know whether this week or next. Probably won't make the final decision until the morning I decide to go.

Thanks again guys for all your input. See you on the water soon.
 

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Lake Erie Eye Guy
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There are still a ton of fish in the far western basin.I fished both Sat and Sunday with excellent results.Saturday, we fished about a mile due west of the Turnaround buoy and caught a 5 man limit in an hour and a half.Fish were mostly the 03 hatch but did have 3 fish over 27 inches.

Sunday we fished the Ohio Michigan line and took a 4 man limit under 2 hours.
We slowed troll keel weights off boards, and bottom bouncers with harnesses at 1.0-1.5 mph.Caught very few trash fish both days.These 2 days were my first time trying out my new Fishlander spinner blades.All I can say is they are great blades and the colors are awesome.
Capt`n Dwayne
WalleyeWiz Guide Service

Here is a link to the blades we were using.Tell them Capt`n Dwayne told you about them.

http://www.fishlander.com/Catalog_ch01.asp
 

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Thats great fishing wiz. I don't know how you guys get em so quick. I fish out of Turtle Creek and am somewhat familiar with the area. We fished Sat. and Sun. also did excellent on Sat. Fished 20 f.o.w. N. of Crane Creek and caught our limit. Only a three man but nice fish. One 28"...besides that though, I was wondering if anyone has an answer to this. I'm sure its just a basic deal that comes from experience, but we went out today fishing our same area, marked fish, and only boxed two. We fished later and didn't give it much time. I wasn't sure if possibly as a standby its better to hit clean water no matter what, or to hit your old waypoints. Just kind of confused as to a rule of thumb.
 

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The month of July is always hot for Walleye in the west end of the lake ,many times within 2 miles from shore. The mayflys and the fish moving out usually make things tougher in late june but they move back in just after the 4th almost every year. I caught them the whole month of July close last year within 4 miles of shore.If you all wanna go east to catch fish , that leaves alot more for me! Don't give up on them yet! I'm off next 2 weeks and will start hittin them tommorrow I hope. Will post results . TK
 

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I'm planning on spending 3 nights camping on south bass island starting the 4th. Any suggestions on where to start?

I went with a buddy Sunday and we eventually caught 8 between the two of us but it was a long day. Mostly drifting off Rattlesnake.

How big of an area should we drift? If we hit fish, should we drift through the same spot again or keep drifting? Do walleye school tightly or are they spread out?

Thanks for any help. We were fishing mostly worm harnesses and Erie Dearies. I tried a spoon for a while with no luck.
 

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I still get a kick out of some people sayng the fish the western basin, including big fish. Right now is an excellent time to fish the rocks, a.k.a. hardbottm fishing. We fished West reef and Ennis reef with real good success.

On West reef we were able to take 17 fish of our 5 man limit in 14-25 ft. of water before the recreational boaters and fisherman ran to many times over our drift. After that we moved north to Ennis reef where we pulled the remaining 13 walleyes. Approx. 1/4 were the 3 year old variety, while the remaining fish were 4 years and older, with the 3 biggest 26", 28" and a 29 1/2". A tip that alot of charters lean towards with lure selection while rock fishing, use weight-forwards rather then weapons.

Other charters I work with caught fish towards middle sisters and others on the US Canadian line between Lucys and Middle Island. Obviously the winds made a difference today in giving drifters the 'good drift'.

I did hear other reports similar to Walleye Wiz that trollers are taking very good fish near the Toledo Shipping channel and towards the Michigan line up in the triangle. Some of the Michigan charters are taking mix boxs of 3 year olds fish (16-18") and bigger up to 28-29 inches. Trollers are taking majority of the trophy fish.

It's amazing that we have all these 3 year olds when ODNR said that that 2004 hatch was practically non-existant. We have also taken quite a few undersize 1 and 2 year olds ths past month, 6-8 inchs and 12-14 inches. Alot of the captains I know are just wondering what kind of hatch we had this spring.
 

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On Saturday, and Sunday combined I had 51 legal size Walleye caught on my boat. Saturday we trolled Reef Runner's on a line from G-Can on the boarder to Perry's Monument. Sunday we drifted the same area. If you are going to drift this area take along AT LEAST 10 dozen crawlers. Lot's of junk fish, but the eye's are mixed in with them. We too caught a dozen undersized fish. I love that. To answer the question of fish left, yeah there is plenty left, you just have to look sometimes. Remember that just because there is a big pack drifting an area, it may not be worth your time fishing it. Saturday we had 4 boats within 2 miles, and Sunday we had a little Starcraft out there with us and that was it.
 
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