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Wall I ETR
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Will be camping up at East Harbor over Memorial Weekend, with a 14' and 10 horse engine. My lake knowledge is limited... Fish about 8-10 times a year in my friends larger boat off the reefs or around the bass islands or Kelleys, but I was wondering what I could get into fish wise close to shore.

Was wondering about trying baypoint shoal for walleye or maybe Johnson's island for bass(c&r)?

Any other ideas or help would be greatly appericated, especially for walleye or perch ideas. This will be my first trip up there with my own boat, and would like to give my son an opportunity to catch some fish.

Thank-you for any help,
--coach
 

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Your'e little boat would by ideal for fishing some of the docks up there for crappie or bass. I'd definately stay off Erie. You can launch at Demseys and fish the docks at Johnsons Island or at Bay Point. We did well at Bay Point last weekend, (see Sandusky Bay crappie post).
 

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Coach~
May I suggest tryin' to get a campsite at Kelley's Island? You can now call ahead and reserve a site in advance of your trip. (I think it is 24 hours in advance). I suggest this for a couple of reasons. You can always get on the lake and fish close to shore no matter what the wind is doin'. Strong outa the south then launch at the state ramp on the north side. Strong outa the north, launch on the south side. Smallies, walleye, perch, even a crappie now and again. Often the walleye are close to shore and right now they're supposedly at carpenter's reef (southwest side of Kelley's). Watch boat wakes in this area. Remember, no keepin' the smallies 'til June sometime (don't remember the date). Get on-line to ohio state parks and find out how to reserve a site and how soon to do it. Need more info or fishin' tips (baits to use, places to fish, etc.)? Reply to me and I'll do what I can to help ya out. Good luck and be smart on the big lake. Always keep an eye to the south and west sky. Storms come up.... FAST! Oh yeah... Kelley's Island State Park is a great campground. Showers, electric, boat launch, etc.
Cap'n Bill
 

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I would shoot for some channel bass and crappie. Crappie should be in now. Launch at the states ramp at the end of 163 and go from there. Just about any rip rap will have crappie and bass.

J
 

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That's some advice to be taken seriously on boat stability on Erie. They call the calm days "waves 2 ft or less", but the boat wakes can chop it up to 4 footers, easily putting you in danger. 400 hp and 27 feet is a normal boat up there. Using the lee side of land/island and and traveling less than 1/2 mile seems sort of doable if you waited for the right winds, on a day with low boat traffic. But I would call your plan very gutsy and advise against it. Only marginally safe for strong healthy guys who are in good enough shape to swim to shore and climb the stone barrier walls with 4 footers slamming at your back.
 

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Like the other guys have suggested, I would stay closer to land if I was you due to the small size of boat and motor. I have a 16ft V-bottom that I was in as a kid. Was my dad's, now it's mine. I have fished from this boat on Erie since I was five and was only scared once. That time in particular, we got caught off guard and got stuck in a whopper of a storm. Six and seven footers! Oh Yeah! The best thing to do if you do venture into open water is listen to the NOAA weather channel to see if there are small craft warnings out when you decide to go out. If there are, STAY OFF OF THE LAKE!!!! She'll turn on you in a matter of seconds!! No Lie!!! If you would have a bigger motor, that might be helpful as you could hold your own if you get caught in a storm. But with a ten horse, stay closer to shore. That way if you do get caught in a storm, you won't be too far from safety. Erie can be beautiful and fun, but it can be the biggest, nastiest bitch in the world if you don't respect her.
 

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The Kelleys idea is a good one. There should also be some good fishing yet in the Sandusky bay for eyes, perch, bass and catfish now too.

A good calm day may warrant a run out a couple miles from Mazurik, there are lots of eyes driven right over by people going out to Kelleys this time of year. Cranberry Creek east of Huron has fish stacked up right now and they're catching a mile or 2 from shore so that may be doable too if you don't mind a 20-25 minute trip in your truck to get there. They rent 14 footers with 40 HP which may be a better option too.

I don't know how fast your boat is but I'd guess about 8-15 miles per hour. By the time you'd see a storm coming you'd be in trouble even if only a couple miles out and like was mentioned before a big cruiser plowing water may be your worst enemy.

Whatever you do watch the weather forecast and for changing conditions. I fished Erie for several years out of a 14 foot with a 25 HP motor and even a 10 foot john boat with an electric motor occasionally for perch at Marblehead and never had a problem but was probably more lucky than smart. We made it in several times just in the nick of time.
 
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