Five Lake Erie walleye fishing tips

Lake Erie is an amazing place where you can enjoy some beautiful scenery, fresh air and wonderful fishing opportunities. The walleyes are one of the most sought out species in these waters because the cool water flowing through this lake makes the perfect habitat for them to thrive. If you’re looking for a trophy fish, this is the place to be. Lake Erie is the fourth largest of the Great Lakes and the thirteenth largest lake in the world.
Lake Erie is known for having some of the largest walleyes found anywhere in the world, which is why so many anglers travel long distances just to do a little fishing in this lake. It is common to catch walleyes measuring as much as 30 inches in length or bigger, which is normally very unusual. You’ll find many wonderful accommodations where you can stay while on your fishing adventure and there are many things for those in the group to do that don’t like to fish, making it a prime vacation spot for families.
Walleye Fishing Tips
Lake Erie is full of walleyes but they’re more abundant in some areas than others. If you know where to begin your search, you can spend more time fishing and less time looking for them. You can fish the lake all year long but they are the most abundant and easiest to find during the months of May and June. This is spanning season so they’ll be closer to shore and very aggressive during this time.
Five Lake Erie Walleye Fishing Tips:
1. When trolling the deeper parts of the water, crankbait, dipsy divers and spoons seem to get the attention of the walleyes faster than other types of lures.
2. The Toledo shipping channel is one of the best spots to catch walleyes when fishing this lake in the state of Ohio. Fairport Harbor near the central basin, Sandusky and Presque Isle located in the state of Pennsylvania are also excellent places to seek out this species but you can find walleyes all through the lake regardless of where you fish.
3. If fishing along the lake in the state of Michigan, the walleyes will be more abundant so they’re easier to find than in other parts of the lake.
4. Walleyes are attracted to live bait such as night crawlers, leeches and minnows but even if you do plan to fish with one of these live baits, it’s a good idea to take along some artificial lures, too. Sometimes, a lure can attract the walleye and get its attention when live bait can’t so it’s always a good idea to have some on hand. It’s also a great backup if you run out of live bait and want to continue fishing.
5. Don’t pass up fishing the shallow waters. Walleyes often stay near the shoreline especially in the sand grass, coontails and weeds all along the lake.
When you’re just visiting the area to go fishing, it’s a good idea to hire a charter to take you out on the lake. This is especially true if it’s the first time you’ve ever been on the lake. This is a huge body of water and it can be difficult to find your way around on your own. Charters and guides can ensure that you have a wonderful time because they already know where all the hotspots are located, which baits to use and they’ll usually provide all the gear you need so you don’t have to worry about having your own.
If you don’t use a charter or guide, take the time to pick up a map to help you learn your way around the lake. A good GPS system is also recommended so you can easily find your way around and a fish finder can help you locate the schools of fish faster.
Techniques and Tackle
One of the most popular techniques to use on Lake Erie is trolling. This seems to get the best results regardless of where you’re fishing on the lake. The second best technique is drift fishing because it allows you to get the bait in the strike zone without disturbing the school. The current makes the bait look natural as it drifts through the school and this entices the fish to strike.
When fishing for walleyes, you want to use the smallest tackle you can that will hold the size bait you’re using. If the tackle is large, they will see the hook sticking out of the bait and this species will avoid it completely.
Use the weather to your advantage. For example, if it’s hot and sunny, the walleyes are going to be in the deeper parts of the water and in shady areas because they avoid the sunlight. If it’s cloudy or windy, they’ll be closer to the surface. Night fishing is always productive because this species is more active at night but the lake can be very dangerous so only experienced anglers should venture out at night.


Dan Eggertsen is a fellow walleye fishing enthusiast to the point of obsession. :) He's been providing solid advice on walleye fishing since 2004.

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