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April is walleye spawning time when Lake Erie Walleyes migrate to the Western Basin Reef Complex in large numbers. Boat ride from the Wild Wings Marina can be as short as 5 minutes as we are targeting water as little as 8" deep. The majority of the walleyes caught during this time are 19”-24” males and the best way to catch these shallow water walleyes is with ¾ ounce hair jigs sometimes tipped with emerald shiners (minnows). If you like jig fishing then April is the perfect time to come. The down fall to April is the weather, as it can be cold wet and windy but it can be very rewarding if you can handle the elements.
April is also a great time for trophy sized Lake Erie Walleye, if you are after a Lake Erie Walleye in the 10+ pond range (30"+) this is the time to come, the big females this time of year are high up in the water column making your chances higher to land one of those once in a lifetime Lake Erie Walleyes. To target these fish you pretty much have to troll, it is pretty rare to jig up a spawning female during this time of year.
In May we are starting to targeting post spawn fish as the males are still aggressive and females are hungry after a long stressful spawn. The Jig Bite will last about a week or two into the month of May and then that start there transition phase from spawning to feeding on anything in site. The transition phase varies from year to year and this will dictate on how we fish during this time to be successful. Some years they decided to come out of the spawn on an instant feeding frenzy and we can go from jigging straight to Drift and Casting night crawlers and some years they are slow to transition and we need to troll and force feed them just depends on there mood that year. Your chances of landing that 30" Lake Erie Walleye are still high and limits can be rather consistent. This is the time we start looking at switching over from hair jigs and switching over to Lake Erie Walleye Weapons "AKA Night Crawlers and Crawler harness's" and drift and cast for those Lake Erie Walleyes. We will also Troll this time of year with larger minnow sized lures to entice those bigger fish you may be after with the majority size still around that 19 - 24" fish. The Weather in May is still practically unstable and unpredictable but tends to be more mellow than April, just pack for the possible chance of rain showers
The Lake Erie Walleye fishing in June starts to become consistent with the beginning of stable weather. As the water temperature rises the Walleye become more active and can produce limit catches. Lake Erie Walleye caught during June range from 15”-22” and can be caught either drifting and casting or trolling, big Lake Erie Walleye are still around but your chances to land that 30" Lake Erie Walleye fall off as the smaller first and second year hatchings are more aggressive with the warmer water temps. We always carry Night Crawlers on the boat this time of year and depending on the mood the Walleyes are in that day, will generally dictate how we fish this time of year. If you are a die hard drift and casting walleye fisherman this is the time of year you really want to think about.
This is also when 3 of our boats make the move farther East as the walleyes start there migration into the cooler deeper waters to the East as the water temps start to rise from the summer temps.
Capt. C.J. Tendle will move from Lorain Ohio to Ashtabula Ohio on June 1st and remain in Ashtabula until around September/ October
Capt. Dale Grimm & Capt. Bob Balli will move from Oak Harbor, Ohio to Ashtabula, Ohio on June 19th and remain in Ashtabula for the reminder of the season
Capt. John P Seiler will Remain in the Western Basin in Oak Harbor, Ohio
July is the best month for limit catches of Lake Erie Walleye as the weather is stable and walleye are schooled up in their normal patterns. July has the highest catch rate of any month according to the Ohio Department of Natural Resources. The casting bite is usually pretty consistent but we do tend to focus on trolling this time of year to produce limit catches of open water walleye especially for the boats running in Ashtabula this time of year
July is also the time we start to look at moving the last boat from Wild Wings Marina in Oak Harbor Ohio farther East. This decision to move the last boat from the Western Basin depends greatly on the migration of the Lake Erie Walleye. As the water temps continue to rise during these summer months the Walleye tend to head for cooler and deeper water. We will usually make the decision to move the boat the week or two after July 4th to try and stay ahead of this migration and keep out guests on the best active bite.
All the boat's will have been moved to farther East by August to stay on the hot Lake Erie Walleye Fishing. The first two weeks of August still produce limit catches of walleye now that we are fishing in cooler deeper water of lake Erie . This time of year you will almost always be trolling to cover a lot of water, as the Lake Erie Walleyes tend to be less schooled up and more spread out. August can bring/ require long boat rides up to an hour to travel to the active feeding. With these possible long run times we choose to only run one trip a day instead of our normal morning and afternoon charters, this just ensures we are not in a huge rush to get back to the dock. This time of year the weather is almost always nice making those possible long boat rides a lot more enjoyable.
September and October the Lake Erie Walleye fishing does tend to slow down a little bit and sometimes have to work a little bit for those toothy critters known as Walleye. This is the time we would start targeting Lake Erie Yellow Perch back in the Western Basin, sadly the Lake Erie Yellow Perch fishing has been less than spectacular the last few years we have targeted them. This is mainly due to an invasive species known as a Spiny Sea Flea, (you will see them attached to the trolling lines in July and August) and the Yellow Perch just don't seem to care what we have to offer to them as they just help themselves and gorge on those Spiny Sea Fleas all day and night long. It is hit or miss but somedays are still very productive Perch Fishing but there are more struggling days then there are good days. The Yellow Perch range in size from 8-12 inches and the limit per person is 30.
This is when the Lake Erie Walleye Fishing will start picking back up as the water temps continue to cool down and the Walleyes start getting aggressive again. These months the weather is again very unpredictable and unstable but can be very rewarding as the Big Lake Erie Walleye's return and your chances of catching a 30" plus Lake Eire monster is in your favor again. This is also when two of the largest Lake Erie Walleye tournaments take place, "The Walleye Slam" & "The Fall Brawl". Both of these tournaments have a small entry fee and a $100,000 grand prize boat, all it takes is that one heaviest fish at the end of the tournament to win. Everybody on the boat has to be entered in the tournaments or everybody is disqualified form weighing a fish for the tournament. The boat gets moved one more time for the season to Huron Ohio for this tournament, if you are interested in booking a trip to fish in this tournament send us an email to get further details