If you have been on the fence about taking a fishing trip up to Lake Erie, it’s time to get off that fence and get up there.
It appears that the Division of Wildlife’s prediction of a great fishing season is coming true. Reports of quick limits on walleyes have been coming in for several weeks now. Anglers are doing well around Kelley’s Island, one mile out from Marblehead, off Huron and Vermilion. There are still reports of quick limits coming from deeper water adjacent to the reefs as well.
Anglers trolling worm harnesses behind bottom bouncers at 1.5 to 2.2 mph seemed to be catching the most fish. Anglers drifting have been picking up fish on harnesses with varying success. Color does not seem to matter. Anglers are also having success trolling spoons 45 to 75 feet back behind divers, and trolling deep diving crankbaits unassisted 30 to 50 feet back.
The bass fishing in the western basin is heating up as well. Anglers fishing for largemouth have been doing well in the Portage River mouth, East and West Harbors, and Sandusky Bay, as well as picking up the occasional fish around Catawba. Anglers targeting smallmouth have been fishing deeper marinas around Kellys and the Bass islands, and the rock reefs adjacent to the islands. Reports of incidental catches have been reported near the mid-lake reef complex and Vermilion.
Texas rigged soft plastic and wacky worms usually produce well for largemouth bass. For anglers targeting smallmouth, tubes and drop-shot rigs work well, though plenty of fish are being caught trolling crankbaits. Of course if you really want to nail them, soft craws is the way to go.
• Ohio hunters checked a total of 22,571 wild turkeys during the combined 2018 spring wild turkey south zone hunting season, northeast zone hunting season and youth wild turkey hunting season, April 21-May 27, according to the Ohio Department of Natural Resources. In 2017, hunters checked a total of 21,042 wild turkeys.
Hunters checked 20,689 birds during the 2018 wild turkey south zone and northeast zone hunting seasons compared to 19,147 birds in 2017. Youth hunters checked 1,882 birds during the 2018 youth season compared to 1,895 in 2017. Unfortunately, the slight increase did not occur locally. The only county in the vicinity that had an increase in harvest from last year was Knox. Morrow, Richland, and Crawford counties all saw a slight decrease in harvest compared to last year.
Ohio’s 2018 spring wild turkey season was open from Monday, April 23, to Sunday, May 20, in the south zone and from Monday, April 30, to Sunday, May 27, in the northeast zone. Youth season was April 21-22. Hunters can view the 2018 spring turkey season zone map and harvest regulations at wildohio.gov.
Wild turkeys were extirpated in Ohio by 1904 and were reintroduced in the 1950s by the ODNR Division of Wildlife. Ohio’s first modern-day wild turkey season opened in 1966 in nine counties, and hunters checked 12 birds. The wild turkey harvest topped 1,000 for the first time in 1984. Spring turkey hunting opened statewide in 2000, and Ohio hunters checked more than 20,000 wild turkeys for the first time that year.
Until next time, Good Hunting and Good Fishing!