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Lake Erie walleye fishing

Capt. Tom Chambers
March 8, 2009
Lake Erie - Freshwater Fishing Report

Favorite Lures of the Walleye Guides

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Walleye are tricky fish. They can hold tight to the bottom at 60 feet, or cruise the shallows in less than five. When you need to get hooked up in any situation, lure picks mean everything. So here are the lures that this top walleye guide uses to pay the bills.

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Lake Erie Walleye Fishing
Captain Rick Millette

Location: Port Clinton, Lake Erie, Ohio
Credentials: Millette has taken the knowledge gained fishing Erie since 1962 and turned it over to his clients, who have put walleye over 14 pounds in the box with his help.
Number of years guiding: 28 years USCG Licensed
Contact: (614) 771-1910;
Website: www.eriequest.com

My favorite Lake Erie walleye fishing baits:

Favorite Shallow Hardbait: Storm Junior Thunderstick
Color: Hot Tiger
Size: 3 in.
Weight: oz.
Details: "Perch are a major forage for our walleye, and this is a great imitation. Thundersticks roll slightly, which give them a lot of side flash. Over the years, I devised a reeling pattern that works well for these lures and Lake Erie walleye. I cast out, crank three times just to get the lure tapping bottom, then stop for three seconds and repeat. That stop-start action broken up in threes always catches walleye for me and my guests on Erie Quest Charters."

Favorite Deep Hardbait: Storm Deep Junior Thunderstick
Color: Metallic Rainbow Trout
Size: 3 in.
Weight: 5/16 oz.
Details: "I troll these lures most of the time, and they run well with trolling weights, which is very important. The color is also a good match for an emerald shiner. Too many anglers think you can set a rod in a holder, get on the troll and forget about it, but you've got to watch constantly. Even big Lake Erie walleye can hit so subtly, they won't even trip the planer board. Any change in the action of the rod tip can mean there's a fish on."

Storm Junior Thunderstick

Favorite Jig: Standard Round Head
Color: Purple
Weight: oz.
Details: "I don't really have a brand preference and I buy lots of jigs locally when I am Lake Erie walleye fishing, but plain round doesn't seen to hang as much. Since I fish rocky bottom, that means a lot. A 3/4-ounce jigs might seem heavy to many walleye anglers, but I have a theory that the bigger the jig, the more sound it makes as it bangs off the rocks. That thumping sound attracts fish because they feel it with their lateral line. My catch rates went way up after switching to heavier jigheads."

Favorite Soft Plastic: Berkley Power Grub
Color: Natural Chartreuse
Size: 3 in.
Details: "When the walleye are coming out of the rivers after spawning, the water is turbid and dirty with run-off. These grubs get it done in that situation because they have good vibration and the scent doesn't hurt. Stinger hooks are often only used with live bait on a jighead, but I use them with grubs, too. Rather than try to place a treble stinger in the rear of the bait, I'll let it free-swing back by the tail. That's often the key to coming tight on walleye that hit gently."

Capt. Rick

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Lake Erie Fishing Forecast:


Lake Erie walleye anglers can expect to catch fish mostly from the 2003 hatch, with continued contributions from 1999 and 2001 hatches, as well as some fish from the 2005 hatch. Lake Erie walleye from the 2003 hatch will be 20 to 24 inches long, while fish from the earlier hatches will range from 21 to 27 inches over the course of the fishing season. Fish from the 2005 hatch should be in the 15 to 18-inch range. Large Lake Erie walleye from strong hatches in the 1980s and mid-1990s still persist in the population, providing "Fish Ohio" trophy (more than 28 inches) opportunities with Erie Quest Charters.

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Phone: 797-483-7854
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