Fall walleye fishing can be the best fishing of the year. You will catch bigger fish with less workFirst you have to know where they are. In this article I’m going to concentrate on walleye in the Western Basin of Lake Erie. In the fall the walleye migrate from east to west and settle in the area of theBassIslands. If you follow the fishing reports of the local charter captains you will know when the fish have arrived in your area. As the temperature cools they will move into deeper water but they can still be found on structure around the islands.
Next you will need to know how to locate the specific area they are in around the islands. The quickest way to do this is by trolling. Trolling will allow you to cover a large area and to locate the walleye much quicker. Trolling in the island area is usually done with planar boards with up to six poles. The planer boards allow you to have separation and depth control of your lures.Once the fish have been located you can either continue to troll or you can anchor and try jigging for them. Often the captains will drift if the conditions are right and just cast for them. The lures used depend on what you are doing. If trolling most captains use spoons trolled behind Tru-Trip or other quick release divers. The divers take the lures to a depth determined by the diver and the distance it is behind the boat. For example a 40’ diver would take your lure to 40’ when trolled 100’ behind the boat. The lure comes up as you shorten the length. If you are jigging there are a myriad of jigs you can use, VMC’s Neon Moon Eye Jig or Hot Skirt Glow Jig and Cabelas Fathead jig are just a few. There are also many spinner blade jigs produced locally. These jigs are usually tipped with worms, minnows or leeches.Walleye are primarily night hunters but they will bite during the day.
On Lake Eriethe best fishing usually occurs on overcast days with a good chop on the water. Sunny, calm days rarely produce the catch you are looking for. Night fishing can produce great catches but you really have to be familiar with the lake to fish around the islands and reefs at night.
The most important tip is to stay safe. Have aLake Eriesafe boat with a working marine radio. Have a good chart of the area where you are going to fish. Check the Marine weather forecast before you leave the dock. Stay alert and watch for changing weather conditions.