Lake Erie fishing report for the week of September 11, 2016: , ,
Fishing Report Posted: September 11, 2016

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Posted by Capt. Walt Ermansons on September 11, 2016 at 07:56:20:

More weather woes! Itís never good when my lead off line starts right off about the stupid weather but thatís what itís come to here in these final weeks of our Walleye season off of Ashtabula,OH. We again all week dealt with extreme heat, extreme wind, extreme thunderstorms and by weeks end a strong cold front which once again has squelched any thoughts of getting out and doing any fishing. As I sit here on a Friday night and put my thoughts down in print, Iíve already cancelled both Saturdays and Sundays trips which would have been by the way my first two Perch trips of the year. Some easy fishing for a change. Just throw out the anchor and turn everybody loose as I just watch and help out whenever needed. Instead I see waves forecast for both Saturday & Sunday in the 4 to 6 foot range with strong gusts of wind predicted in access of 30 knots at times and with rain and thunderstorms once again thrown in for good measure. Itís getting old this fighting the weather all the time anymore but I also know that my season is quickly winding down and soon I wonít have to worry about it anymore. Itís also this knowing that my seasons about to be over that makes loosing these final days to the weather so painful.

But we still got some fishing done in between everything that Mother Nature threw at us this week and we still caught some really nice Walleyes along with a few bonus Steelhead Trout as we have been doing here as of late. The one real downside of all this wind has been that itís really fired up all the junk fish once again. Seems like late in the year when the water is really warm and it gets all stirred up by constant winds, it sends the White Bass and big Sheephead into a feeding frenzy! It was a real struggle keeping lines in the water long enough to catch a Walleye with the super active undesirable fish. In particularly, the White Bass. And they are HUGE this summer! They literally run the drags when they hit the Dipsys! Exhausting weeding through that many of them but somehow we did exactly that and we were eventually rewarded with what we had set out for in the first place. Lake Erie GOLD! Walleyes!!!

OK, a few weeks ago I mentioned that I had been experimenting with some new lures that have been all the rage here out on the lake anymore. Bay Rat deep diving crank baits. I also mentioned that I would report back after I had more time with using them. So here is some of my humble unbiased opinions and observations. First and foremost, they do catch fish very well. And when I say fish, I mean the Walleyes plus all the other crap that we donít really want to catch. I think this past week I caught some of the biggest Sheep Heads I ever saw on them! Lol! But Iím sure that was just a coincidence. Early on I only used the larger sized deep diving Bay Rats but the larger crank baits have not worked all that great for us in general this summer. Itís probably because most of our catches here in the second half of summer have consisted of the smaller 2 year old plus fish. The now 15 to 18 inchers. Most recently Iíve been using the Short Deep Divers on our wire line with much better results. I had plenty of days where these fish were definitely picking them off over others in my line up consisting of Jr. Thunder Sticks and Bomber 24aís. Some of the things that I like about this lure is that itís well made, keeps its paint well and is availabe in an interesting array of colors. By far my favorite has been the ďPurple WishĒ. That color has really kicked ass for us! Some things that I do not like is the hook quality and the smaller split rings that they use when I go to swap out the trebles. This really is no surprise however as I dislike most all the cheap hooks that most manufactures use nowadays and pick out higher quality Trebles all the time for my most favorite lures.

BUT the biggest complaint that I have is that they are almost all junk out of the box without you tuning them. In Bay Rats defense however, their crank baits are not the only ones that are like that. I am appalled with all these different lure companies that charge in upwards of $10 dollars for a lure and they canít sell one that swims straight! Errrrrrrr! Again these are just my opinions but after 30 years of full time chartering and fishing Lake Erie for myself for 10 years before that even, I think I know a thing or two about the subject. And Iím going to share some of my insight with all of you right now. Next time youíre trolling and at your normal trolling speed, run your lure that you want to check back about 40-50 foot. Do it directly off the back, not standing to the side of the boat. Pick a spot where you are not directly in the prop wash. Hold your rod straight back and tip almost to the water. Now while still at trolling speed, crank your lure back to the boat as fast as you can. If your lure pulls off to one side or the other or worst yet pops out of the water or flips around, you have a improperly tuned bait. A perfectly tuned lure will track perfectly straight back to the boat and dig deep. This assures that all lures are running at the desired depths and keeps tangles to a minimum. All very important in doing well out there. If you find a lure in your line up or one right out of the box (and I promise you that you will) that is not running right, tuning them can be either easy or a lesson in frustration. As you look forward at the bill of the lure and the eye, if the lure is running to the right, bend the eye EVER SO SLIGHTLY to the left with a pair of needle nose pliers. Remember to bend the whole eye to one side or the other and not just twist it. A good rule of thumb is something that I learned 40 years ago back in my machine shop days when adjusting tooling fixtures. ďIf you feel it move, you probably went too farĒ Lol but oh so true! Be prepared to spend some time as most likely youíll be back and fourth quite a few times before you get it just right. And youíll probably learn some new swear words along the way as well! Lol! Alright, thatís it for my second and most likely last tutorial of this season! Happy tuning!

Capt. Walt
Celebrating Our 30th Season!

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