Lake Erie Fishing Report – 2017

National Walleye Tour Fishing Report, Lake Erie, April 07-14, 2017: “Tough fishing conditions….tough fishing conditions….tough fishing conditions!” Wish I had a dollar for every time I heard this statement over the six days we fished on Lake Erie, both in practice and tournament days. Ranger/Evinrude Pro Chris Burns and I left his Davenport, IA home with his Ranger 620 and gear loaded in my Suburban for what we hoped would be an exciting event of plentiful big fish. What we got was a dose of realism and the impact winds and weather have on the Big Pond. The northwest winds turned the Lake chocolate brown on Saturday, the 8th, our first day of practice. We drove all over the Lake looking for clean water to present our baits. No fish. On Sunday, the winds shifted to the south and moved the mud further north. We found some clean water and caught a couple. Monday saw the winds continuing from the south. The spots of clean water changed and we caught a couple more. On Tuesday, our last practice day, Chris and I caught three before coming in to register and attend our required meeting at Sawmill Lodge in Huron. Seven fish in four days!! Fellow team members, Ranger/Evinrude Pros Steve Miller and Mike Cira caught more fish by concentrating on the western basin reefs. Day 1 on my tournament found me paired with local guide Ronnie Rhodes–we had five bites and landed five fish. Our biggest fish came on West Reef using Bandits down 122 feet. The weather was stable and we were able to move around to check out all his spots. We had just over 36 pounds of walleyes for the NWT weigh-in at the Huron River boat ramp. Steve and Mike caught them but Chris did not. Day 2 found me with seasoned pro, Dean Arnoldussen. The weather forecast was for winds building from the east…and did they! We ran to his western reef spots and caught over ten on Bandits 30 and 40 feet behind the boards. We stayed on the spot and upgraded one of our five fish before moving east to West Reef where a majority of the field was fishing. We pulled through the crowd then moved further south north of Rattlesnake–no bites. At 1:30, Dean said, “We’d better start back to Huron, the winds are building.” It took us nearly two hours to get back to the river riding in 6-8 foot waves from the northeast-=BAD! Fortunately, we all made it back but their were some lost windshields, a cracked boat hull, and a broken transom in the process. Dean and I weighed five fish for 13 pounds. I finished seventh on the co-angler side. Chris got another zero. Both Steve and Mike finished in the money. Our ride home on Friday gave Chris and I the time to think about the time we spent on Erie and how unfriendly the Lake was to us before and during the tournament. By the way, the winner went east the final day and found some clean water with big fish! Be sure to check out our link to the National Walleye Tour to read the tournament coverage and view the final results of the 153 pros and 153 co-anglers
at our kickoff event! Mike Ganzeveld and I hope you enjoy the story and the few pics from the practice time. Also, check out the Gary Speicher Facebook page for the video interviews I did with Ron and Dean. Next stop for me–Big Stone Lake and the MWC team event April 28-29. Wish the team good luck!! Spike

Lake Erie Fishing – 2017 –

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