Lake Erie Port Clinton Ohio 4-18 to 4-21

Water Body

Well with most of the bay of Green Bay still being ice covered last week and getting a little tired of all the cold weather we headed out on our annual Lake Erie Walleye trip. When we departed Green Bay it was yes once again snowing and when we arrived to Port clinton it was warm and sunny and the lake was calm and ready for us to get on the water.

We began our trip casting Rapala Rippin Raps on top of some of the reefs to find only small fish present. After catching only a few smaller fish we decided it was time to look for the larger female walleyes that are so abundant in this lake so we took out the trolling gear and began trolling the expansive large flats in the western basin area. We were amazed by the number of fish we were seeing on our graph and it did not take long before we were into our first fish which was a beautiful 29 inch walleye. We were marking huge numbers of fish from 10 to 20 feet below the surface but we found that very few of the deeper fish were active and to maximize our catch we had to run our baits higher in the water column to intercept the more active feeding fish.

We were trolling #12 Rapala Husky jerks in numerous different colors and due to changing water clarity we found we had to change the color of the baits very often depending on the color of the water we were fishing. When we found cleaner water and the sun was out we had great success on our natural color baits up high in the water and brighter colors down a little deeper. The key to our success was definately finding the right color and watching the changing water clarity it really was not location because anywhere we fished we were amazed by the number of fish we found present. Most of all the large female walleyes we caught were post spawn and beginning there migration back east toward the big lake.

We knew we had to take full advantage of this trolling bite b ecause we hit it right on the head and there were millons of fish swimming out in the open water areas and the weather was cooperating so we stuck with the trolling pattern for four days and we caught between 110 and 115 big walleyes before the end of our last day. We found that our best success came between the hours 10am to 3pm when the sun was the highest and the water warmed a bit but we still caught fish from the time we set lines till we called it a day. This was an incredible fishing trip that none of us will ever forget and hopefully next year we can have half of the great weather we had this year.

Paul Delaney

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Paul Delaney

As owner/operator of Late-Eyes Sport Fishing Guide Service, Capt. Paul Delaney practically lives on the water and ice of Door County, Wis. No matter the season, Paul’s clients pull big fish from the waters of Green Bay and Lake Michigan. His Full Bio ›


  1. Nice report Paul, I love putting multiple pieces together on a trolling run. Like you said, time of day, lure color, water clarity, and time of day all come into it. Nice point on running lures higher in the water column. I will usually risk running lures higher in the column knowing these fish are usually more aggressive and bigger. Thanks for the update from Erie. – QB

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