I love packing up the boat and fishing new lakes. This week I am fortunate enough to travel to Lake Erie and try my hand at the waters in and around Sandusky Bay.
I have fished Lake Erie numerous times before and know that my odds of actually getting on the big water is slim.
The wind can play havoc with the shallow Great Lake and kick up swells that make seasoned anglers think twice before heading out. If I can manage to hit the main lake, I know that I will be targeting smallmouth.
That may seem strange to many people since most folks head to Ohio to tackle the amazing walleye population the lake has, but I cannot get enough of that cagey smallmouth bass.
Ever since the invasion of zebra mussels to the Great Lakes, the water has cleared up and smallmouth have flourished.
I remember the first time I fished the lake, a friend of mine taught me how to use what he called the Lake Erie rig. In all reality, it was an early version of a drop shot rig that used a tube jig for the bottom weight. We caught a ton of fish that trip and hauled in numerous brown backs in that 3- to 4-pound range.
I still enjoy looking at pictures from that trip and reliving the experience.
My next trip to the lake occurred about the time electronics were making some major breakthroughs. Fish finders were finally finding fish instead of just reading bottom contours and depth.
The tournaments were being dominated by anglers that could pick fish off of their electronics, drop a lure down to them, and catch them. I couldn’t believe how good some of these guys were.
It was amazing to see them cover vast amounts of water, starting at their bow graphs, drop a line to a fish, and then fight the fish to the boat.
I have been fortunate enough to fish Lake Erie from the far western basin clear to Buffalo, New York, but the Sandusky area has got to be one of my favorite locations.
Why? Because you can’t always get on the big lake. The wind can turn that lake into a navigational hazard in a matter of minutes.
The Sandusky Bay area offers plenty of other options, such as numerous piers, docks, bays, and small rivers that an angler can fish when they cannot venture onto the main water.
Sandusky Bay is shallow and offers a variety of lure presentations that anglers can have success with. There are plenty of areas with nice weed beds and plenty of rocky breakwaters that hold fish all throughout the summer.
I have also really enjoyed fishing around Cedar Point amusement park. It is a lot of fun to catch fish and watch roller coasters rush overhead.
I am looking forward to this trip. I will get to spend some time in the amusement park and on the water. The biggest smallmouth I have ever caught in my life came from Lake Erie, and with every cast of the line you know that the possibility exists to haul in a real beast.
Because the smallmouth, walleye, and catfish populations are so good, the largemouth often get overlooked in the bay area. I will have no problem flipping and pitching around visible shoreline cover to potentially yank back and set the hook on a 5-pound bucket mouth.
Yes, the options are plentiful and the hopes are high. I will report back to you when the trip is done. If things go as planned, there will be a few great fish stories to share.