Variable weather makes fishing inconsistent: Northeast Ohio fishing report for weekend June 18-20

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CLEVELAND, Ohio – Due to the pandemic, it has been several months since my Portland, Oregon daughter Kelley Callais, her friend Brian Dalby and my grandchildren, Paige and Parker Jane, had the chance to bond for a day at Lake Erie walleye fishing.

A family wedding brought them all together on Wednesday on the Marblehead Peninsula to hunt walleye, but the northerly winds that morning delayed our adventure with Captain Jack Collins of Mark 1 Charters in Port Clinton. The winds eventually eased, but varying winds the rest of the day would strain everyone’s patience.

The drift and cast bite off Huron, this week’s hotspot for walleye, was difficult for all rental boats due to the varying winds, but we did manage to land some pretty walleye on platforms of golden bladed spinner and nightcrawlers.

When the winds stopped, it was time to lag behind.

Collins brought out the planing boards and the Jet Divers flotilla towing a school of teaspoons. He asked everyone to cast decoys and cast walleye, and surprisingly tangle free.

We would later receive a report that the drift and cast fishing in western Lake Erie had been poor, although it had been very good earlier in the week. Trollers still scooped up some limits of walleye, or almost, on planes and spoons or small dive plugs.

As of Thursday, according to a wide range of reports, the central basin of Lake Erie from Huron to Cleveland was the most productive for walleye.

Huron’s hotspots for walleye were in 20 to 34 feet of water, Bob Hanko reported at Cranberry Creek Marina. The southeast side of the sandbank off Lorain was also good for drift and troll fishermen.

Hanko advised trolling with Scorpion teaspoons, Flicker Minnows, and Bandit B-Shad lures, which are a small version of the Deep Dive Banding and the same size as a Reef Runner Ripper.

Some of the best reports have come from the Cleveland area, where Westlake’s Bud Riser reported the capture of golden trophies around the Cleveland Crib north of Cleveland Harbor. Good fishing was also reported northeast of Crib and off the weather buoy in the Crib area, as well as anglers in kayaks pulling dive plugs off Cleveland at 30 to 40 feet .

Walleye hunting was very good Thursday off Lake Avon, both high and low in the water column. The little spinning rigs kept the casters happy, as well as Erie Dearies and other weight spinners on the go. Rock both spinner platforms and advanced weight spinners with nightcrawlers.

The trolls and Bayrate decoys, planes and diving spoons had been productive. The main decoy colors were lime green, purple, fire tiger, and gold.

Variable weather to make fishing a challenge: Mother Nature will make fishing a challenge before the weekend. Today the southwesterly winds will pick up to 15 to 20 knots and then slow down a bit. Showers and thunderstorms are likely in the evening and overnight.

Southwesterly winds of 15 to 20 knots on Saturday will shift to the west and subside, with waves 2 to 4 feet diminishing to 3 feet or less. On Sunday, milder southwesterly winds should revive good fishing.

River Catfish at Shadow Lake, Strawberry Pond: On Thursday, the Cleveland Metroparks poured 400 pounds of catfish into the Little Strawberry Pond and 600 pounds into the larger Shadow Lake in the North Chagrin Preserve, with more low on the schedule.

Later in June, the catfish will be released to Ledge, Ranger and Judge Lakes, as well as Acacia Preserve and Oxbow Lagoon.

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