Lake Erie Walleye
including Toledo, Ohio
Port Clinton, Ohio
Detroit River, Michigan
734-475-9146 Phone to book your trip 734-475-9146
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Au Gres - Saginaw Bay Walleye Fishing Travel Guide
Special note on Lake Erie Walleye Fishing
After yet another dismal early spring on Lake Erie out of Monroe in 2017, I have decided to suspend my Lake Erie walleye charters. The reasons for this are many and complex but it really all boils down to massive amounts of agricultural sediment and pollution that has turned the Westerns Basin of Lake Erie into a giant, muddy cesspool, especially during the early spring. This has been the toughest decision I've ever had to make in my charter fishing career because there is no other place that I know of that served up a trophy walleye fishery like Erie during the early spring, bar none. The problem is that due to modern farming practices, the water gets so muddy and polluted during the spring, that it becomes almost impossible to catch fish, despite the abundance that may or may not be there. All that pollution is also causing walleye recruitment problems too and it has even caused some municipalities to shut off their water supplies that draw from Lake Erie, which has made national news and is a sad thing indeed. Despite all the ecological problems there, there has been no movement by the farm lobby on an action plan to significantly reduce agricultural runoff pollution, so the problem will likely get worse before it gets better. There has only been one good year class of walleyes in the past decade, which is dismal at best, so the number of trophy class walleyes has declined precipitously in recent years. During the early spring, when the water temperature is very cold and the density of the water is high, those sediments tend to hang in the water for a longer period of time compared to warm weather months, so the water is often so cloudy that fish can't see more than a couple inches in that pea soup, which makes for beyond tough fishing conditions and cancelled trips in my case. It also causes very poor spawning conditions too, thus the walleye recruitment problems. When I first started fishing Erie during the spring in the 1980s and 1990s, there would only be an occasional period of muddy water caused by wind and/or flooding. Now, in the past few years, I'm lucky to have good fishing conditions for a few days during the entire early spring period. This year there was not one, single day of good fishing all early spring. There has also been some lodging issues in the Monroe area too with many unscrupulous establishments and a shortage of room availability at times when major industrial projects or events are underway. Perhaps the-powers-that-be will fix the problems, but I'm not holding my breath and instead of the often futile effort to fish Erie during the spring, I will instead focus my resources and early spring charter schedule on at Au Gres on Saginaw Bay where the waters remain clear and clean even during the early spring period and also where the walleye population is at an all-time, modern high. We were able to take dozens of jumbo sized walleyes out of Au Gres in 2017, and I expect that trend to not only continue, but also to improve even more in coming years. .
Lake Erie's spring walleyes are hard hitting fighters that are a blast to catch and those spring eyes' run big too. Many 10+ pound lunkers are taken every year by Trophy Specialists. With 20+ years of experience chasing Lake Erie's spring walleyes, your chances of catching a genuine double-digit walleye are very possible with us indeed, especially on the early spring trips. Because the weather and fishing conditions are so unpredictable during the early spring, customers must sign up for an "On Call List" to fish with us during March. When conditions are favorable for fishing, Trophy Specialists will phone customers on the "On Call List" and they will get to fish during the best possible conditions thus increasing our overall success rates. We typically call those customers at least 48 hour in advance of fishing. The on-call list is best for customers with a flexible schedule, but we do accept people on the list that where they are only available to fish on certain days of the week. If for some reason we can't fish on the specified days available, then the deposit is carried forward and can be used to book any trip during the year or even applied to the On-Call List for the next year. During April, charters will be conducted by reservations only where you will need to book a specific date.
We fish the Michigan and Ohio waters departing from Monroe (Bolles Harbor) targeting both the Michigan waters and Ohio waters of the Western Basin. Key areas are off Monroe, Toledo Beach, Luna Pier, Maumee Bay, Toledo, Reno Beach, Camp Perry Range Cans, and we have even run as far as Port Clinton and West Sister Island at times. Since Trophy Specialist is a licensed charter boat in both Michigan and Ohio we can certainly cover a lot of water. Trolling body-baits, crank-baits , spoons and crawler harness using mostly in-line planer boards is the most consistent producer of Erie's hawg, spring walleye. At times, jigging, casting and drifting techniques are also used, especially during the spawning period from April 5 through April 25. An average Lake Erie sport fishing charter during early spring typically yields a dozen or more walleyes with an average size of about 6-8 lbs. From mid-April on through the end of spring the trips typically produce higher numbers of walleyes, but the average size tends to be somewhat smaller averaging around 2-5 lbs. During favorable weather conditions, it's not uncommon to limit out on walleyes. The biggest walleyes of the year, those pre-spawn lunker females are caught during March and early April. Since it is close by, we can also fish the Detroit River should clients desire that experience. The Detroit River is also a backup spot in case the conditions on Lake Erie are not favorable. Make sure to dress warm on these early spring trips.
Meeting Place - The meeting place is at the Bolles Harbor DNR Boat Launch at Monroe, Michigan. To get there take I-75 to Exit 11, La Plaisance Rd. Proceed south on La Plaisance Rd. about 1/4 mile and turn left heading east on Waters Edge Dr. (marked with a brown DNR access site sign). Take Waters Edge Dr. about 1/2 mile to the boat launch. The Trophy Specialist boat is a big, red, Lund Barron Magnum with a white top pulled by a blue/gray, regular cab Chevy Silverado 4X4.
Monroe Information and Lodging: The small town of Monroe, Michigan hosts Trophy Specialists Fishing Charter's spring, Lake Erie walleye trips. Besides fantastic walleye fishing, Monroe also offers museums, the Vietnam Veteran Memorial, Custer's Memorial, golf courses, ample shopping opportunities, parks, camping, motels/hotels, bait/tackle, antique shops, a full complement of bars and restaurants and the Cabela's retail store is just 10 miles away. Monroe is located about 37 miles south of Detroit. If you're flying in, it is suggested that you fly into Detroit Metropolitan Airport near Romulus located about 20 miles north/west of Monroe. From there, a vehicle can be rented and you can drive to Monroe. Trophy Specialist Fishing Charters has worked out a special lodging package with the Days Inn located in Monroe. If you mention that you are fishing with Capt. Mike Veine then you will receive a discounted room rate. The Days Inn is at 1900 Welcome Way, Monroe, MI 48162, 734-289-2330 and features free high speed wireless internet, free local calls, kitchenettes, in room Jacuzzis, pool privileges, HBO +80 channels, gym, outdoor pool (seasonal), free dinner on Tuesdays, free continental breakfast every day, refrigerators, flat screen TV and microwaves in every room, safe, close parking, meeting room, fish cleaning station and more. Both motels are located right behind the Burger King off exit 15 (Dixie Highway). There are many restaurants in the immediate area to satisfy all budgets and tastes.
Warning - Do no book a room with the Baymont Inn & Suites (Formerly the Amerihost Inn) in Monroe, Michigan near Bolles Harbor. Myself and others that have stayed at this motel have been extremely dissatisfied with this establishment. Trophy Specialists Fishing Charters does not recommend doing business with Baymont Inn & Suites or Amerihost Inn.
Licensing - Customers will be responsible for obtaining the proper fishing license prior to the prescribed meeting time. Everyone accept youths under 16 years old will need a Michigan fishing license. The captain will inform clients prior to the day scheduled to fish whether an Ohio license will be needed. MI and OH licenses are available at a two bait shops located on La Plaisance Road just past the turnoff for the Bolles Harbor DNR Boat Launch. You can also purchase license on the Internet at: Buy Fishing Licenses On-line.
Bring Along - your fishing license, proper attire (warm boots and cloths), rain gear, brimmed hat, sunscreen, camera, sun-glasses, food and beverages. Drinking alcoholic beverages is allowed on board the boat, but only in moderation. Only small coolers that can fit under the seats are allowed on the boat. Basically, if your cooler is too large to be allowed on an airliner as carry-on baggage, then it shouldn't go on the boat either. A larger cooler should also be available off the boat for transporting your catch home. If you're flying into Michigan, be sure to check with your airline for any rules pertaining to transporting fish. To prevent spills and stains, coffee can only be consumed on the boat in a spill resistant container. Michigan law states that all youths under 16 year old must where a personal flotation device (PFD) at all times on the water. In addition, Trophy Specialist's encourages everyone to wear a PFD when the boat is underway and above trolling speeds. Trophy Specialists will make available comfortable life vests in various standard adult sizes (small to X-large) along with the required type III - PFDs. It is required that parties with children or adults smaller or larger than standard adult sizes (30" to 60" chest) bring their own Coast Guard approved PFDs.
Seasickness Precautions - If you're prone to motion sickness, standard over-the-counter medications such as Dramamine might be a good idea. When taken as directed at least one hour prior to the scheduled departure time, those nasty symptoms can usually be controlled. If you've suffered from sea-sickness in the past or have never been exposed to big water fishing, it's recommended that acidic or alcoholic beverages be avoided and eating in moderation both before and during the trip is also a good idea.
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