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Blade Fishing Report: 5/19

05/19/2017, 12:21am EDT

The best angling information from area experts

A fisherman brings his catch of ashore at Orleans Park in Perrysburg. THE BLADE

■ Lake Erie: Walleye pro Ross Robertson reports it has been a tough slog in recent weeks with a lot of wind and dirty water to contend with, but he references the satellite images, locates the best water, and then attacks. Robertson said the early bite and late afternoon have been more productive than mid-day. He’s been fishing the deeper, clean water with spinners when the wind cooperates, or ducking behind the islands and trolling crankbaits when the wind prevails. He said the active biters are in small ponds and once located, you have to work them over. Netcraft’s experts report an uptick in the smallmouth bass fishing around the islands, with tube skirts or drop-shot rigs producing the most fish. Catch-and-release for all smallmouth and largemouth bass remains in place until June 24.

■ Golden Walleye canceled: The young promoters behind the “Golden Walleye Tagged Fishing Tournament” have encountered significant issues with funding and insurance so the event has been scrubbed for this summer. They have issued refunds to all registered participants, and have closed the registration. The event was to carry a grand prize of $100,000 plus more than $25,000 in guaranteed payouts, with proceeds going to the Lake Erie Protection Fund. For more information, visit the website.

■ Maumee River: The waterway has settled down, the current has slowed and the white bass bonanza seems to be gaining momentum. River watcher Joe Roecklein reported that the fish appear to be moving upstream, with the action slowing a bit at Orleans Park, but anglers picking up stronger catches from the Blue Grass Island area. Roecklein said the Maumee side has been good up to Jerome Road. White Twister Tails are the top bait at this stage of the run.

■ Sandusky River: With improving conditions have come increased catches of spawning run white bass. The haul has not yet approached the multiple coolers full of fish that the Sandusky is known for, but things are picking up. Other anglers did well working bright orange and chartreuse Twister Tails in the waters between the State and Hayes street bridges. Creel survey technician John Hageman said certain locations along the river seem to heat up, and he has seen stringers with up to 80 fish on them this week. 

■ Ohio strip mine lakes: Guide Corneilus Harris from Guru Outfitters reports the top water bite has turned on, with Hula Poppers and jerk baits worked as top water or just below the surface producing strikes with a subtle twitch and jerk retrieve. Harris reports bass on the beds, including one 8-pounder that stubbornly resisted the urge to attack a Texas-rigged weightless lizard.

■ Detroit River: This waterway is producing prodigious numbers of walleye, but those strong hatch classes of 2014 and 2015 are making a lot of sorting necessary, according to guide Spencer Berman. His clients caught 80 walleye one day this week, just to get 25 keepers that went 15 to 24 inches. Their catch also included another 50 white bass, perch, smallmouth, sheepshead, etc. He recommends fishing the Canadian side in 25 to 35 feet of water. Berman has open dates next week and beyond for river walleye, or Lake St. Clair smallmouth fishing. Contact Berman at 419-410-0498.

■ Irish Hills: Several of these lakes have been stocked with a lot of walleye over the years, and one fortunate angler landed a 26-inch, 6¼ pound beauty out of Round Lake this week. On the panfish front, the blue gills are showing signs of bedding activity on some lakes as the water temperatures creep higher.

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Tag(s): Pro  Matt Markey