2007 Lake Erie Forecast
by Captain Phil Cadez
When I was writing the 2006 forecast for Lake Erie I was excited
by the information that was given to me by the Ohio Division of
Wildlife biologists. The information concluded that the 2003
Walleye hatch was the 3rd
largest on record. Fishing in
2005 it was apparent that the 2003 hatch was fantastic because on
our charters we would throw back 50 - 100 13” Walleye. Even the
Perch fisherman were catching these small Walleye.
2006 started off with a bang and limit catches of 17 to 19 inch
Walleye were taken in April without much trouble. Even the
biologists couldn’t determine how many million Walleye were in
Lake Erie. As the Jacks full of milt were on the reefs it appeared
to be teaming with fish. These fish easily fell to the anglers
jigs. The fishermen that witnessed this comeback miracle were in
awe. The 2003 hatch was a godsend to replenish Lake Erie with had
so many years of tough fishing.
With so many million Walleye in Lake Erie more private and charter
boats began casting instead of trolling. Most anglers prefer
casting for Walleye because it is more fun and requires a higher
level of expertise. When the charter boats had found large schools
of Walleye the casting action hot and heavy on many days. The
charter boats were limiting in a short time.
“Walleye Weapons” were the most popular casting lures. In April
and May purple beads became very popular. Over all the best
producing blade color was gold with different colored beads. The
beads ranged from gold, chartreuse, red, silver, purple and pear.
This simple spinner lure along with a ¾ oz. egg sinker and a half
night crawler made it easy to produce Walleye.
In mid May when the water began warming up large schools of
Walleye were caught close to the shoreline from Toledo to
Marblehead. Big packs of private boat and charters were spotted
sometimes a few hundred yards off shore. Limits could be caught in
a very short time. A few charters ran 2 and 3 trips a day with
Travis Hartman a Marine Biologist, for the Ohio Division of
Wildlife stationed at Sandusky supplied me with the following
information. In 2006 there were more than 1,750,000 Walleye caught
in Lake Erie. This was the first time the million mark was
surpassed since 1998. The private boats averaged .7 Walleye per
angler per hour. The charters averaged 1.2 Walleye per angler per
hour. The fall Walleye catch was the best in years. Many 8 to 12
pound Walleye were caught between Cedar Point and Vermilion in
early November. Night fishing off lighted docks and piers near
Kelley’s Island and marinas of Marblehead and Catawba were very
Because of the enormous amount of food for the Walleye they grow
very fast in Lake Erie. 2007 will bring great catches of the 2003
hatch which will average 17 to 21 inches. Many of the young adult
Walleye will weight over 3 pounds. All the local anglers are
looking forward to probably the best fishing outlook in many
The ice fishing was great this past winter with quality Walleye
caught between 3 - 6 pounds.
As the ice broke up anglers were anticipating an early spring, but
mother nature changed their plans with many cold fronts and high
winds that kept the waters in the 30's and murky. Fishing really
did not get good until mid-April as the water went over 40 degrees
the fish were on the reefs and humps and were spawning. Great
catches were caught at this time on the jacks which averaged 3
pounds and above.
For those readers who haven’t been out to Lake Erie this would be
the best year to enjoy the greatest Walleye fishing in the world.
Fishermen that had some tough fishing years ago should try and
make it back to enjoy a better experience. The 2003 hatch was
recorded as Lake Erie’s third largest on record. Plan ahead and
bring a safe seaworthy boat for a big lake. If you don’t have a
boat get some friends together and secure a charter with a local
experienced guide. Don’t wait too long to book your trip. Many
guides still have weekend dates available. Check Yahoo and type in
“Lake Erie Charters” and decide who you might be comfortable
booking with. Lake Erie.com will get you more information on
lodging, charters, marinas etc. You can always check my website
for updated fishing reports at
Good Fishin !!!