But plenty more visit the Big Lake rarely, but would still like to go up there and do some fishing, enjoy the dipping and jinking of overhead sea gulls, the lap of water, and the bracing fresh air coming over from Canada. Most don't really know where to go, and if that's your problem here are some answers.
First choice for those flush with cash is to hire out a charter boat. Many call them "six packs" because they'll take up to six anglers, and there are literally hundreds of them along Lake Erie. Any marina of size is likely to have one or several captains based there waiting to take fishermen out for walleye or yellow perch. They're fairly costly, ranging from $400 to $600, even more for a day or half days fishing, but most are knowledgeable and competent and will give you individual attention and find fish if they're biting at all that day. You can get a huge list by Googling up Lake Erie charter boat captains, then call one for details. Friends may have already make a trip or two with a particularly captain and can recommend him or her for quick results.
A second choice for those with less money is to go out on a head boat. They're called that because they charge by the head, usually $40 to $50 per person, and many have rates that vary for senior citizens or youngsters. Some provide bait and others require that you buy minnows or nighcrawlers before you leave the dock. Headboats are scattered all along Lake Erie, but many are concentrated around Port Clinton, and you can get a list of these by calling the Ottawa County Visitors Bureau at 1-800-441-1271. Or again Google up Lake Erie headboats. These boats are large, roomy, have walk-around room, and usually decent restrooms if they're needed.
Third choice? That's pier or shore fishing, a business that will cost you little other than gas to get up there and the cost of bait at a local shop. There are lots of piers, and the best known is the Huron Pier in downtown Huron. It's a huge concrete structure that parallels the Huron River and points its finger far out into the lake ending at a lighthouse, There's fair parking close by and bait available equally close by. Anglers here can often find yellow perch, white perch, sheepshead, bullheads, and channel cats which usually pass the pier heading into the river each evening, and back again early in the morning.
You can catch fish anywhere along the pier, but most days the top spot will lie clear out at the end by the lighthouse, a long walk carrying rods, a bucket of minnows or some nightcrawlers, maybe a cooler and other necessities. You might bobber fish along the pier, but most opt to use a two snelled hooks (No. 6 or 4) above a half ounce or so sinker and bottom fish for their catch. That's always my personal choice for the Huron Pier or any other.
Other choices include the Catawba State Park pier on the northwest corner of Catawba Island, a place that is ideal for families with restrooms and a playground nearby. You'd best not use nightcrawlers here, since my last trip there saw round gobies stripping my bait before anything could find it. Best use larger minnows, an offering the gobies seldom touch, but perch, smallmouth bass, and other species like just fine.
Then there the Mazurik and Dempsey Access public fishing and launch areas, both near Marblehead and with good signs advertising their presence. They're state of the art with lots of parking and restrooms For simple shore fishing the list is long indeed. Some like fishing at Old Bay bridge which parallels Route 2 crossing Sandusky Bay west of Sandusky. To reach it, cross on Ohio 2, then at the first exit turn back and enter onto the bridge. There are other access points along the Huron River and near downtown Port Clinton, and plenty more heading east or west. Make your choice, head north, and be prepared for some relaxing fishing and hopefully some catching, too.
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HOOKS & BULLETS
Ohio hunters checked 10,415 wild turkeys during the first week of the wild turkey hunting season, up slightly from the 10,293 birds checked in during the first week of 2017. Hunters are reminded that they must have a hunting licence and spring turkey hunting permit to seek these elusive birds, and can harvest only one bearded turkey per day with a total bag limit of two.
Anglers who like to catch big panfish will find them at the Lake La Su An Wildlife Area in northwestern Ohio. The Area will be open for fishing through Sept. 3 on Monday, Friday, Saturday, and Sunday from sunrise to sunset during this open season. Anglers will not need a reservation to fish the lakes, but all vehicles must park in a designated parking space. Sunfish bag limits for 2018 will be 15 fish daily, with no more than five fish being eight inches or larger.
The Isaac Walton League is inviting outdoorsmen and women who want to help improve the environment to become Volunteer Stream Monitors. They will collect water quality information near where they live. Polluted runoff from fields, parking lots, industrial sites, and yards across America flow unchecked and untreated into our streams and rivers, and they can help stop it. Join the Clean Water Challenge and do what you can. For more information,visit the League's website at www.iwla.org/challenge.
Dick Martin is a free-lance writer from Shelby. Reach him at [email protected] You can also visit his blog at outdoorswithmartin.com.