Right now the fishing on Lake Erie is some of the best fishing to be found anywhere where walleye are found swimming. After working with fellow Church Tackle and Northland Tackle staff member Captain Ken Clark from Fishmas Charters for three days, Saturday was my time to get out on the water and I even snuck out for a quick trip this morning! Patterns for all the trips were basically the same, while I went a little deeper looking for some bigger walleye.
Now we often joke around within Church Tackle circles by saying, “WWKCD” which translated means, “What would Ken Clark Do?” Here is the skinny on what works for Ken day in and day out. To use the phrase I use most often after the spring bite is over, “Dragging Meat” is the key. The captain buys 1500 nightcrawlers at a time, and uses them in conjunction with Northland’s Crawler Hauler series of spinner rigs.
He uses primarily #1 Stingray Weights from Church Tackle to get his harness down to where the fish are. He also runs the smallest board you could think of using, the venerable TX-12 planer board from Church. With the smaller weights, the captain is targeting the top 2/3 rds of the water column first thing in the morning. Not that he doesn’t overlook where the bigger fish might be lurking by dropping down some #3 weights on what he calls his down rods, for normal folks those would be like your bottom bouncer rods. FYI, you can get the weights painted or unpainted, if you purchase the painted versions, they are color coated per size for easier identification when reaching into your weight box. I sort of blitzed the good folks at Frank’s Great Outdoors a few years ago when I first wrote about the Stingray’s. They were swamped with calls from anglers looking for the weights, but have no fear, they have plenty in stock now.
If you are looking for walleye information, it will be a good bet you can find Ken’s white Lund Pro-V through the month of July at the fishing cleaning station at the Sterling State Park boat launch. To get a private tutorial, you can book a charter with the captain by checking out his website: Fishmas Charters
Stay tuned for Part #2!