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Lake Erie is renowned for its fishing. Walleye, perch and bass are caught in abundance close to the islands, and the islands have long been a popular destination for fishing vacations all year round. From early spring through late fall, fishermen come from all over the east and Midwest, and license plates from places such as North Dakota and Kansas are common on pickups pulling fishing boats, which arrive at the islands on the ferries.


Did you know that Lake Erie produces more sportfish than all the other Great Lakes combined? Why? Because it's relatively shallow and warm western, central and eastern basins allow fish to use all of the lake, as opposed to just portions of the other lakes.


Fishing licenses can be purchased online at PermitMe.com, but are delivered by U.S. mail.


NOTE: Fishing licenses CANNOT be bought on Middle Bass Island.


You can now also register your Ohio boat online at the ODNR Web site.


Lake Erie Islands Boating and Fishing Services


Captain Pat Chrysler’s Page. Based on Put-in-Bay, he bills himself as a year round fishing guide specializing in walleye, perch, and bass.  In the winter he offers ice fishing  and ice transportation via snowmobile, four-wheeler and trailer, and ice buggy or airboat.  In the spring and fall, he offers fishing from a 20-person diesel-powered craft with a closed and heated cabin. In the summer, he offers a 31-foot Sport Fisherman.  (419) 285-4631


Hard Water Charters. Captain Joe Kostura Put-in-Bay offers charters in a 30' Sport Craft. In the winter, he provides ice shanties with propane heat, ice rods, bait, and transportation to and from the shanties.  (419) 285-3106


Area Fishing Charters, a section of the BoatOhio Web site listing companies that offer charter fishing in the Western Lake Erie basin. The emphasis is on Sandusky and Erie counties.  Many are based in Port Clinton.

Ice Fishing


Ice Shanty Rentals on Middle Bass. Several individuals provide them. Call any of the motels/cottages/inns on the island for more information. See the Yellow Pages.


Ice Fishing Pictures from Put-In-Bay Winter 2000-2001. 


Middle Bass Ice Fishing Picture - January, 2001


Middle Bass Ice Fishing Pictures - February, 2003 - 8 pages; just keep clicking the "Next" button


Ice Fishing Home Page. For those who cannot take a break from fishing during the winter, the Ice Fishing Home Page tells you how to do it without joining the fish.  This site includes an excellent safety directory, with articles on the threat from carbon monoxide, portable heater safety, dealing with ice fractures, hook removal "from your body", self rescue techniques, long rescue rope, spring ice safety considerations, and safety tips from state departments of natural resources.  Minnesota recommends, "Avoid driving on ice whenever possible.... In the 117 ice fatalities occurring in Minnesota since 1976, 68 percent involved a vehicle."  The site has a great directory of Web ice fishing resources including augers, clothing, tackle, transportation, shelters, regional ice fishing sites (including some in Finland and Greenland).  For anyone who wants to give himself a quick education on ice fishing, this is the place to go.


Ice Leaders. Under the heading, Ice Fishing Tactics and Technology, this site offers an ice fishing forum, information on ice fishing tactics, tackle electronics, augers, shelter, clothing and bait. Here is a site to visit if you ice fish or want to and want to have a dialogue with some people who know what they are doing.  


On Ice Tour  is designed to boost public interest in the sport of ice fishing.  Run by Chip Leer and Tommy Skarlis, it conducts in-store demonstrations and seminars, attends fishing contests, sport shows and tournaments throughout the Upper Midwest and Canada.   

Favorite Fishing Sites


Lake Erie Walleye Online is the site of Lake Erie Walleye Magazine.  It has both online and paper editions.  The online version costs only $5.00. For $10/year, the subscriber can get both the online and paper editions. In February, it announced the introduction of a $2.9 million professional walleye fishing circuit known as the Wal-Mart RCL Walleye Series. The first tournament of the new series will be held April 11-14, 2001 on Lake Erie in Port Clinton, Ohio.   The first walleye caught in 2001 were 12 pounds and 6 pounds, caught off Catawba on January 7.  Lake Erie Walleye  P.O. Box 421 Ballwin, MO 63022


Walleye Central. The mother of all walleye sites, this one bills itself as providing "more walleye information than you can handle."  This site includes featured articles on how and where to catch a good walleye.  It offers articles, a store, a message board, a chat site and more.  It's a place where walleye fishermen can ask for and give advice.  Lots of photos of big men with big fish.  It has hyperlinks to the major walleye fishing clubs.  The geographical focus is the upper Midwest, but it has a real depth of information regarding Western Lake Erie.  It invites subscriptions to Walleye Central Magazine.

For good advice about our favorite lake, see Rick Olson’s article “All Eyes on Lake Erie.”    It starts out: “Where in the world can you go and have a real shot at catching a walleye over nine pounds every time you get out on the water? The answer is none other than Lake Erie, the world’s finest walleye fishery, bar none.”  He recommends paying a lot of attention to lake weather.   Walleye Central also publishes a magazine: Walleye Central Magazine.  Walleye Central, 6585 Edenvale Blvd., Suite 120, Eden Prairie, MN 55346.  Phone (952) 949-1109.  Fax: (952) 937-5010.


"The Walleye Capital of the World". This site includes a printable version of the GPS coordinates taken from charts, maps, and C-Map cartridges of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration for Western Lake Erie including the area around the Lake Erie islands.  There is also a useful table showing the estimated age of various types of fish based on their weight.  The site also includes a list of marinas, charter companies, restaurants, bait and tackle shops, lodging, and beaches. 


Bass Fishing Home Page. What Walleye Central is to the walleye world, this site is to the world of bass fishing.  It addresses such issues as places to fish, fishing tactics, rods and reels, electronics, boats and motors, boat ramps, trailers and towing, fly fishing, fishing kids.  It is the bass section of www.Anglerworld.com.  It lists boats for sale, tackle shops and fishing guides. The boat ramp stories are hilarious.   Its geographical focus is North America, but its bass fishing message board includes list entries from Ohio fishermen. Bass Fishing Home Page: Ohio Information  


Great Lakes Angler Magazine - A wonderful fishing publication covering all of the Great Lakes, with a fishing tournament calendar for all of them.


In-Fisherman.com: A good general fishing site perhaps most useful because it tracks the Professional Walleye Trail tournament series and provides the Walleye Insider magazine


Ohio Department of Natural Resources Fishing Report. This report tells you where to find your favorite fish.  It appears weekly April through September and covers Lake Erie plus other Ohio water ways.


Walleyes Inc. is another popular site.

Fish Law & ODNR Fishing Information


Ohio Fishing Regulations. This site provides information on license fees, free licenses, exemption requirements, and Ohio nuisance species.  It lists the wildlife officers by county.  Ottawa County's is John Waltos, who can be reached at (419) 855-4981.   


Ohio Division of Wildlife and their separate Fishing Information page. The Ohio Department of Natural Resource's Division of Wildlife posts a Lake Erie fishing report, fishing regulations, news about Lake Erie, lake maps and similar fish resources.  This site is a good place to go to find out what's legal and what's not.  The state does not want Lake Erie fish populations decimated by over-fishing.  And it does enforce fishing regulations.    

Fish Fans


Great Lakes Sport Fishing Council is a confederation of organizations and individuals involved in sport fishing, the natural and stocked resources that make this fishing possible, and the ecosystem of the Great Lakes.  It has news on fishing, local fishing reports, links to angler Web pages, tournaments, state and federal agencies, and fishing clubs.  Some of the fishing clubs raise walleye and salmon in ponds to stock the lakes.  Others adopt a river or monitor tributaries.  Fish Ohio A section of the main site is devoted to Ohio and calls itself Ohio Anglers Online.  It has links to fishing charters, fishing clubs and associations, Ohio fishing reports, Department of Natural Resources sites, and the home pages of Ohio members.


Fish!Hoo! Search Index for Fishermen  Here is a place to find information on bait shops, motor boat accessories, fish chat rooms, fishing electronics, fishing media, marinas, taxidermists, etc., etc., from all over the world.  A search under Lake Erie yields some links to sites closer to home.  


BoatOhio.com.  If you come to Middle Bass to fish and plan to do it from a boat, this site has useful information about both boating and fishing. Its Angler's Alley section has fishing reports, fishing regulations, Ohio fishing applications, a list of Ohio's record fish, and fish recipes, the Lake Erie weather forecast, and more.

Fishing Chat Rooms and List Servers

Fishing clubs: Ohio Fishing Madness: A Place to Talk about Ohio Fishing


Ohio Fishing Madness offers the Lake Erie Fishing Email List, an Internet mailing list.  Subscribers can send fishing-related email information and requests to all subscribers.  It’s free and a great way to share information with other fisher people.


The Walleye List does the same kind of thing but is devoted exclusively to walleye fishing.  The list is a great resource for exchanging information and developing friendships.  Walleye anglers from all over the world below.  The list claims members from the Professional Walleye Trail (PWT) , USFA Team Walleye, Masters Walleye Circuit  (MWC), and Professional Team Walleye (PTW) as well as the guys you see out there on the lake.


Ohio Anglers Forums   also provides a place for anglers to exchange information.  In early March, someone wanted information on Lake Erie fishing.  The reply recommended a visit to the islands to get the best small walleyes.  


Walleye Central message board also has a message board, with lots of timely advice about fishing around the islands.  



Lake Erie GPS Coordinates for Fishing and Boating

Lake Erie Wind and Weather


National Data Buoy Center on South Bass Island shows wind direction, wind speed, wind gusts, atmospheric pressure, air temperature, and continuous winds for the Lake Erie buoy the closest to Middle Bass.


"Vermilion" Weather Buoy - Station 45005 - W ERIE 28NM Northwest of Cleveland, OH - National Data Buoy Center


Marine Forecast from National Data Buoy Center.  This site presents the Lake Erie forecast from the National Weather Service in Cleveland.


Great Lakes Forecasting System makes regularly scheduled predictions regarding physical and related variables in the Great Lakes.  It presents the recent water surface temperature for Lake Erie and, in the winter, an ice analysis.  It consists of three-dimensional numerical circulation and wave models developed on a supercomputer.   


Department of Natural Resources Lake Erie Information Resources.  This site presents information compiled by the Ohio Geological Survey on water levels, historic water level information, and buoys on Lake Erie.  It records weekly levels and presents a 30-day and a 6-month forecast.


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Revised: 21 Jul 2008 06:55:10.

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