Best walleye season on Lake Erie

Posted on July 26th, 2013 by CaptainJim

I have been guiding on Lake Erie near Buffalo, New York since 1978 and I admit that most of those years has been taking people out for small mouth bass. I began to fish for walleye with my dad back in the late 50’s and early 60’s, using chugging irons and spinners, but my love for smallies took over and I made a long and great career out of catching them. When I was producing my TV Series “Jim Hanley’s Northeast Outdoors” I would go out with an “expert” and we would shoot the video we needed to produce a show on walleye fishing and that ended my quest for them. About 10 years ago a few clients began asking if we could spend part of the day fishing for walleye to have for the table. I asked around on what was working and how to catch them and all I heard was about using dipsy divers, planner boards with mast and down riggers. I had bass boats at the time and was not prepared to rig them with that kind of gear or able to slow my 225 hp Mercury’s down enough to go the speeds necessary to catch them. As more and more customers wanted to fish not only part of the day but now all of the day for “walters” and my boats changed to a more Great Lakes style, such as my Lund 2075 with a Mercury Verado 250 Pro, I learned by trail and error how to consistently put not only a few walleye into the live well but limit catches as well.  The style I have embraced for most of my walleye fishing, is as old fashioned as the wooden boat I learned to fish out of. I refer to my favorite technique as “bottom bouncing” . Its simple and easy to fish and customers love catching nice Lake Erie walleye over trolling with multiple lines, stacked all over the boat.  The bottom bouncing rig is simply a 3 way or T swivel tied directly to the main line with a sinker attached to another of the rings and a leader going to your worm harness on the last ring. The worm harness itself is 2 hooks snelled to the line with about 6 to 7 beads of whatever color turns you on,  and a clevis attached to a spinner blade. Moving the boat with my electric trolling motor at about 1 to 1 1/2 mph along rocky drops or in open water will put some amazing fish into your boat. I will elaborate more in my next post but I have to run now as someone just called and wants to go and catch some “walters”. See you all again soon.

best Fishes


Be sure to check out the pictures of recent catches on my picture page and you will see just how hot the walleye fishing has been  on Lake Erie near Buffalo New York.