If your wanting to filet and package your fish all in a short period of time then you need start doing this. Very minimal rinsing is required and the fish tastes great when you eat it since all the blood is out of the filet. When the fish is bleed out we typically give them a light rinse to get the slime off and package them immediately after.
Was at a cookout last week and some of the guests are booking a trip the first week in April. Seems like that's a bit early as there could be ice to deal with. I have heard that early in the year is your best chance at big fish but not sure if that means in the rivers or are people fishing out in the lake that early in the year. Any comments?
Erie has been a slam-fest since early March. With the volume of legal fish in the system you can go just about anywhere from Toledo to Ashtabula right now and get a quick limit. Pick your poison...harnesses, spoons, small cranks, big cranks, bottom bouncers, leadcore, riggers, dipseys, jets, etc. etc. It really doesn't matter. The weather is somewhat stabilizing now, but Northern Indiana and Ohio have been deluged with rain over the past few weeks. The rivers are pumping muddy water into the system, so obviously you will want to stay clear of the Maumee, Sandusky, and Portage river mouth areas.
The majority of what you will catch will be in the 17-20" range, with the occasional 25-28" fish. Missing are fish in the 21-25" range, but there will be a lot of those in the coming years.
For those wondering what these fish will eat...add to that question the 2018 hatch is 40% larger than the 2003 hatch. Yes, you read that correctly. Erie is set up for the next 20 years barring any ecological disaster.
Sounds like you were in my boat. Was up there from the 23rd to the 27th. Ran crawler harnesses the whole time. Fishing up by border between the islands. Averaging about 75 fish per day. Just a ton of 17 -21" fish in Erie right now. Biggest in our boat was 23.5" but different group boat had a 28", 29" & 30" East of Kelly's. Hopefully these fish have something to eat for the next 4 - 5 years. Can't imagine what it will be like then.
56° - 60° F
61° - 65° F
Down from Wis. again for 25th. year 3th. week May, same as other years crawler harness 25 to 35 ft water between islands 15 to 25 ft down # 4 blades copper backs w/ purple ,white,pink combos on blades, most fish kept were 18 to 24 in. released about 50 under 18 in limits each day in couple hours, only one day w/2' or less waves otherwise 2to 4 or 3to 5' for 4 of 5 days there. Big fish were already as far east as Cleveland so east side of Kelly's didn't produce much,also not much bait or trash fish walleyes seam to be eating themselves out of house and home.