The “Sweet” Spot of Lake Erie Lorain, Ohio

Category: article

 Jun 7th, 2012 by OutdoorsFIRST 

Modified Jun 7th, 2012 at 8:24 AM

The second stop on the AIM Professional Walleye Series will be hosted by the Lorain Port Authority in Loraine, OH.  Lorain is located in northeastern Ohio on Lake Erie at the mouth of the Black River, about 30 miles west of Cleveland.  Scheduled out of the Black River Landing and Black River Wharf this event will be held from June 28-30, 2012. 
Loraine is the true ‘sweet’ spot of Lake Erie for a June tournament. The natural migration of big Lake Erie walleyes is from the primary spawning grounds in the western basin to the vast open water of the eastern basin during the summer.

AIM Pro angler Mark Brumbaugh from Arcanum, OH is considered one of America’s leading experts on fishing,  for walleye on Lake Erie.  He considers Ohio’s lakes, rivers, reservoirs and state waters of Lake Erie as his home waters.  He’s had several first place finishes, with his most notables including: Winner of the PWT Championship on Michigan’s Saginaw Bay in 1995 and winner of the Lake Erie Walleye Trail Gator Classic right out of Lorain, OH in 2009.

Mark notes that, at this time of year these fish should be in the 8 to12 pound class.  It will be Lake Erie open water trolling and the bite should be great.  The Black River Landing and Black River Wharf have good ramps and there is a big protected harbor.  I will be running a Lund 208 GL with a Mercury 300 PRO to handle the big waters of Erie.

When asked if this early warmer than normal spring has affected the migration of the walleye to the area, Mark stated that the weather is back to more seasonal now and if it stays that way the fish will be right there.  Usually June brings nice weather with south winds.  Mark said that the water is deeper and rocky in that part of the lake so it stays cleaner too.

Mark’s main job is a grain farmer so sometimes it’s hard for him to fish the spring events, but he said he would not trade it for anything.  Having an understanding wife certainly helps and Mark has been happily married to his wife Terri for 13 years.

Mark feels the best techniques will be ‘Anything you want to pull—spinners, spoons, and cranks!’ Since walleyes are migrating from the western to the eastern basin they should be positioned around the infamous sandbar.  Mark explains the sandbar as A big hump in the lake that the fish use as structure.  It’s 40 plus feet deep to the west and goes down to the deepest parts of the lake to the east.

AIM member Keith Kavajecz said ‘although this is the first time AIM will be having a tournament out of Lorain, we have fished past events in the summer further east in Cleveland and Dunkirk, but often ended up running back to the west to get to the best fishing; the Lorain takeoff point should put us right in the heart of the best fishing.

Keith added, ‘Like most Great Lakes tournaments, we will be concentrating on suspended fish. Water temp and visibility will be key factors in positioning the walleyes in the water column.  I will be fishing out of my Nitro boat with a 225 Mercury Optimax to handle the waters of Erie.  I will also be using my Lowrance HDS units extensively to try to search out the schools of larger walleyes. One nice thing about these units is that I can search at 20 to 25 mph and still see the arcs made by the suspended walleyes. They appear much shorter (since the boat is traveling over them faster), but with the HDS units, big fish still show up with some yellow in the arc (indicating a strong return and a larger fish).’

Keith also stated that ‘another factor may be the thermocline. Often the active fish will be above this intersection of the cold bottom waters and the warming surface waters. Again the HDS units are great at showing the depth of the thermocline, it shows up as a fuzzy line at a consistent depth. Then by using tools like the Precision Trolling data (which should be available as an IPhone App by June), I can position my baits above the thermocline right in the eating zone.’ 

Keith feels the Co-anglers will get to see a variety of trolling set ups  from down riggers and Dipseys to trolling boards and in-line weights. I will mainly be using the Offshore Side Planers to get my baits spread out to the side and reduce spooking of the suspended fish. ‘When we have fished this area in the past, I have had to go to using 10lb FireLine to get my deep diving cranks to dive deeper than they do on mono and we’ll probably be letting out a ton of line to get down to the fish. I image that I might also have to use Snap Weights (Pro Weights) or Bass Pro Fish Weights, especially if it is a spinner bite instead of a crank bite.’

Lorain County is considered to be a part of what is locally referred to as Greater Cleveland.  Lorain is sometimes referred to as Steel City mainly because of its well-known steel mill. The City of Lorain originally began as the small village named “Mouth of Black River”, named at that time for its exact location on the west side of the mouth of the Black River. The industries such as shipbuilding, steelmaking, and fishing brought people, money and railroads to the area. 

It’s the awesome fishery that’s bringing the AIM Anglers to the Lorain area and the potential for record breaking fish weights.  2010 Angler of the Year Robert  Blosser will most certainly be there too.  Robert caught an impressive weight of 139.46 pounds with only 21 fish the last time he fished a tournament in this area!  With AIM’s CRR format the sky’s the limit on the type of weights that could be recorded so you won’t want to miss this event.  With simple words that speak volumes to all fishermen who love to fish the waters of Erie, Keith Kavajecz closes by saying–‘Big Water and Big Fish–SWEET!’


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