Great Lakes offers great opportunities for anglers in 2011


It will be interesting to see what the Great Lakes offer fishermen during the coming months. If last summer serves as a predictor, there will be good news and bad news depending on where, when, and what.

For instance, walleye fishing in Lake Erie, the most productive of all the Great Lakes, has been on a decline for the last few years and without a record-busting spawn in March, the kind that puts tens of millions of young walleyes into the system, things may go from bad to worse.

It’s been rumored that wildlife officials will reduce the daily limit from the current six to five or perhaps even four walleyes per day.

Many knowledgeable anglers have often suggested that a closed fishing season during the spring spawn would certainly help boost overall walleye numbers but that suggestion has never gained much favor. Others have suggested that a stocking program would just as certainly help but that too, hasn’t created much enthusiasm.

It seems that Lake Erie is on its own with daily limits and harvest quotas the only apparent management tools.

Perch fishing however, seems as good or better than ever. So good in fact, that perch fishing has become the main attraction for many Lake Erie fans.

The Fairport Harbor charter fishing fleet will miss the presence of the late Ron Johnson, perhaps the most revered charter guide in the area. Johnson died recently, leaving huge footprints to fill. He was a popular speaker at sport shows and his boat Thumper, seemed always to be on the fish, even when the fish were especially elusive.

Besides fishing the big water, Captain Johnson had a passion for rabbit hunting with his beagles, thus the name Thumper for his boat.


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Mike Tontimonia has been writing weekly columns and magazine features about the outdoors for over 25 years, a career that continues to hold the same excitement for him as it did at the beginning. Mike is a retired educator, a licensed auctioneer and marketing consultant. He lives in Ravenna, Ohio and enjoys spending time at his Carroll County cabin. Mike has hunted and fished in several states and Canada from the Carolinas to Alaska and from Idaho to Delaware. His readers have often commented that the stories about his adventures are about as close to being there as possible. He is past president of the Outdoor Writers of Ohio and a member of the Outdoor Writers Association of America. Mike is also very involved in his community as a school board member and a Rotarian.



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