Last minute trophy walleye in Lake Erie Derbys: NE Ohio fishing report for the weekend of November 23-25

CLEVELAND, Ohio — Jim Holton, 71, of Millford, Mich., could have a lot to be thankful for Sunday noon. Both the Lake Erie Fall Brawl and Walleye Slam Walleye Derbies, which began Oct. 15 on Lake Erie, will conclude Sunday noon, and Holton’s 13.62-pound, 31.5-inch walleye that last Tuesday before Lorain was caught, is in line to win both derbies.

Holton and his fishing buddy Tim McKinney, 67, of Flint, Michigan are dedicated deer hunters and walleye fishermen, so it’s been a very good week for Horton. Before the two anglers headed to Lake Erie earlier this week for a last-ditch effort to win the walleye derbies, he tagged a superb 10-pound buck in Michigan’s Oakland County.

“I have to undress my deer when we get home, then turn around and go back to Ohio to see if we won the walleye derbies in the Fall Brawl and the Walleye Slam,” Holton said in a phone interview.

Should Holton miss, the runner-up prizes will be a huge credit to his bank account.

The couple nearly failed to launch their boat after arriving from Michigan last Tuesday.

“We were going to launch the boat at Rocky River or Edgewater Park in the Cleveland area, but both ramps were covered in ice,” he said. “We asked around and found that most zander boats depart from Lorain, so we towed McKinney’s 2150 Crestliner boat there and departed around noon.”

It was a late start but the walleye they wanted was waiting.

“We started fishing south of the Lorain Harbor landfill and just five minutes later one of the lines on an offshore planer board came loose,” Holton said. “We’ve caught some big walleye in the past and this one was a dandy.”

In fact, it was the only walleye they hooked and landed on Tuesday. As the sun went down, the fishermen made their way to Erie Outfitters in Sheffield Lake, the only checkpoint for the walleye slam, where the fish weighed 13.62 pounds, surpassing the 31.44 pounds Tammy Stanton caught on March 14. caught November.

Holton and his partner were well aware of the Lake Erie Walleye cheating scandals, including the 2021 Walleye Derbys and the Lake Erie Walleye Trail Tournament cheating scandal. The 42-year-old Cleveland-area Jacob Runyan and 35-year-old Chase Cominsky of Pennsylvania were charged after they allegedly placed weights and fish fillets in their tournament-winning catch.

“The Walleye Slam and Fall Brawl are fun fishing derbies. Entry fees are low and there is a chance for some big prizes. We wanted to come back this year and I’m glad we did,” said Holton.

Zander weather good until Sunday: Expect lots of small boats on Lake Erie in the final hours of the Walleye Slam and Fall Brawl Fishing Derby today, but exercise extreme caution Sunday morning when the risk of rain and brisk westerly winds is high.

Steelheaders get a weather break: Warming temperatures for the Thanksgiving holiday gave wading steelhead trout fishermen another respite along northeast Ohio’s rivers and creeks, but weekend rains could cloud the waters Sunday and into the next week.

Fishermen are targeting recently caught rainbow trout and channel catfish in the Ohio & Erie Canal fishing area on East 49th Street, down the path from the Canalway Visitor Center in the Cleveland area.

Lakefront areas like the East 55th Breakwall continue to produce large numbers of walleye after dark, with Perfect 10s and other shallow running crankbaits working well.

The first winter stocking of rainbow trout in the lakes and ponds of Cleveland Metroparks is scheduled for mid-December.