Lake Erie fish


Lake Erie, shallowest of the five Great Lakes, was the first to be formed by the massive glaciers of the last ice age, but the last to be discovered by European explorers. The reason for this is that its fertile waters were fiercely guarded by the Iroquois natives that inhabited its shores.

Lake Erie remains a world class fishery to this day. The tributary-fed water of the Western and Central Basins hold millions of Walleye, Smallmouth Bass, and Yellow Perch, not to mention countless other less sought after species.

Whether you choose to target Walleye, Smallmouth, or Yellow Perch, our captains know how to find the fish and can teach you the techniques to bring them to the boat. A fabulous Lake Erie fishing adventure with the Pirates awaits you!


The season begins at "ice-out". Typically, we are fishing within the first week of April. The month of April can be either kind, or very cruel, depending on the weather conditions. Though the weather may be very cool, the fishing can be quite intense and HOT.

Our spawning season occurs in April and early May. For those looking for a trophy fish, that special one for the wall, this is the PRIME TIME! During this time frame we customarily fish shallow water and rock piles utilizing jigs or jigging spoons-April's not everyone's cup of tea. Yet, those who are hearty enough, and have a desire for a big fish, are usually rewarded with that much anticipated trophy.

Rack of walleye

Further proof of the productivity of this period is evidenced by the shattering of ALL previous records for the PWT and RCL Tournaments each time they have held tournament here. Those tournaments are routinely held in April or early May.

Around the middle of May, after the spawn as the water warms, the walleye begin moving to deeper water. This is when they go on their "feeding frenzies". At this point we change our tactics form jigs to weight forward spinners and live bait for optimum results. Additionally, we incorporate worm harnesses and "bottom-bouncers".

We usually drift and cast using our exclusive "countdown" method. At various times we troll with "crank baits" or spoons. Either method is highly effective in taking the "toothy" walleye. Many days, we handle well over 100 walleyes. This fast action generally continues into mid-August and will usually pick up again late September through November (weather permitting).


This little guy is thought to be the best tasting fish in the world by many people. Several million pounds are harvested annually by commercial and sport fishermen. It is easy to catch and therefore an excellent choice to initiate the new, or young fishermen.

Although the yellow perch population in all the other Great Lakes are failing and in jeopardy, the Western basin of Lake Erie, in fact, is alive and well. Despite the 30 fish limit per person, and restrictions on commercial fishermen put in place two years ago, our perch fishery is excellent. We have consistent success with limit catches being the norm. Although the average size is about 9 to 12 inches,the yellow perch continues to be the most popular fish in the lake.

You won't want to miss this action if you are a perch-lover, or have a youngster just beginning his or her fishing career.

Smallmouth bass

Late July is the start of some of the finest smallmouth bass fishing in North America. These magnificent acrobats average between 2 and 5 pounds. We may fish the Canadian side of Lake Erie's Western basin depending upon weather conditions.

We commonly handle 20 to 50 or more smallmouth in the 16 to 21 inch category on these trips. The fishing is always great, but as the season progresses, the months of September and October appear to yield larger and more numerous fish. An added bonus to this fishery is that occasional walleye are taken from the same area.

As a result of Lake Erie's notoriety for walleye, the smallmouth fishery has been a well kept secret overlooked by most.

Lake Ontario fish

King Salmon

Two words describe the salmonids and trout in Lake Ontario... Big and Numerous!

On an annual basis, Lake Ontario yields many King Salmon in the 30 to 40 pound class, and Steelhead ranging into the 20 pound-plus class. The Great Lakes record "King" salmon-47# and the N.Y. State record Steelhead-27#, were both taken from this port. The 2001 Fall LOC Derby produced numerous King Salmon exceeding 40 pounds.