Archives for July 2015

Fishing Report Lake Erie, Monroe MI 07/30/2015

Lake Erie walleye fishing charter trip near Monroe MichiganDespite the hotter temperatures a fair amount of walleye are sticking around North of “E” buoy to the Raisin River and along the Michigan / Ohio boarder. I’ve been fishing with wiggle warts 70 and 80 feet back. Seems like everyone I’ve talked to has a favorite wart color. Green and orange speck seem to produce on my boat. Some of the guy’s are still running spoons and divers with great success but they are catching more white perch and small walleye. I’ve run small salmon spoons on my high and low divers and that helped keep off some of the smaller fish and it’s also taken my larger walleye. Silver Streak mini spoons in Malibu Barbie, Mixed Veggies. You’ll have to keep checking the divers frequently for small fish your your wasting your time running them.

Perch fishing has also been good around “W” buoy and “C” buoy inside the Michigan dump. Off the #1 buoy of the Raisin River and out in front of Bolles Harbor in 20 plus feet of water. Remember if you don’t start getting bites within a 10 minutes or so move a little. Sometimes you only have to move 100 yards. If you see someone catching perch resist the urge to anchor up by them. Experience has shown you will never pull the fish from the other boat, Better off to find your own school of perch.

Shipwreck artifacts found in Lake Erie

Nautical history buffs will have a rare opportunity to examine artifacts from a ship that frequented the St. Clair River during the 1850s.

Sombra Museum has unveiled a display documenting the life of the barque New Brunswick, a 129-foot sailing vessel built in St. Catharines that holds an important distinction in Canadian shipbuilding history.

“While it was very typical of the tall ships that you’d see on the St. Clair in the 1850s, it was unique in that it was the first North American-made sailing vessel to take a load of wheat across to England and back,” said the museum’s Allan Anderson.

“Normally, wheat would ship to Quebec and then it would be the bigger European and English ships that would make the journey across the ocean.”

Originally constructed in the 1840s, the New Brunswick was owned by the Merritts of St. Catharines, relatives of William Hamilton Merritt, the man responsible for building the original Welland Canal.

The ship made its maiden voyage in May 1847, leaving Chicago hauling 18,000 bushels of wheat. The vessel sailed down the St. Clair River and cleared the Welland Canal before making the journey to Liverpool, England.

For over 10 years the New Brunswick sailed the St. Clair, making the jaunt across the Atlantic, reflective of the new breed of ships that existed in the Great Lakes at the time. But in the summer of 1858, the ship met an early end.

In August, a powerful storm hit Lake Erie while the New Brunswick was transporting square oak timbers to Tonawanda, NY. Gale winds ripped the ship apart, killing all five of its crew members. The ship sank in 40 feet of water, not far from Wheatley.

For years after its early demise, rumours abounded about the ship’s cargo, said Anderson. Many believed the ship’s cargo contained a sizeable quantity of black walnut hardwood, at the time an incredibly valuable commodity.

“Everybody thought that they’d get rich,” Anderson said. “But nobody knew how to salvage the ship and claim it.”

It wasn’t until 120 years after the New Brunswick sank to the bottom of Lake Erie that a man named Mike Dilts was able to use fairly sophisticated technology to pinpoint the wreckage and salvage material from the ship.

Unfortunately for Dilts, the stories of black walnut weren’t true. After salvaging the oak timbers and over 200 artifacts from the ship, he couldn’t find any of the valuable hardwood in the wreckage. Dilts gave some of the artifacts he found from the New Brunswick – such as shoes, pulleys and chains – to a friend in Sarnia, Marty Cole, who recently provided the materials to the museum.

Now members of the public can take a glimpse at some of the finds from the New Brunswick, a ship that holds a prominent place in the evolution of North American shipping.

“It’s just a great find,” said Anderson. “It’s really reflective of shipping in the Great Lakes in that period, it pertains to shipwrecks, improvements in shipbuilding and the history of the St. Clair River.”New Brunswick

Charter fishing trips create great opportunities for anglers

Captain John Stray Cat charter fishing Lake Erie MichiganSummer is in full swing in Michigan, and with it comes great opportunity for outdoor activities – including fishing. The state’s waters provide ample opportunity to catch a variety of fish, and Great Lakes and inland fishing charter businesses are a perfect way to experience those angling adventures first-hand.

Licensed fishing charters make a full or half day of fishing easy and enjoyable as they provide the boat plus all other equipment and knowledge necessary for a day on the water. Fishing charters are perfect for anyone, children or adults, from the first-time angler to those more experienced.

Different waters and areas of the state will yield different fish species and fishing experiences. Whether on one of the Great Lakes, Lake St. Clair, a larger river, or a smaller lake or stream, charter captains know the waters, where the fish are and what to use to attract them. Anglers can fish for Chinook or coho salmon, lake trout, steelhead (rainbow trout), lake whitefish, walleye, perch, muskellunge, large or smallmouth bass, and panfish. 

Read more

Check out the “Catch and Cook” page

Explorers find another shipwreck in Lake Michigan

John V. Moran About 360 wrecks have been found in the lake’s deep water, but there are still many wrecks out there that remain undiscovered. Experts guess there are between 1200 and 2000 shipwrecks in Lake Michigan. On Feb. 9, 1899 the 214-foot John V. Moran maneuvered ice floes on its way from Milwaukee to Muskegon to deliver flour and other goods. The ship was 11 years old and had an iron-reinforced hull for winter transit. Ice ripped a hole in the hull and she began to sink around midnight. The crew abandoned ship and walked on ice flows to reach another ship called the Naomi in reported -30 degree temps. All 24 crew members made it alive to the Naomi.

According to newspaper accounts, early the next morning, the Moran was still afloat. The Naomi then tried to tow the Moran toward Muskegon, but it  became clear that it would not make it the 15 miles to shore. After abandoning the Moran, it was never seen again. Searchers were unable to locate the steamer. The ship was not seen again for 116 years. On June 5, 2015 the lost steamship was discovered using side scan sonar by a group of ship wreck explorers. 

The John V. Moran was one of many steamers owned by Capt. Edward Gifford Crosby (E.G. Crosby), who founded the Crosby Transportation Company, which operated out of ports in Muskegon, Grand Haven and Milwaukee. Thirteen years later (March 1912), Crosby and his family happened to be vacationing in Europe. It was reported that Crosby had intended to come back on a ship leaving Europe on March 28, 1912, but changed his mind in order to travel back on the ill-fated Titanic maiden voyage.John V. Moran Steamship

Fishing Report Lake Erie, walleye – perch, Monroe Michigan 07-23-2015

Walleye fishing has really picked up this past week, thanks to a steady weather pattern. Many limit catches have been taken  all week from “E” buoy to the Raisin River in 22 feet of water. Wiggle warts have been good off the planner boards keeping small walleye (spikes) from biting 70 to 80 feet back in 22 feet of water. Spoons and divers seem to be taking the bigger walleye and more walleye spikes. I like running wiggle warts they are a lot more forgiving on speed and like to be run from 2.2 to 2.7 mph. If your not catching speed up a little at a time till you hit that sweet spot. I was catching some nice eye’s hear and there earlier in the week and starting tapping the throttle a little bit at a time next thing I knew all heck broke lose with a triple then a double. Also cock the angle of your troll a few degrees and that can trigger a bite on both sides of your boat. Caught a few very large walleye near the Michigan, Ohio boarder. Some of the guy’s I talked to this week were casting and dragging crawler harness’s did good on the day’s we enough breeze for a good drift.

Be careful about crossing over into Ohio, the Ohio DNR CO”s have been patrolling the boarder often. Make sure you have a valid Ohio fishing license, and your only allowed 2 rods per person.

Lake Erie walleye fishing charter trip

Trevor with a Lake Erie walleye and Muskie

Perch fishing has been crazy good off the edges of the Raisin River channel, Bolles Harbor and out in front of Brest Bay in 20 to 24 feet of water. With many limit catches one can afford to do a little sorting while fishing. The only problem the guy’s were having was finding a good steady supply of the right size minnows. All in all it really didn’t matter because the perch have been so aggressive. If you have an Ohio license McDonald’s area has been a sure bet for a limit catch but remember the limit is 30 per person.

Fishing Report Lake Erie Monroe, Michigan 07/17/2015

Walleye fishing has been good but we are still dealing with North East and East winds. Trolling between the Raisin River and Stoney Point with wiggle warts 90 back has produced some nice catchs in 22 to 24 feet of water. Trolling 40 jets around 65 feet produced walleye catchs faster than the wiggle warts but you will catch lots of spikes. I’ve been using the warts and have not caught a spike but the bite is a little slower. The walleye seem to like a trolling speed a little hot using the warts, some where around 2.5 to 2.7 mph. Color didn’t seem to matter.

Perch fishing has been awesome! “W” buoy is the place if you don’t want to travel far. the water looks muddy but the perch seem to still bite in it. The Raisin River outer buoys is producing good catchs with some bigger perch. The perch seem to be everywhere we stopped and tried most in the size range from 7 to 8 inchs. Right now is the time to try a combo walleye and perch trip since both fish species seem to be in the same area.

Lake Erie walleye fishing charter aboard the Stray Cat Luna Pier Michigan

Jan with her biggest Lake Erie walleye

Fishing Report Lake Erie Monroe, Michigan 07/09/2015

Once again the weather is playing a big roll in the fishing on Lake Erie in the Western Basin near Monroe, Michigan. The wind seems to switch everyday and sometimes during my trips, shutting the walleye down.  Walleye fishing has been very good in the morning from 6am till about 10am. The afternoon bite has been spotty. I caught all 20 inch plus fish between Sputnik and West Sister Island in 26 to 30 feet of water Wednesday morning. I went back out on my afternoon trip and it looked like a desert, fishing was painfully slow. The walleye were deep, I fished mini disc’s from 100 to 110 feet back. I also tried 30 jet divers 90 back, both seemed to produce. The fish seemed to prefer Silver Streak spoons with copper backs.  Shrimp, puff’s, UV mango, Blueberry Muffin on the high divers 55 to 62 back and mixed Veggies on the low divers 38 to 42 back.  The North water from The Raisin River up to Stoney Point and the Fermi plant have been producing very good catchs of walleye if your drifting. Trolling has been out of the question due to massaive amouts of weeds! 

The good news is, the perch have been on the bite! limit catchs around “C” and “W” can using emerald shiners in 12 to 17 feet of water. the water looks a little muddy but the perch are there. 

A word of caution – there are still lots of floating timber in the water, so keep a sharp look out for logs.