Nothing Eerie about Night Trolling for Walleyes: Plan your Trip to Lake Erie in Cleveland


If you are thinking about going tuna fishing and want to get your eye in with an amazing experience in its own right, then Cleveland Ohio is the place to head to, where a Walleye could be your prize for fishing when the sun has gone down.

The walleye is all teeth and spines and a fearsome adversary, and one of the best chances to catch one is to fish Lake Erie at night, with some expert guidance to help you learn how to achieve your aim and get a decent catch on the line.

If you’ve ever wanted to troll for fish, and you think you’ve got the basic skill necessary, then you will want to check out how the professionals do it. Good gear is just half the battle. Here’s how to go out there and catch like a pro.

Your Main Goal

The main goal of trolling is that you want to create an attractive scenario for the fish below so that it’s easy to catch them. Most trolling fishermen use bait that bring the fish up behind the boat.

The dark, and large, shadow of the bottom of the boat should look like a bait ball that’s under attack and being pushed along by predator fish.

Behind the boat should be lures that look like bait fish or squid that have been separated from the rest of the bait ball and are trying to get back to it. The tuna will see this as an opportunity to feed on an “easy catch.” Once they go for the bait, they’re yours.

Getting Good Gear And Intel

You need offshore fishing gear that’s up to the task for trolling. You also need a successful fishing intel before you go out. Work on developing a good network of fishing friends, as well as securing good fishing gear for your trip. You’ll also want a good paid satellite service that analyzes the water temperatures and chlorophyll concentrations.

Another good source for your intel might be internet fishing forums in your area. Hang out and see if you can make friends with other captains. While you might not be able to trust everything they say – especially when it comes to specifics, you can often find good general information. And, you can always find like-minded fishermen to expand your network.

Look For Signs Of Life

Look for birds, bait, fish, whales, dolphins, turtles, and other sea creatures. These are signs of life and are really important indicators of feeding tuna below. The more life you see, the better. This is why it’s crucial that you watch the ocean carefully as you fish.

Monitor Structure

The bottom of the ocean floor is not flat. There are many banks, ridges, lumps, and shoals. Many of these structures have names that we refer to that make it easier to understand the map of the ocean floor. And, so, when these structures are mentioned, and when you see certain structures, you know that fish probably live there. For example, some structures, like canyons, are popular places to find fish, year after year.

Trolling Patterns

Most fishermen use a “V” pattern behind the boat when fishing. And, they use a back lure which is usually fished off from a center rigger or straight up from the rod tip in a high rod holder.

Speed Counts

Most tuna fishermen will troll between 4.5 and 7.5 knots. This slower speed is usually used when trying to let heavy lures run deeper into the water or when you’re targeting tuna in cold water. The faster speeds are used when you need to cover more ground and are willing to fish in shallower water.

Whether you decide to troll for tuna or walleyes, once you have learnt how to do it, you will be hooked.

Rhys Francis is an avid traveler who also grew up in a family of fishermen. He still remembers the first time he went out to sea on the boat, and hopes his son will be able to say the same. In his travels he enjoys seeing how different cultures have developed unique techniques. His articles mainly appear on travel blogs.

Image source from Dino De Luca of 

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