When you talk world-class walleye fishing, Lake Erie certainly needs to be in the conversation. Add the possibility of a limit of steelhead and you`ve got a destination worth exploring. When the chance to take a trip aboard Crooked Hook Charters arose, I jumped. And, as it turns out, so did the steelhead!
I hopped on board the Crooked Hook with Captain Chris Benn (Benny), a charter operator with over 25 years of experience. Crooked Hook is a 26-foot Penn Yann Pro Hunter with all the latest gadgets and equipment, sailing out of the port of Erieau from late June through September. The hamlet of Erieau juts out along the northern shore of Erie in the municipality of Chatham-Kent, separating Rondeau Bay from the lake. In the summer months, the community is abuzz with cottagers, vacationers, and fishermen.
One of the great advantages of hiring a guide like Benny is that he fishes daily, and knows where the schools of fish are lurking, greatly improving the odds of success.
The action started quickly for us, and I was reeling in the first walleye of the day within a few minutes of setting up. From then on, rods were bent quite routinely as we pulled impressively sized walleye into the boat. When it comes to Lake Erie, the ’eyes are not only big but plentiful. Ten-pound fish are common and 12-pounders appear routinely, which is what makes this a world-class walleye fishery.