Walleye Central

Fred Synder has been studying lake erie for 20 yrs. Is a fisheries biologist, and a professor at ohio state

[19:59:02] ebijack (mi): Please WELCOME FRED SNYDER!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

[19:59:13] Brad/nd: welcome fred

[19:59:15] Drift'r: hi fred

[19:59:17] ebijack (mi): Fred has a LONG title

[19:59:31] ebijack (mi): i'll let fred do his own brief intro

[19:59:46] Fred: I'm a pretty slow typer

[20:00:00] bob (oh): that's ok fred, do it at your pace

[20:00:16] FishinMagician: I'm a fast typer but with a lot of mistakesssss.

[20:00:37] ebijack (mi): take your time fred

[20:01:04] FishinMagician: Just glas to have you here , Fred. Take your time.

[20:01:05] Fred: OK, I', a 24-yaer fisheries biologist with OSU and the Marine Advisory

Specialist on W. Lake Erie

[20:01:35] bob (oh): fred, everyone is concerned about the effect of zebra mussels on

erie, what do you think??

[20:01:46] ebijack (mi): fred also holds charter captians conferences

[20:02:12] FishinMagician: On the Great Lakes I have noticed a number of big

walleyes with growths on the side. Is this common?

[20:02:32] Fred: They have changed the system and changed walleye feeding

patterns. A good example is the mayfly hatch effect

[20:02:54] Fred: I'l answer as fast as I can

[20:02:58] ebijack (mi): can you expain that mayfly change fred

[20:03:43] Fred: the growths are a virus disease called Lymphocystis and is harmless to

humans. Like a cold sore for fish

[20:04:18] FishinMagician: Thanks, Fred.

[20:04:56] bob (oh): do you think zebras will adversely affect walleyes??

[20:05:05] Fred: With more oxygen in the lake bottom (less decomposing plankton) the

mayflies are surging in numbers. when they hatch the walleye gorge and fishing is more


[20:05:28] Fred: boy are these answers out of sequence

[20:05:30] bob (oh): damn challenging :-)

[20:06:44] Fred: Match the hatch -- use small spinner harnesses with just an inch of

worm or small spoons vertical . look for the fish on sonar

[20:07:15] Brad/nd: fred, concerning the mercury levels being posted on many

canadian lakes near here,is it really a serious threat, or does canada have stricter regs

for percentage of mercury to be a safety threat?

[20:07:20] ebijack (mi): when your ready fred, i'd like you to talk about your experience

with fish attractors

[20:08:20] Fred: Canada's tolerance level for mercury is half of that allowed by USFDA

so yes, more restrictions

[20:08:31] Brad/nd: thanks fred

[20:08:52] Fred: Do you mean scent attractors or artificial reefs?

[20:09:07] ebijack (mi): fred, do you know if the mercury tests were done like here in

mich, using every part of the fish, head/guts etc

[20:09:19] ebijack (mi): attractor scents

[20:09:49] FishinMagician: I know personally that the attractor scents work, and some

very well.

[20:10:08] Fred: Most tests everywhere are on edible portion; however Mercury is

evenly through all tissues, unlike PCB which sticks to fats

[20:10:57] bob (oh): fred, do you eat erie fish??

[20:11:38] Fred: Fish have a great sense of smell. Worms are tops for most fish, but

they never see earthworms until you use them. it's a universal fish attracting scent

[20:12:43] ebijack (mi): with all your years of experience with selling bait, what do you

think is best overall for walleye

[20:13:11] Fred: Yes, I eat lots of walleye and perch and some SM bass. you'll never

eat enough walleye tp exceed the annual advisory (52 meals/yr)

[20:13:33] bob (oh): ODNR says erie population is half of banner year 1988, will it stay

at present level??

[20:13:38] ebijack (mi): is that the ohio advisory?

[20:13:48] bob (oh): yes it is, ebijack

[20:14:06] Fred: It seems to go with temp. In cold weather shiners work best. By may

worms are unbeatable.

[20:13:48] bob (oh): yes it is, ebijack

[20:14:06] Fred: It seems to go with temp. In cold weather shiners work best. By may

worms are unbeatable.

[20:14:19] Fred: yes, the Ohio advisory

[20:15:24] Fred: the 1988 pop. level was above carrying capacity and unsustainable.

the current population is very healthy.

[20:15:27] ebijack (mi): fred, what is your experience with length of worm or worm

pieces to be the most attractive

[20:16:30] bob (oh): can we sustain current population with netting legal in canada??

[20:16:46] Fred: Whole or halves are fine for walleye in warm weather, but when

mayflies are hatching they seem to be focused on small morsels

[20:17:34] ebijack (mi): fred, what depths have you found walleye in erie to perfer

[20:17:47] Dave: Don't leeches make a better warm weather bait?

[20:17:51] Fred: the current harvest from Lake Erie is sustainable if all sides follow

quotas. Natural mortality currently kills more walleye than fishing

[20:18:30] Fred: Leeches just haven't caught on in L. Erie but are good up north

[20:19:21] bob (oh): do zebras appear to be bothering the walleye spawn ??

[20:19:27] Fred: They're good on bass but most of us here have had little luck

w/leeches on walleye

[20:20:56] Fred: No, zebra mussels may have a small positive effect on spawning by

giving substrate and filtering fugus spores

[20:21:00] ebijack (mi): fred, what are your conferences to charter captains about

[20:21:02] FishinMagician: Fred, are there leeches naturally in Lake Erie?

[20:21:50] Fred: 1st, bait leeches come from marshes rather than open water

[20:23:04] ebijack (mi): what is the difference fred

[20:23:36] Fred: The captains conferences covered fish stocks and lake info, charter

business topics, new gear applications, advanced fishing techniques. I sometimes get

folks like Fofrich, LaCourse and Takasaki to speak

[20:23:51] Fred: bad spelling

[20:24:25] bob (oh): don't worry about the spelling :)

[20:25:04] ebijack (mi): what's the difference between lake and marsh leeches

[20:25:25] Fred: Ribbon leeches are large and not parasitic and good bait . this species

is not found in walleye habitat (but neither are night crawlers)

[20:26:02] ebijack (mi): what have you found out as to why walleye eat them fred

[20:26:02] Fred: most lake leeches around here are small & parasitic

[20:27:09] FishinMagician: Fred, at what ratge have the zebra mussels increased in


[20:27:48] Fred: All fish seem to respond to certain smells that Identify food. In tanks

I've had over 25 species go nuts over ground night crawlers even tho' it's not the

natural diet

[20:28:42] mad: i live in pa just started to fish erie a good bit usually have hard time

finding walleye people tell me wait till aug. and go to 2nd trenchis this the place to be?

[20:29:00] Fred: Zebras now cover all hard surfaces in L.E. and about 30% of the soft

bottom. The soft bottom portion is still increasing

[20:29:38] Fred: mad, I'm not familiar with the east end

[20:29:56] bob (oh): Fred, what's your opinion on catch and release and "fizzing" -

mortality rates ??

[20:30:00] FishinMagician: Fred, Is is possible that the Lake can be Killed by the zebra


[20:32:53] mad: fred: have had desent luck casting zonar blades is it common on erie


[20:34:09] Fred: Fizzing is tough to do and get long-term survival without lots of

experience. Catch and release is not needed for L.R. walleye because we are

harvesting far below our annual quota. we need to increase the harvest. Those not

takenby US anglers go back int

[20:34:53] Fred: No , Ohio does not stock walleye in L.E,

[20:36:00] Fred: Sonars ans other blade baits are most used here for vertical jigging. I

use Cicadas in all seasons when fish are deep and sluggish

[20:36:18] FishinMagician: Fred, what's the problem with reciprocity between PA and

Ohio on fishing Lake Erie on one state's license?

[20:37:00] Fred: I don't know - I'm not with the DNR. Probably money

[20:37:07] bob (oh): why is white bass population climbing - less netting ??

[20:38:11] Fred: I think W bass are responding to lower numbers of white perch. there's

lots of competition between the young-of year

[20:38:18] ebijack (mi): fred, have you done any research on walleye in other waters

besides erie, and do they act the same

[20:38:50] bob (oh): hope the white bass win :)

[20:38:52] Band: Fred, I haven't heard how this year's hatch went, are they expecting

a good hatch with the mild winter?

[20:39:24] Fred: My real experience is Lake Erie but basic behavior is usually similar,

but they adjust to local conditions

[20:40:22] Fred: No official word on the hatch until August but early fry collections

looked poor. Too many spring storms

[20:40:43] mad: going to port clinton 'put in bay' in two weeks which reefs do you

recomend and technic

[20:40:44] ebijack (mi): fred, can you tell us about sea grants and what they are for

[20:41:15] Fred: Luckily the 97 and 96 hatches were good . one poor one won't hurt


[20:41:44] Band: That's good to hear!

[20:43:15] Fred: Sea grant is lake and ocean research and public education to improve

resource use. Sponsored by NOAA at Land Grant universities . That's why I work for

OSU (stationed in Port Clinton)

[20:43:45] ebijack (mi): fred, can you tell us what you've found to be the walleye's

favorite water depth

[20:44:51] ebijack (mi): and do you believe the walleye to prefer weeds or reefs

[20:45:11] Fred: mad, they're off the reefs now. Check the deep flats between

Rattlesnake and Green Islands; also they've been going nuts lately right in Sandusky

Bay off the Cedar Point Marina and coal docks

[20:45:34] Fred: In L. Erie they prefer reefs

[20:45:50] Band: With the clearer water are most walleye found on the bottom now or

do they still suspend

[20:46:54] Reefer (IN): Fred: how far west has the school moved?

[20:47:32] Fred: Depth - they generally want water below 70 degrees, where light

levels are twilight and food sources are around. Often that's deeper water but fishing is

a game of exceptions

[20:48:23] mad: thanks fred but goto go for now

[20:48:57] Fred: Clear water sends them deep. I've video'ed them lying in the mud.

That's why early & late fishing is better; also fishing far from the boat and with good

depth control

[20:49:31] ebijack (mi): do you prefer bottom bouncers fred

[20:50:58] Fred: bottom bouncers are becoming pre-eminent on Erie. they give you

100% exposure time of your lure in the fish zone

[20:51:10] ebijack (mi): do you fish with boards mostly fred

[20:52:19] Fred: in the mid-summer - Yes! I worship the Bomber 8A in Fire tiger and the

1/2 oz silver Hot-n-tot

[20:53:05] bob (oh): fred, aren't bottom bouncers just the old trolling weights of the 40s

and 50s with different wire and different name??

[20:53:31] Band: I've heard of some of the guys using bottom boucers but cranking

them up several feet off the bottom and drifting, does this really work ? I would think

that the boat would scare them.

[20:53:53] Fred: Absolutely. nothing is really new in fishing. It's just repackaged at

higher prices.

[20:54:34] Drift'r: What type of rods do you use for bottom bouncing?

[20:55:25] Fred: band, yes, lots of charter capts are even trolling bouncers on planer

boards(I'll try it this summer). The important thing is keeping the presentation at the

depth you mark fish

[20:56:28] Fred: I'm a cheapster and and use 51/2 to 6 ft spinning rods for everything.

Lots of captains prefer 7-8 foot limber rods

[20:56:45] ebijack (mi): welcome to the club fred :)

[20:57:04] Fred: we still catch'em, don't we?

[20:57:29] ebijack (mi): sometimes, right LS :)

[20:57:43] LS(nd): right :-)

[20:58:10] bob (oh): fred, do you agree with the 10 walleye limit on erie??

[20:58:12] Fred: The whole point here is is maximizing your presentation time in front of

the fish and being able to recognize very light bites.

[20:59:11] ebijack (mi): hey folks, get your questions in before fred has to leave or his

fingers wear out

[20:59:20] Band: Fred, I was up to the lake two weekends ago and they were doing

very well in the bay. Did you say they were still doing good there?

[20:59:29] Fred: Yes, the 10-limit is fine. Our Quota last year was 5 million. We took

1-1.2 million. You can't stockpile fish.

[20:59:49] bob (oh): fred, if you could only use one bait - what would it be and how

would you use it??

[21:00:26] LS(nd): Fred, whats up with the color of the walleyes on erie.....their

greenish color here in ND....not so on erie

[21:00:37] Fred: As of last weekend they were still there in the bay. Just remember that

things always change quickly. Just give it your best.

[21:00:49] ebijack (mi): LS just fished the PWT on erie fred

[21:01:59] Fred: Fish color is controlled mostly by water & bottom color and **light

intensity**. Sometimes by hormones. Most fish can change their back color on 30 min.

[21:04:25] Band: thanks Fred, I'm leaving the line.

[21:04:39] Fred: Good Fishin band

[21:05:53] Jim Alton: Did someone already ask about bottom bouncers and cranks?

[21:06:09] ebijack (mi): fred, do you know what water temp difference will kill a walleye,

like in a tourney going from one spot to another

[21:06:54] Jim Alton: I guess rigging more than anything... and I'd suspect you'd go with

a floating crank or at least suspending....

[21:07:35] Fred: These are really complicated questions. At higher temperatures

Oxygen levels are low but fish demand more. Low oxygen is the killer

[21:07:56] ebijack (mi): no one said it would be easy :)

[21:09:02] Fred: I fish the western end that's shallower. My favorite

cranks for trolling (Bomber 8A and 1/2 oz Hot-n-tot) are floaters that go to 18-20 feet

[21:10:10] Jim Alton: How far back from the bouncer do you tie them?

[21:11:36] Fred: Jim, I fish those on planer boards. I've stuck to

harnesses on bouncers. I probably should be more imaginative

[21:11:50] Drift'r: what kind of electronnics do you use , Fred?

[21:11:56] Jim Alton: Ok... I got ya now...

[21:12:14] Fred: I fish my cranks 75-100 ft behind the boards

[21:13:57] Fred: I have a Sidefinder sonar and a hand held Magellan GPS

that mounts on the boat and runs from the boat battery. The combo of sonar and GPS is

one of the greatest fishing advancements ever

[21:14:44] bob (oh): fred, are you using DGPS yet?

[21:14:53] LS(nd): Fred, what do you think of the use of the "fish eye"

underwater camera in tourneys?

[21:15:31] Fred: Not onto DGPS yet; the regular seems good enough for

walleye schools

[21:17:09] Fred: I don't know if the Fisheye gives any real advantage in

Tourneys. I have one for research And monitor smallmouth on artificial reefs with it

[21:17:50] bob (oh): fred, you can decide when you have had enough - you

have gone for about an hour and 20 minutes

[21:18:22] Fred: Well, it seems like things are slowing down. Any last


[21:18:33] Drift'r: Do they actuully show the fish , or is it infrared

pickup ?

[21:18:53] Jim Alton: You've done a great job Fred...

[21:19:10] Fred: It's regular video using natural light

[21:19:12] JR: I'M new at this comp

[21:19:12] ebijack (mi): yes you have fred, thanks!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

[21:19:17] prairiepillow: :-)

[21:19:20] bob (oh): yeah fred, we appreciate your time

[21:19:26] Fred: Good fishing to all!

[21:19:36] ebijack (mi): great chat fred

[21:19:41] LS(nd): thanks Fred.....great having you here

[21:19:43] ebijack (mi): love to have you back

[21:19:45] Jim Alton: Hope you weren't using your jigging finger to


[21:19:50] Drift'r: thanks Fred :-)

[21:20:01] bob (oh): enjoyed your chat fred, maybe we can get you back when

your finger heals :-)

[21:20:09] prairiepillow: thank you Fred

[21:20:10] Fred: If you need anything in the future, my work address is


[21:20:29] Fred: and call me stubby! Bye!

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