To say I was a little nervous about how Little BC, Jack, would react to being on a boat out on the middle of Lake Erie fishing for walleye for a few hours early on a Sunday morning after a 5 a.m. wakeup call is an understatement. My worst fear Sunday was that the boat captain, Matt from Huckeye Charters out of Port Clinton, OH and his first mate Brian, would pull away from Catawba Island State Park and there would be a face full of tears. For a six year old, things can go south fast over the littlest thing.
Add in the fact that we would be heading out across Lake Erie roller waves at a high speed — not some glassy flat state park lake joyride, that’s for sure — and all I could do was wait and see how it went when Matt unleashed the power of the 350 Mercury powering his 2019 Ranger boat.
The boat left the no wake zone and Matt launched out across the far northwestern point of Catawba Island and that’s when the rollers got bigger and the Ranger started hitting them like speed bumps in a Camaro at a high rate of speed.
BAM! BAM! BAM!
And with each smack of the boat to wave I would see Little BC still smiling, trying to figure out where we were going and where he’d be fishing. Eventually Matt had us off Rattlesnake Island where dozens of walleye fishing charters were busy drifting for clients in relatively calm weather where the wind wouldn’t wobble the boat for the duration of our trip. Not only did Little BC survive still with a smile on his face, but he was fired up over the speed and adventure that went along with the ride, seemingly oblivious that he jumped right into boating and fishing on the Great Lakes.
• Total catch = 15 walleye, 1 white bass, 1 piece of drift wood
• Length of fishing – approximately 3 hours, not counting time spent getting to fish spot, setup time and return to shore time
• Six outriggers holding poles fishing at a variety of depths, mostly in the 30 ft range
• Captain Matt trolled from east to west off Rattlesnake Island
Odds & Ends:
• Little BC had a short period of impatience where he wanted to hold the pole; it didn’t take long before he was reeling in walleye at a rapid pace; there wasn’t much downtime after the fish started biting
• 4 hours of time on the water was plenty; by the end he was whipped and slept on the way to shore
• Never forget to have a great snack bag on a boat; Mrs. BC did a great job of putting one together
• Jack kissed a walleye to commemorate his first walleye fishing trip; it made Captain Matt and first mate Brian proud
• It’s perfectly fine if the kid doesn’t want to hold the fish
• Kids are completely capable of understanding that the walleye just brought over the side might be dinner in a few hours and the thought won’t scar them; they’re perfectly fine processing that thought, don’t go Facebook Mom on them
• Not going to lie, it was a proud moment watching my son show excitement over a sport/activity that he can lean on the rest of his life
• I believe Little BC was 4 or 5 when he first went fishing at a local pond, about the same age as when my grandparents sent my brother and I out on a Lake Erie rock pile not far from where Jack and I left out of Catawba State Park. I know my grandpa would be proud of him for sticking it out all morning to catch fish
• There’s new research from Dr. Wallace J. Nichols, author of Blue Mind: The surprising science that shows how being near, in, on, or under water can make you happier, healthier, more connected, and better at what you do that Dr. J hopes will lead to new ways to treat those dealing with stress. Dr. J stopped by last week to explain a Blue Mind and the benefits of getting on the water and away from a cellular connection:
• Spend the money for a charter, treat yourself and leave all the worrying to the captain. You’ll thank me later. There’s something to be said about getting off the boat, heading to your car and leaving without having to worry about wiping down the boat, cleaning up and worrying about mechanicals.
• Maybe it’ll lead to you owning a boat and battling Lake Erie for walleye or maybe bass on a quiet lake near your house.
Thanks to Discoverboating.com for making this experience possible with my son. Memories of a lifetime were made for sure.
Discoverboating.com is a one-stop shop for anyone looking to get started in boating. You can find accessible ways to get on the water, using the Go Boating Today tool and find a boat that fits your lifestyle using the Boat Finder, get tips on boating destinations and more.
I started Busted in 2007, sold it in 2011 and Coed kept me around to run this operation. Based in Ohio.