Pursuit: Owner of Hot Waters Bait and Tackle in Lorain. He has been cleaning fish out here since 2008, and over the winter he bought the store.
How are things going to change under your administration, so to speak?
Well, I’m going to offer a full line of trolling baits, live baits and gave it a new look with decorations and paint. Fresh hot coffee, lots of snacks, chips, drinks, ice. I’m working on a beer and tobacco license which would be a good draw for the boaters.
For the novice fishermen, what’s the best gear to use on the lake?
Emerald shiners are a big favorite around here.
Do people still use worms?
Yeah, worms are great. Most walleye fishermen call it “runnin’ meat.” They put ’em on a worm harness, which is basically a rig with two willow blades, lots of colors. You put that worm on there and the walleye just can’t resist. Another favorite for the walleye is the Reef Runners — there’s hundreds of colors to choose from. The 800 series seems to be the most popular. Then there’s guys who like to run the Husky Jerks, which is another standby in the walleye fishing. Those three baits are tried and true.
Tick off the seasons for fishing.
Jumbo perch, yellow perch, Lake Erie’s finest is coming up. There’s a limit of 30 per person. Then the big toothy fellows — walleye — everybody likes the walleye. Spring and fall for the yellow perch is prime, but they take a backseat for summer. The steelhead runs are winding down. I think the next big rain will push them out of just about all the rivers into big blue. The rivers get a spring run and a fall run, which is my favorite. I like to go in the fall, some guys don’t like the snow, but that’s when I like to go. It’s more peaceful out there. Not as many fishmen. We’ll break the ice up if we have to, to get a flow, and we’ll fish.
How was the ice fishing season?
We didn’t get that this year. We lucked out.
Why is that a “luck out?”
Because I didn’t have to wait for things to thaw out. Good for me, bad for ice fishermen. I would like to stay open for ice fishermen, but this is a seasonal business. We’re open from April 1st and shut down December 1st, because of the location we’re in. It’s kind of quiet here during the winter months.
If someone was just wanting to go out on Lake Erie and take advantage of those perch or walleye, do you have any tips?
There’s a lot of charter boat captains around here that can get you where you need to go, and put you on some fish and teach you some things along the way.
Do you fish?
I’m a river fisherman. I fish in the wintertime for steelhead salmon.
What’s your favorite fishing spot?
I like the Rocky River; I’ve fished it since I was a small kid and know that river real well.
What if someone catches that first fish or record fish and they want to have it mounted, what should they do?
They should bring it here and I will refer them to an experienced taxidermy guy named Jeff. He does a great job. The best thing to do is keep the fish flat, wrap it in a plastic bag in a cooler and keep it cold, and the professional will take it from there.
Fishing is pretty much my life.
Chronicle photographer Chuck Humel shines the spotlight on the people of Lorain County each week. Know someone worthy of 15 Minutes? E-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.