Lake Erie Drift Charters on the Badman
Styles of Retrieves
A couple different styles of retrieves used with these casting type lures. All retrieves will work on whatever Lake Erie casting lure you decide to use. Preferred styles that will attract fish to strike may vary, by the depth of water you're in or even by location.
Normally it's always best to begin with what style was used the day before or what the captain recommends. One key point to bring up, whatever retrieve that the angler decides to use, be aware that it is at a very, very slow speed. Often referred to as just fast enough to make the blades spin in the water.
I often refer to this as something like horizontal jigging. After the cast is made and you have allowed the lure to fall to the preferred count, you start retrieving. Ideally, one will pull the rod horizontally to either side very slowly. When you reach the end of the pull, you return the rod in the opposite direction, the lure will drop and you reel the slack back, then begin to pull the lure slowly back in the original direction you started. You do this until you've reeled the lure back to the boat or until near the boat. Cast again and repeat. Most strikes will happen when the lure drops as you're reeling the slack back in or at the very end of the pull. It's usually the change in direction of the lure that triggers a strike.
Another type of retrieve is simply, after casting the lure, begin to bring the lure back at a very slow retrieve. I often tell people slower is better and the speed of the retrieve, same with the shuffle, is just fast enough to get the blades to spin in the water. Walleyes are light biters and if you’re fishing in an area where there is no structure, then assume any change in feel or tightening of the line is considered a strike.
I'm sure you may have heard at one time or another on the radio while on Lake Erie about 'they're getting them on the swing'. The swing is something that adds a different dimension to casting. Though not a very difficult addition to your technique, it's more of 'where you’re throwing the lure'.
For starters, the best location for doing 'the swing' is either on the bow or the stern. You have to throw your lure at approximately 45 degrees downwind or slightly downwind and away from the boat. Keeping a tight line by shutting the bail and using your count to get to the right depth. Once your're there, you begin your style of retrieving. Be ready because as you are counting, oftentimes a walleye will strike your lure simply on the drop. This can happen more than you would expect.
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