ASHTABULA — Area charter captains spent much less time on the lake this year and their customers had no complaints.

Numerous area captains said it used to take six to eight hours on the lake to reach their maximum walleye limit, six a day, but that was not the case this year.

Jeff Fisher, who has been leading charter trips for 16 years, said it has often taken only two hours to reach the limit. He said he would try and slow up the process so the fishermen could spent more time on the lake, but they were more interested in getting back to shore.

He said he almost told several groups to leave their lunches in the car, but never did ... just in case.

"Best walleye we've ever seen," Fisher said. He said the consistency of the fish has been phenomenal.

Chris Hoopes said that out of 100-plus charters completed this year, the fishermen have caught their limit every time. He credited state fish and game officials with good management plans and good conservation practices by fishermen as well.

Nick Strimbu said he brought his first fishing boat in 1986 and he has never seen a better walleye season.

"It has been good like this (the fishing) since May 15," he said. The season is not over as fishing continues well into October if the weather cooperates.

Strimbu said fishemen comes from Pennsylvania, Wisconsin, Iowa and Minnesota as well as surrounding states.

Fisher said one downside of the massively successful walleye season is that perch are being pushed out of the equation. He said the perch have been overwhelmed by the walleye. 

"They (the perch) are not able to school," he said.

Late September and October have often been the guts of the perch season, but walleye are likely to continue biting well into October if the weather holds, Fisher said.

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