This is Jerry Abele's time of year for catching a cooler full of walleye.
The long-time skipper of Head Hunter Fishing Adventures docked at Channel Grove Marina on the Marblehead Peninsula, is a die-hard drift-and-cast fisherman. When the big lake waters begin to cool a bit in September, Abele targets the shallower reefs and rock piles to catch his favorite fish.
Abele has seen most everything that can happen on Lake Erie. Even he was surprised on Thursday morning when a group of Amish anglers from the Apple Creek, Ohio area began the day with a rather surprising catch.
"We'd caught five or six nice walleye on our first drift north of Kelleys Island when Marty Stutzman called out that something really strange was happening," said Abele. "He had a walleye on the line, so I grabbed the net. It turned out he had much more than a walleye."
A big muskie cruising the shallows where they were fishing also targeted the walleye, and tried to gobble it down. Stutzman was reeling, but there was quite a tussle going on for the walleye. The muskie had the fish crossways in its mouth and wasn't about to let go.
"So I just netted both fish," said Abele, with a laugh.
The fishermen decided to take it home, both to show off to their neighbors and to eat for dinner. Before the morning was over, the six-man crew all had caught limits of walleye to go with the muskie, leaving no room in the cooler.