Carl Bachtel explains the passion of fishing: The lure of Lake Erie

Why fish?

For anglers who have been casting or trolling since childhood, that’s a silly question. But for those of us who have never baited a line, we wonder: What’s the appeal of sitting and waiting for fish to bite? (Especially when it’s cold?)

Carl Bachtel, 53, a Bass Pro Shops fishing pro staffer from Cuyahoga Falls who’s been fishing for about 50 years, sat down with RocktheLake to explain the sport, and his passion for it, in the video above.

See the 27-pound, Ohio-record-biggest lake trout, caught in January.

“You never know what you’re going to pull up, that’s the surprise element,” said Bachtel, a visual journalist for WKYC. “It’s like hitting lottery. that feeling when you plan something out and you accomplish what you set out to do, which is catch a fish, that’s the greatest thing in the world.”

Bachtel says Lake Erie spoils us.

Though Lake Erie has just 2 percent of the water in the Great Lakes, it has a mind-boggling 50 percent of the fish

Ohio has a $2.9 billion fishing industry, across all bodies of water.

About 52 percent of all Ohio-licensed anglers fish Lake Erie. That’s about 450,000 anglers, spending 4 million hours a year fishing on Lake Erie.

“When a kid catches a fish, that smile they just jump out of their skin with excitement,” Bachtel says. “That’s it, they’re hooked.”

As for the weather, Bachtel quips: “There’s no such thing as cold fishermen, just poor dressers.”

See the video of the Cleveland harbor full of boats for the Fall Brawl.