Lake Erie Region

Reminder:  15-inch minimum size limit for walleye for entire
season.    Anglers are reminded that the daily bag limit for trout
and salmon on Lake Erie and its tributaries is two fish through May
15. The trout and salmon minimum size limit is 12 inches.

Limits of walleyes are being caught by jigging on the Camp Perry
firing range reef complex, nearshore from Davis Besse to Crane
Creek, and Maumee Bay. Popular jigging lures include jigheads
tipped with shiners, hair jigs tipped with shiners, and vibrating
blade baits. Trollers caught walleyes on the flats north and also
east of the reef complex, around the Bass Islands, and north of
Kelleys Island. Shallow minnow-imitating stick baits in the top
half of the water column pulled behind planer boards will produce
occasional trophy walleyes during the spring. Large yellow perch
are being caught east of Kelleys Island, near the Marblehead
lighthouse and around the Sandusky Bay foghorn. Spreaders or
crappie rigs tipped with shiners are the best technique to catch
yellow perch. Surface temperatures are generally in the mid 40
degree range.

 Walleyes are still being caught in the rivers, but the runs are
past peak densities. White bass are also now being caught in both
rivers. 

Maumee River (Lucas and Wood Counties) – The water temperature
is 59 degrees and the water level is normal.  Walleye fishing is
starting to slow down. Anglers are still catching good numbers of
male walleye between 18 to 20 inches. There are still some limits
of walleye being reported. Good numbers of white bass are being
caught and that continues to improve.  For walleyes, use floating
jig heads and Carolina rigs with chartreuse or florescent colored
plastic tails. Try fishing with minnows for white bass or use white
jigs.  The best places to fish are Fort Meigs up to Interstate 475
bridge. Anglers are wading over to Bluegrass Island.  Walleye
fishing will continue to slow down and white bass fishing should
continue to improve. Anglers should be able to catch walleye for
another couple of weeks.  Right now is the time to catch both
walleye and white bass.

Sandusky River (Sandusky County) – The water temperature is 60
degrees and the water levels are normal. Walleyes are still being
caught on the Sandusky River but in smaller numbers. Most are in
the 18- to 20-inch range. White bass are in the river with improved
catches.   For walleye use floating jig heads with brightly colored
plastic tails with 3/8-ounce weight about 18 to 24 inches above the
jig.  For white bass, use minnows. The best places to fish for
walleyes is near Roger Young Park. The best spots for white bass
have been near the Sand Docks. The majority of the walleye run
appears to be over on the Sandusky River. A few walleye will still
be caught through April, however.  

On the Rocky River, Division of Wildlife personnel in
cooperation with Cleveland Metroparks rangers worked sport fishing
enforcement recently. Over the course of two days, 13 tickets were
issued, the majority for snagging steelhead and other fish. The
Rocky River is currently running quite clear, with a greenish stain
only remaining in the deeper areas. Steelhead are currently well
distributed throughout the Rocky and Chagrin rivers, with most fish
having already spawned and are now in “dropback” mode (slowly
moving back toward Lake Erie). These fish need to replenish the
energy reserves depleted during the rigors of spawning and are
often feeding aggressively. Dropback steelhead are most often found
in the deeper holes, although some days they may also be found in
fast water or tailouts. A few fresh adult steelhead and skippers
are still available, as well, especially in the northern river
reaches where they feed upon the abundant emerald shiners.  Given
the clear water conditions, light leaders and smaller more subdued
colored offerings are usually an angler’s best bet. Although the
steelhead run has peaked already and they are declining in numbers
now, there will still be fish available up until about the first or
second week of May most years. Although steelhead numbers are
declining for the season, reports of Lake Erie run smallmouth bass
are on the upswing. Olive or dark brown tube jigs of about 4 inches
are a top smallmouth offering.  Streamer flies and smaller lures
(spinners and plugs) will take their share of bass in the coming
weeks, too, as well as live baits such as minnows, crayfish, and
leeches. Most larger smallmouth have been caught in the northern
river reaches. An angler fishing for steelhead near the marina one
morning recently reported catching and releasing three nice
smallmouth bass up to 4 pounds using a small jig tipped with
maggots drifted under a float. Cleveland Metroparks plans to stock
another 800 pounds of rainbow trout in the East Branch Rocky River
and Wallace Lake. The Division of Wildlife stocked 500 rainbow
trout at Shadow Lake on April 18. These latest fish will supplement
the trout that have been stocked around the Park District in recent
weeks. Power Bait, salmon eggs, worms, corn and small spinners are
among the offerings these trout will eagerly grab. The courtesy
docks at the marina were installed in late April for the
convenience of early season boaters, as well.

Cleveland Metroparks, www.clemetparks.com

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