Lake Erie Region Fishing Report – January 4th, 2013
- The daily bag limit for walleye on Ohio waters of Lake Erie is six fish per angler with a minimum size limit of 15 inches.
- The daily bag limit for yellow perch is 30 fish per angler on all Ohio waters of Lake Erie.
- The trout and salmon daily bag limit is two fish per angler. The minimum size limit for trout and salmon is 12 inches.
- The black bass (largemouth and smallmouth bass) daily bag limit is five fish per angler with a 14-inch minimum size limit.
Walleye fishing continued to be excellent with many limits being caught recently. Most of the fish have been caught northwest of Green Island. Trollers are using crankbaits such as Reef Runners and Rapala Deep Husky Jerks.
Most walleyes are caught in the fall by trolling crankbaits in open water or by fishing at night nearshore and around piers.
The water temperature as of Dec. 27 was 35 degrees off of Toledo and 41 degrees off of Cleveland, according to the nearshore marine forecast.
The Rocky River is approaching fishable conditions, just in time for more rain and snow. Fishing conditions will be fully dependent upon how much more rain we receive. Prior to the rain, the steelhead fishing on the Rocky and Chagrin rivers was the best it has been all season. Lots of steelhead of all sizes (smaller 14-18-inch skippers up to bruisers exceeding 30 inches) were caught all along the two rivers by anglers drifting bait, flies and lures.
Another brown trout and a very late king (chinook) salmon also turned up in the Rock recently. Unfortunately, this forecasted rain and snow will likely put a kink in anglers’ hopes of good fishing in the coming few days. But on a positive note, this should also serve to draw in even more fresh steelhead from the lake. If the river flow gets down below 400 cfs at any point, anglers can expect very good fishing prospects, with most anglers considering a flow between 200-300 cfs to be in the “prime” range for this time of year. When the river is stained and flowing hard, anglers fishing bait catch the most fish. A nickel to quarter size spawn sac in brightly colored mesh (hot pink and chartreuse are always good bets) works well in strained water. Adding brightly colored float beads (small Styrofoam balls) to the spawn sacs can attract more attention in muddy water, as can adding some colorful yarn, a bead, or a Korkie/Spin-N-Glo ahead of your hook, especially in a contrasting color. Make sure to upsize your float size and other terminal tackle when the water is flowing strong. Fly-fishers often do best in stained water using densely tied, brightly colored egg patterns and streamers with contrasting colors, like a black/orange head or purple/pink head Egg Sucking Leech patterns in larger sizes. Barriers to fish migration (fords, dams, and waterfalls), current breaks (including near the banks of the stream), tailouts and near funnels in flow are among the most reliable places to find migrating steelhead resting in higher flows. As the water clears successively downgrade offerings and gear to smaller sizes and begin to look for steelhead in deeper pools, as well as the aforementioned spots.
A total of 2,000 pounds of rainbow trout were stocked between Wallace, Shadow, Ledge, Judge’s and Ranger lakes recently. About half the trout went into Wallace, being the largest of these lakes. The trout averaged about a pound and a quarter, although they ranged from three-quarters up to 4 pounds. The fish bite well on thumbnail sized nuggets of brightly colored PowerBait fished near the lake bottom with a small sinker, small jigs tipped with maggots or other bait suspended 2-3 feet below a small bobber (some anglers have been doing especially well jigging the bobber with their rod tip), and small spinners. Stripping streamer flies would also be a good bet for fly anglers. Trout in Wallace have been biting best in the northern section where the lake narrows. Be aware that trout limits vary by location. In the rivers this time of year it is two per angler per day with a 12-inch minimum keeper size. In lakes and ponds that ODNR also seasonally stocks (Shadow and Hinckley lakes and Ohio & Erie Canal fishing area) it is five per angler per day with no size limit. In all other stocked Metroparks waters (Wallace, Ledge, Ranger, and Judge’s lakes) it is three per angler/day with no size limit.
Anglers are still catching late season largemouth bass and bluegills in Cleveland Metroparks lakes and ponds, many of which have been stocked with pond fish in recent months. A small jig tipped with maggots will catch any of these species, as well as trout.