Lake Erie Region Fishing Report – May 24th, 2013

• The daily bag limit for walleyes on Ohio waters of Lake Erie from March 1 through April 30 is four fish per angler. On May 1, the daily bag limit increased to six fish per angler. The minimum size limit for walleye is 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 through May 15. The daily bag limit increases to five from May 16 through Aug. 31. 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 through April 30. Black bass fishing is closed to possession (no harvest) from May 1 through June 28.  On Saturday, June 29, the daily bag limit returns to five fish per angler with a 14-inch minimum size limit.

Western Basin

Walleye fishing was fair over the past week (as of 5/15). The best areas were from the turnaround buoy of the Toledo shipping channel to West Sister Island, from Rattlesnake Island to Green Island, east of South Bass Island, and north of Kelleys Island. Trollers have been catching fish on crankbaits and worm harnesses.  Drifters are using worm harnesses with bottom bouncers or are casting mayfly rigs.
Yellow perch have been caught north of Kelleys Island. Perch spreaders with shiners fished near the bottom produce the most fish.

Central Basin

Walleyes have been caught nearshore off Cleveland after 6 p.m. and at night in 35-38 feet of water using Rapalas, Husky Jerks, and Reef Runners.
Yellow perch fishing has been good, weather permitting, in 38 feet of water north of Gordon Park in Cleveland, in 38 feet of water north of the Fairport Harbor lighthouse and  in 42 to 50 feet of water northeast of Ashtabula. Perch spreaders with shiners fished near the bottom produce the most fish.  Shore fishing has picked up off the E. 55th St. pier in Cleveland.  Anglers are using spreaders with shiners and the mornings have been best.
Smallmouth bass fishing has been good in 15 to 25 feet of water around harbor areas in Cleveland, Fairport Harbor, Geneva, Ashtabula, and Conneaut.  Largemouth bass are also being caught in the same areas. Anglers are using drop shot rigs with rubber worms, soft-craws, tube jigs, and crankbaits.
The water temperature as of May 15 was 55 degrees off of Toledo and 52 degrees off of Cleveland, according to the near shore marine forecast.
The Rocky River is currently exhibiting low and clear conditions. Based on the weather forecast, rain early and late into the weekend could possibly change that and anglers would be wise to check the flow trend following any precipitation. A number of Cleveland Metroparks lakes and ponds are offering good opportunities for rainbow trout, largemouth bass, and various sunfish species.
The spring steelhead run is just about over, with only a handful of the big trout reported. All of those had already spawned and most were caught incidentally by anglers seeking smallmouth bass.
The run of smallmouth bass migrating into the Rocky River from Lake Erie is going well, with anglers in the northern river reporting having hooked up with most of the larger bass. Smallies will hit live bait (minnows, crayfish, worms), 3-4-inch tube jigs (olive, brown, and white are all good), and baitfish streamer or Woolly Bugger flies (same colors as noted for tube jigs). This is a special time of year, when anglers have a chance to catch a mix of bass and dropback steelhead from some of the same holes. Anglers are strongly encouraged to release these larger 2- to 4-pound bass so that they can spawn and perpetuate the population. Lake-run smallies will be around until early June most years.
Quite a few large carp were taken in the Rocky and Chagrin rivers this week. Hard-fighting carp bite well on baits such as canned corn, worms, dough baits, and crayfish fished on the river bottom in holes. Gaining in popularity is the challenge of catching carp on the fly rod, with a few local outfitters even offering seminars on this topic from time to time. The best strategy is to spot visible carp slowly moving with nose down and tail up in runs, often trailed by a muddy plume, all of which indicate feeding behavior. Cruising carp, on the  other hand, will rarely bite a fly.  Since carp have a great sense of smell but poor eyesight, the fly should be gently dropped a few feet ahead of a feeding fish and only twitched ever so slightly as the fish approaches. Strikes are so subtle they are often not even felt, but are indicated by a pause in the fish’s movement. Some equate this style of fishing to that employed by bonefish anglers on the tropical flats, even earning carp the nickname of golden bonefish among fly anglers. In fact, bonefish style flies like a Crazy Charlie work well for carp, as do nymph, bugger, and crayfish patterns. If you’re up for the challenge, take out the steelhead fly rod and give it a try.
The Ohio and Erie Canal fishing area was stocked with rainbow trout by the DNR on May 3. Also recently (at the end of April) the final 600 pounds of rainbow trout were stocked in the East Branch Rocky River between Route 82 (Royalton Road) in Strongsville and the river ford (crossing) just south of Wallace Lake in Berea. These fish round out a total of 3,600 pounds of trout released into this reach of river since mid March. Additionally, the DNR stocked Hinckley and Shadow lakes with trout on April 1. Small jigs and ice flies tipped with a few maggots or wax worms, PowerBait, small spinners, and salmon or trout egg sacks have all taken their share of trout. Last week marked the final release of trout into the river for 2013.
Largemouth bass and panfish angling has been good in Cleveland Metroparks lakes and ponds, as well. Some anglers have reported a good largemouth bass bite at Wallace and Hinckley lakes the past few weeks using spinnerbaits, rubber skirted jigs, and rubber worms. Sunfish can be taken in just about any Metroparks lake or pond by dangling a small worm or wax worm on a small hook below a pencil style bobber.

Cleveland Metroparks, www.clevelandmetroparks.com.

Categories: Lake Eire Region, Ohio Fishing Reports

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