Lake Erie Region Fishing Report – March 28th, 2014
• The daily bag limit for walleyes on Ohio waters of Lake Erie is four fish per angler from March 1 through April 30. The minimum size limit for walleyes 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 with a minimum size limit of 12 inches.
• The black bass (largemouth and smallmouth bass) daily bag limit is five fish per angler with a 14-inch minimum size limit.
Where: Through March 15, ice anglers had been catching walleyes three to eight miles off Magee Marsh, three to seven miles off Camp Perry, and between Rattlesnake Island and Green Island. As of March 18, ice conditions have started to deteriorate. Be cautious when ice fishing the offshore areas of Lake Erie, as ice conditions can change quickly due to water currents and wind. Travel with caution and regularly check ice conditions before proceeding.
How: Most Lake Erie ice anglers targeting walleyes are using jigging spoons tipped with emerald shiners.
Where: Panfish have been caught in East Harbor.
How: Most panfish have been caught on ice jigs tipped with waxworms or soft plastics.
The Rocky River is offering very good conditions for steelhead fishing right now, according to Cleveland Metropark reports. The Rocky and Chagrin rivers are currently elevated and muddy but dropping in level, although further snow melt will likely sustain or increase the flows. It is difficult to predict when the river will be in good shape for steelhead anglers, but that could likely be later into the weekend or early next week. Anglers are advised to keep an eye on the flow gages, and when the Rocky gets below 500 cfs it will offer increasingly better conditions, according to most angler's preferences. Larger nickel to quarter size spawn sacks in bright pink and chartreuse colors take the most steelhead in muddy conditions, and an 8-gram (+/-) float and plenty of weight is well suited to high water on our local streams. Before the rise in flow, anglers were hooking some steelies on the Rock and Chagrin, and Cuyahoga River anglers reported some steelie and northern pike action. On a neat side note, this week local angler Justin Marconi caught his third brown trout since the beginning of the season on the Rock. Once flows recede, a fresh batch of among the first of our spring run steelhead can be expected. Many anglers are hoping for/expecting a good spring run given the limited opportunities for steelhead to run this winter.
Lake Erie shoreline ice-fishing opportunities are available in protected areas, such as East 55th and Wildwood marinas and Gordon Park. Edgewater Marina access will be closed off at the launch ramps this winter for hurricane damage related repairs to the area, but motivated anglers can still walk in along the riprap to the west. These areas offer steelhead and smelt, among other species like sunfish, crappie, and even northern pike. A single maggot on a tiny hook, or tandem hooks a foot apart, is a productive smelt offering. The same baits as used in river fishing will work for steelies under the ice, as well as a jigging spoons.
Trout have been caught at Wallace and Ledge lakes on PowerBait and jigging spoons. Largemouth bass and some panfish have been caught at Wallace. As the ice melts on the lakes, anglers can look forward to a few weeks of a hot bite from trout at Wallace, Ledge, Judge’s, Shadow, and Ranger lakes.
The first stockings of the East Branch Rocky River for spring will likely take place within the next two weeks, depending on what happens with the weather and river conditions. You can check the fishing report for updates as details develop. Furthermore, ODNR Division of Wildlife plans to stock trout at Hinckley and Shadow lakes on April 1.
Cleveland Metroparks, www.clevelandmetroparks.com