Monday, February 6th, 2023
Monday, February 6th, 2023

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Lake Erie Region Fishing Report – February 20th, 2015

• The daily bag limit for walleye in Ohio waters of Lake Erie is 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 in all Ohio waters of Lake Erie.
• The trout and salmon daily bag limit is two fish per angler. The minimum size limit is 12 inches.
• The daily bag limit for black bass (largemouth and smallmouth bass) on Ohio waters of Lake Erie is five fish per angler. The minimum size limit for black bass is 14 inches.

The latest cold snap has almost all of Lake Erie covered by ice.

The Great Lakes Environmental Research Laboratory says ice has formed across close to 94 percent of the lake. That’s the highest percentage out of all of the Great Lakes.

Just two years ago at this time of the year, only about half of the lake had ice cover.

Scientists say mid-February is when Lake Erie is usually the coldest.

The Northeast Ohio Media Group in Cleveland reports that the lake has reached 100 percent ice coverage only three times since records have been kept. The most recent time was in 1996.

Walleye

Where: The best walleye ice fishing has been between Catawba and Camp Perry, and three to five miles off Magee Marsh.
How: Most anglers are jigging with spoons tipped with emerald shiners.
 

Panfish

Where: Panfish have been caught in harbors and marinas around Catawba.
How: Most anglers are using small jigs with waxworms or soft plastics.

Steelhead fishing opportunities in rivers local to Cleveland Metroparks are rapidly diminishing due to the arctic blast we are in the midst of receiving. The river was offering significantly increased open water with a nice flow and stain following the thaw last weekend, but expect slush and shelf ice to form rapidly over the next several days given the forecast. As a tip, the dam off Station Road in Brecksville Reservation (below the Route 82 bridge) is a popular and often productive spot on the Cuyahoga River in winter, with Cleveland Metroparks owning most of the west bank (with the railroad tracks) and Cuyahoga Valley National Park owning the east bank. Please note: Using live bait, including salmon/trout eggs, is NOT permitted on Cuyahoga Valley National Park land, and rangers have been out checking anglers.

Ice anglers have been out on Cleveland Metropark inland lakes and are doing well. Wallace Lake was stocked with 1,000 pounds of trout recently, and Shadow (500 pounds), Ledge (400 pounds), and Judge's (100 pounds) lakes were stocked recently. Ranger Lake will not be stocked this time. Daily trout limit is three per day in these waters, with the exception of Shadow Lake, where it is five per day. Winter trout bite on Power Bait (rainbow and other bright colors have been best) about the size of a marble near the lake bottom with a small sinker, small jigs tipped with bait (maggots, waxworm, minnow, corn) suspended under a float, spawn sacks, and small to medium size jigging spoons (like Swedish Pimple or Forage Minnow). It is always a good strategy to try a variety of offerings when pursuing trout on Cleveland Metropark lakes until you find what they are in the mood for.

Reports from the Lake Erie marinas and harbors indicated slow fishing recently. Marinas at E. 55th, Edgewater, and Wildwood parks on Lake Erie can all be worth a look from ice anglers. Much of the ice around Edgewater Marina is rougher from breaking up and refreezing. Ice in these windswept areas along the lakefront is thicker than most inland areas at this time.  Anglers are pursuing panfish such as bluegill, crappie, and yellow perch using small jigs tipped with waxworms or maggots. The most successful anglers move often and use electronics (Vexilar unit, for example) to find the fish. Steelhead can also be found roaming the marinas, and will bite on the same baits they will in the rivers. A few quality size northern pike are also around in winter. One strategy is to use one or two jigging/bait rods and then set up to six tip-ups per angler using larger live minnows for predators like steelhead and pike. Unlike inland Metroparks waters, you can fish the Lake Erie marinas 24 hours a day.

Cleveland Metroparks

 

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