Lake Erie Region Fishing Report – July 3rd, 2015

• The 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 five fish per angler. The minimum size limit is 12 inches.

• Black bass (largemouth and smallmouth bass) in Ohio waters of Lake Erie is closed to possession May 1 through June 26 (no harvest). On June 27, the daily bag limit returns to five fish per angler with a 14-inch minimum size limit.

Western Basin 


Where: Fishing was good over the past week and fish were caught between the Gravel Pit and West Sister Island, east of West Sister Island, north of “B” can of the Camp Perry firing range, north of Niagara Reef, around Rattlesnake Island, around Gull Island Shoal, and north of Kelleys Island Shoal.

How: Anglers trolling have caught fish on spoons behind divers and on worm harnesses with inline weights or bottom bouncers. Anglers casting are using weight forward spinners or mayfly rigs.

Yellow perch

Where: Yellow perch have been caught around the turnaround buoy of the Toledo shipping channel and between Kelleys Island and the Marblehead lighthouse.

How: Perch spreaders or crappie rigs with shiners fished near the bottom produce the most fish.

Central Basin


Where: Fishing was good two miles north of Lorain. Fishing was excellent off Cleveland in 52 to 55 feet of water, northwest of Fairport in 20 to 30 feet of water, and from Geneva to Ashtabula in 35 to 68 feet of water.

How: Anglers are trolling planer boards and divers with pink and purple spoons and worm harnesses. 

Yellow perch 

Where: Anglers are catching fish with a few limits reported in 36 to 40 feet of water off Cleveland, in 46 feet of water off Ashtabula, and in 48 feet of water off Conneaut. Shore fishing has picked up with a few fish being caught off the E. 55th St. and E. 72nd St. piers in Cleveland and in Fairport Harbor.

How: Perch spreaders or crappie rigs with shiners fished near the bottom produce the most fish.

Smallmouth Bass 

Where: Fishing has been good in four to 22 feet of water around harbor areas in Fairport Harbor, Ashtabula, and Conneaut.

How: Anglers are using tube jigs, crankbaits, and spinners.

Farm-raised channel catfish were stocked at six locations in Cleveland Metroparks mid-June: Shadow Lake, Ledge Lake, Ranger Lake, Beyer’s Pond, Judge’s Lake, and Oxbow Lagoon.  The Rocky River is elevated and muddy from rain, but expect the good smallmouth bass and catfish fishing to resume as the water level recedes. Walleye fishing off Cleveland has been good overall, but yellow perch fishing remains unseasonably slow. Smallmouth bass are typically found in the deeper, rocky pools of the river during the day in early summer, and often move to the heads of such pools in the early morning and evening hours to feed actively. A dark olive or brown tube jig of about four inches length is one of the best producers of bass in the river. “Smallies” also bite well on live bait (i.e., minnow, crayfish, and leeches), lures (i.e., spinners and minnow plugs), and flies (i.e., crayfish patterns, Clouser minnows, dark brown or olive sculpin or muddler minnow patterns).  Bass of all sizes are abundant in the river, with a healthy number of trophy fish up to (and over) 20 inches available. Note that all smallmouth bass must be released immediately if caught downstream of the Detroit Road bridge through June 26. Rock bass are also present in the same river areas as smallmouth, and can be caught using the same offerings listed above.

Channel catfish and large carp are also present in some of these same areas in the river, and fishing for them can be a laid back and relaxing way to enjoy some time on the water. Good numbers of channel catfish stocked in May also remain to be caught at Wallace Lake and the Ohio & Erie Canal fishing area, as well as several smaller Metroparks waters.    Catfishing is usually best during lower light conditions using baits such as nightcrawlers, minnows, chicken liver, and processed dough baits. A good number of larger catfish are moving into the river from Lake Erie on their spawning run. Resident channel catfish are available in the river all summer.

Some large carp (some exceeding 15 pounds) will be found in the northern river reaches throughout the month, as well. Carp can often be caught throughout the day on such bait as canned corn, carp dough baits, worms, or crayfish tails. A growing contingent of fly anglers looking for a challenge are targeting carp with nymphs and crayfish imitations, as well. The key to fishing for either carp or catfish is fishing on (or very near) the river/lake bottom. In addition, freshwater drum (sheepshead), white perch, and bullhead catfish are also abundant in the northern river reaches (north of Morley Ford) in early summer. For the angling generalist, any of the species thus far can be effectively targeted by fishing a nightcrawler worm right on the river bottom with a sinker. Summer means family fishing time for many folks, and panfish fit the bill perfectly. 

Cleveland Metroparks,

Categories: Lake Eire Region, Ohio Fishing Reports

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