Lake Erie Region Fishing Report – July 17th, 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 returned to five fish per angler with a 14-inch minimum size limit.
Where: Walleye have been caught on the Gravel Pit, northwest of West Sister Island, and along the Canadian border east of Gull 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.
Where: Yellow perch have been caught near the Toledo harbor light, on the Gravel Pit, around “H” can of the Camp Perry firing range, and around North Bass Island.
How: Perch spreaders or crappie rigs with shiners fished near the bottom produce the most fish.
Smallmouth bass and largemouth bass
Where: Smallmouth bass have been caught on the reefs of the Camp Perry firing range and along the shorelines of the Bass Islands. Largemouth bass have been caught on the main lake shoreline around Catawba and Marblehead, and in harbors in the same area.
How: Bass have been caught on tube jigs, crankbaits and drop shot rigs.
Where: Walleyes have been caught at the weather buoy near the Canadian border. Good fishing was reported north-northwest of the Chagrin River in 50 to 56 feet of water, north of Geneva in 72 feet of water, and northwest of Conneaut in 74 to 75 feet of water.
How: Anglers are trolling divers or planer boards with divers using pink and purple spoons or blue, purple, pink, and red worm harnesses.
Where: Anglers are catching fish near the Lorain lighthouse and northwest of Wildwood Park in 42 feet of water. Good fishing was reported north of Ashtabula Lakeshore Park in 50 feet of water and north of Conneaut in 48 feet of water. Fishing from shore has been slow off the shore piers in Cleveland and Fairport Harbor.
How: Perch spreaders with shiners fished near the bottom produce the most fish.
Where: Fishing has been very good in 10 to 25 feet of water around harbor areas in Fairport Harbor, Ashtabula and Conneaut.
How: Anglers are using twister tails, tube jigs, crankbaits, and spinners.
As we move into midsummer, highlight species targeted around Cleveland Metroparks include largemouth bass, walleye, yellow perch, smallmouth bass, panfish, channel catfish, and common carp.
Channel catfish and large carp are available throughout area rivers and fishing for them can be a laid back and relaxing way to enjoy some time on the water. A total of 1,500 pounds of farm raised channel catfish were stocked among Shadow, Ledge, Ranger, and Judge’s lakes, Beyer’s Pond, and Oxbow Lagoon. Additionally, lots of catfish stocked in May remain to be caught at Wallace Lake and the Ohio and Erie Canal fishing area. Catfishing is usually best during lower light conditions using baits such as nightcrawlers, shrimp, minnows, chicken liver, and processed dough baits.
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 on the Rocky) in 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.
Smallmouth bass are typically found in the deeper, rocky pools of the river during the day in 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 some trophy fish up to (and over) 20 inches in length available. It has been very encouraging to see most anglers releasing the larger bass recently so that these fine gamefish can be caught again. Rock bass are also present in the same river areas as smallmouth, and can be caught using the same offerings listed above.
Summer means family fishing time for many folks, and panfish fit the bill perfectly for a leisurely picnic and fishing outing. Anglers seeking panfish have experienced decent fishing at most of the ponds and lakes in the park district in the past week. Crappies, bluegills, and other sunfish species can be taken with a number of offerings, but a waxworm or red worm on a small hook (or tiny jig) suspended under a stick float and fished around a weedbed or shoreline brush is always a good choice. Wallace Lake, Shadow Lake, and Lakefront Reservation are just a few of the many places in the park to wet a line for various panfish species. Largemouth bass fishing is often best in Wallace and Hinckley lakes, although bass can be found in most park waters. Lots of bass and panfish have been stocked around the park in spring and summer this year.
Rock bass, largemouth bass, white bass, smallmouth bass, crappies, freshwater drum, and sunfish species are biting along the Cleveland shoreline of Lake Erie on offerings such as tube jigs and live minnows.
Cleveland Metroparks, www.clevelandmetroparks.com