Lake Erie Region Fishing Report – August 14th, 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.
• For black bass (largemouth and smallmouth bass), the daily bag limit is five fish per angler with a 14-inch minimum size limit.
Where: Walleyes have been caught around the Toledo water intake, along the west edge of the Camp Perry firing range from “A” can to “K” can, three miles west of West Sister Island, and near 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, north of “C” can of the Camp Perry firing range, northwest of Rattlesnake Island, near Ballast Island, off the Marblehead Lighthouse, southwest of Kelleys Island, and east of Kelleys 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 along the shorelines of the Bass Islands and on some of the reefs of the Camp Perry firing range. 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 west of the sandbar and west of Cranberry Creek. Very good fishing was reported northeast of Ashtabula Lakeshore Park in 73 feet of water and north-northeast of Conneaut in 62 to 68 feet of water.
How: Anglers are trolling divers or planer boards with divers, with purple or gold spoons, stick baits, and pink or green worm harnesses.
Where: Anglers are catching fish one mile northeast of Vermilion, north of Edgewater Park in 47 to 53 feet, northeast of Geneva in 45 feet of water, and northeast of Ashtabula in 50 feet of water. Fishing from shore has been slow off the piers in Cleveland and Fairport Harbor.
How: Perch spreaders with shiners and minnows fished near the bottom produce the most fish.
Where: Fishing has been good in 10 to 25 feet of water around harbor areas in Fairport Harbor, Cleveland, Ashtabula, and Conneaut.
How: Anglers are using crayfish, leeches, and drop shot rigs.
As we move into late summer, highlight species targeted around Cleveland Metroparks include largemouth bass, walleye, yellow perch, smallmouth bass, panfish, channel catfish, and common carp. After an early summer of high water, the rivers have finally receded to levels amenable to fishing. Lake Erie perch fishing was also starting to heat up at the end of July. Keep in mind that as the weather gets hot, it can be a big advantage to fish early or late in the day, or even after dark.
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. Earlier this summer, a total of 1,500 pounds of farm raised channel catfish were stocked between Shadow, Ledge, Ranger, Judge’s lakes, Beyer’s Pond, and Oxbow Lagoon. Additionally, plenty of catfish stocked in late spring remain to be caught at Wallace Lake and the Ohio & Erie Canal fishing area. Hinckley Lake has fewer catfish, but contains some of the largest around. 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 visibly feeding carp in the rivers 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, white bass, 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).
The summer resident bass may not average as large as the lake-run bass around from April-June, but they are big enough to give great sport on lighter tackle.