Lake Erie Region Fishing Report – October 9th, 2015
Lake Erie Region
• 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: There have been very few reports of anglers fishing for walleye in the western basin, and most anglers are targeting yellow perch.
How: Most walleyes have been caught by trolling with crankbaits or worm harnesses.
Where: Perch fishing has been good near the Toledo lighthouse, northeast of the Toledo water intake, north of the war buoy (east of West Sister Island), on the northwest reef (about three miles northwest of North Bass Island), southeast of Kelleys Island, east of Kelleys Island, and just off the Lakeside-Marblehead shoreline.
How: Perch spreaders or crappie rigs with shiners fished near the bottom produce the most fish.
Smallmouth 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 along 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: A few good walleye reports have come from just south of the sandbar between Vermilion and Lorain. Farther east, good fishing was reported 14 miles northeast of Geneva in 71 feet of water and 10 miles north of Ashtabula in 72 feet of water.
How: Anglers are trolling divers or planer boards with all colors of worm harnesses and spoons.
Where: Fish have been caught 1.5 miles north of Vermilion, northeast of Gordon Park in 42 to 55 feet of water, and north-northeast of Chagrin River in 54 to 62 feet of water. Excellent fishing was reported north-northeast of Ashtabula in 50 to 57 feet of water. Fishing from shore has been picking up from the piers in Cleveland and the Grand River.
How: Perch spreaders with shiners and minnows fished near the bottom produce the most fish.
Where: Fishing has been very good in 15 to 18 feet of water around harbor areas in Fairport Harbor, Cleveland, Ashtabula, and Conneaut.
How: Anglers are using crayfish and drop-shot rigs.
As we begin our approach to fall, highlight species targeted by anglers along the Rocky River and other area streams include smallmouth bass, carp, panfish, and channel catfish – with a watchful eye looking for the first returning steelhead trout, according to biologist Mike Durkalec at Cleveland Metroparks.
Anglers are also pursuing a mix of warm-water species in the streams of northern Ohio. 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 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).
Channel catfish, carp, sheepshead, and several sucker species are also present in some of these same areas in the river, especially around the marina on the Rocky, and fishing for them can be a laid back and relaxing way to enjoy some time on the water. Catfishing is usually best during lower light conditions using baits such as nightcrawlers, minnows, chicken liver, and processed dough baits. Catfish often bite best following a rain when the water is a bit murky. Good catfish catches have also been reported at Cleveland Metropark’s inland lakes and ponds. Carp can often be caught throughout the day on such bait as canned corn, carp dough baits, worms, or crayfish tails. For the angling generalist, any of the species mentioned thus far can be effectively targeted by fishing a nightcrawler worm right on the river bottom with a sinker.
The yellow perch bite around Cleveland has been slowly improving following a challenging summer, but is still on the slow side. Anglers are using perch spreaders and live or salted shiners, although local bait shops have had golden shiners and fathead minnows in place of hard-to-find emerald shiners. Boating anglers have found perch off Cleveland and Euclid in 50-53 feet of water. Rock bass, largemouth bass, smallmouth bass, crappie, freshwater drum, and sunfish species are also found along the Cleveland shoreline in summer and can be caught on offerings such as tube jigs, drop-shot rigs, and live bait. Walleye schools are primarily still in deep water offshore, although a few locals have reported walleye caught at E. 72nd Street after dark the past few weeks. A highlight has been an abundance of juvenile walleyes this year, which promises a continuation of our great Lake Erie walleye fishing into the foreseeable future. White bass fishing, which is typically good in late summer, has been slow lately.
Cleveland Metroparks, www.clevelandmetroparks.com