Lake Erie Region Fishing Report – December 4th, 2015
• The bag limit for walleyes 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 walleyes in the Western Basin due to rough lake conditions.
How: Walleyes have been caught by trolling with crankbaits or worm harnesses.
Where: When anglers have been able to get out, fishing for perch has been good east of Kelleys Island and around Marblehead 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 continue to be caught along the shorelines of the Bass Islands. 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: There have been very few reports of anglers fishing for walleye in the Central Basin due to rough lake conditions. A few good walleye reports have come from the sandbar between Vermilion and Lorain.
How: Anglers are trolling planer boards with worm harnesses and crankbaits.
Where: When anglers have been able to get out, fish have been caught two miles north of Huron, two miles north of Vermilion, and near the south end of the sandbar between Vermilion and Lorain. Anglers are also finding fish north-northwest of Gordon Park in 37 to 39 feet of water and north of Wildwood Park in 37 to 38 feet of water. In Ashtabula, try north-northeast of the harbor in 39 to 42 feet of water. Anglers fishing from shore are catching fish off the long pier in the Grand River.
How: Perch spreaders with shiners and minnows fished near the bottom produce the most fish.
Where: Fishing has been good in 15 to 18 feet of water around harbor areas in Fairport Harbor, Cleveland, Ashtabula, and Conneaut.
How: Anglers are using crayfish, jigs and crankbaits.
Where: Anglers are trolling and casting in harbors, along breakwalls, and in nearshore areas at Conneaut, Ashtabula, Geneva, Fairport Harbor, Eastlake, and Rocky River.
How: Anglers are using spoons, jigs, and maggots and spinners.
In fall, species targeted by anglers in Cleveland Metroparks include steelhead trout, yellow perch, and walleyes, and the fishing for all of them is currently very good. The Rocky River and other area streams are low and clear with a modest run of steelhead spread throughout, but lots of minnows and leaves are adding a dimension of challenge to the fishing.
The northern river reaches have the most emerald shiners and steelhead, but the bite in this section has been tough with so much natural forage available. One veteran steelheader noted that he enjoyed watching steelhead chasing shiners to the surface by the marina recently, and relayed that “at dusk no minnow was safe!” Euclid Creek also receives some stray steelhead, as do other unstocked streams. Drifting a dime-sized spawn sack, a jig tipped with maggots, or a live minnow under a float is a great way to hook a fall steelhead, and fly fishers are also reporting some success. Steelhead continue to stage and feed on abundant emerald shiners and small gizzard shad along the Lake Erie shoreline (at Edgewater, E. 55th, and Wildwood parks). Popular methods for targeting Lake Erie shoreline steelies include suspending a jig tipped with minnow or nightcrawler two to five feet below a bobber, as well as casting a spoon (i.e., Little Cleo or KO Wobbler) or spinner (i.e., Vibrax or RoosterTail).
Trout and catfish are available at the Ohio & Erie Canal fishing area down the hill from CanalWay Visitor Center off E. 49th Street. Two weeks ago, Cleveland Metroparks stocked 1,000 pounds of rainbow trout and 600 pounds of farm-raised channel catfish at this location. Note: the daily trout limit at this location is five per angler. Trout bite well on PowerBait, canned corn, small spinners, and jigs tipped with a few maggots/waxworms, and catfish love chicken liver. A nightcrawler worm or piece of shrimp fished right on the canal bottom offers a good chance of hooking either species.
The yellow perch anglers around Cleveland are reporting a great bite in 36-40 feet of water off E. 72nd/Gordon Park and Bratenahl, with other anglers reporting good catches right along the Cleveland breakwall out from shore. A fair number of nice perch are also being caught by shore anglers on the north facing breakwall at E. 55th. Anglers are using perch spreaders and crappie rigs baited with emerald shiners. The shop at E. 55th is now closed for the season, but emerald shiners are available in great abundance along the shoreline and in local rivers for anglers who invest in an inexpensive umbrella net. Night walleye anglers are reporting great action off E. 72nd/Gordon Park from the shore and from boats casting and trolling stickbaits, with Husky Jerks and Perfect 10s being top producers.
Cleveland Metroparks, www.clevelandmetroparks.com