Lake Erie Region Fishing Report – January 29th, 2016
• 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 two fish per angler. The minimum size limit is 12 inches.
Where: Fishing was excellent last weekend with unseasonably warm and calm January weather. The best area was southeast of South Bass Island. The recent cold weather is freezing protected harbors and will limit boat access to the main lake.
How: Most walleyes have been caught by trolling with crankbaits.
In winter, highlight species targeted by anglers in Cleveland Metroparks include steelhead trout, stocked trout, and walleye. Local streams have iced up this week, making steelhead fishing much more challenging.
The Rocky River and other area streams have good numbers of steelhead present, but icy conditions are making for challenging fishing. Ice and slush have been worst in the Rocky River in the mornings. The Cuyahoga River is among the last of Cleveland Metropark streams to get slushy. It is not stocked, but does get a decent number of stray steelhead. Brightly colored spawn sacks, jigs tipped with grubs, live or salted minnows, rubber baits, and various flies have all taken a share of the fish over the past two weeks.
A thin crust of ice has formed over most Cleveland Metroparks inland lakes and ponds recently, although not thick enough for ice fishing. A total of 3,000 pounds of trout were stocked in Metroparks lakes in December, as follows: Wallace Lake (1,250 pounds), Shadow Lake (700 pounds), Ledge Lake (550 pounds), Judge’s Lake (250 pounds), and Ranger Lake (250 pounds). Winter trout bite well on PowerBait, canned corn, jigs tipped with a few maggots/waxworms, and jigging spoons. Please note the current seasonal trout regulations: Lake Erie and all streams two/day, minimum size 12 inches (this includes steelhead); three/day, no size limit at Wallace, Ledge, Judge’s, and Ranger lakes; and five/day, no size limit at Shadow Lake and Ohio and Erie Canal. The second (and final) round of winter trout were scheduled to go into the same lakes on Jan. 19-20.
Since ice fishing is (hopefully) right around the corner, Cleveland Metroparks offers some advice: Most state conservation agencies recommend at least four inches of solid ice before anglers should venture out to ice fish, and in Cleveland Metroparks it is the angler’s responsibility to check that. One method is to use a spud bar near shore and check the ice thickness, and if it is greater than four inches then walk out a little farther and check again. Ice is often thinnest right at the water’s edge and around inlets and outlets of the waterbody. Other safety tips are to always fish with a friend, let someone know where you’ll be, and focus on areas near where other anglers are already fishing.
Steelhead, yellow perch, and night walleye fishing opportunities are available at Edgewater, 55th, and E. 72nd/Gordon parks from the shore when conditions allow. Steelhead anglers typically use small jigs tipped with maggots, minnows, or worms under small bobbers. Walleye anglers cast Husky Jerk and Perfect 10 stickbaits. Perch anglers fish crappie rigs with live or salted emerald shiners on the lake bottom. Be aware that shoreline rocks can be dangerous when covered by a thin layer of ice.