Lake Erie Region Fishing Report – February 12th, 2016
• The bag limit for walleyes in Ohio waters of Lake Erie is six fish per angler through the end of the month. It is four starting March 1. The minimum size limit for walleyes 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.
Unseasonably warm weather has ended most, if not all, ice-fishing opportunities on Lake Erie, according to the DNR Division of Wildlife. Anglers fishing from boats need to be cautious of floating ice. Wind and current can move floating ice quickly and potentially block access to ramps that were open earlier in the day.
In winter, highlight species targeted by anglers in Cleveland Metroparks include steelhead trout, stocked trout, and walleye. This week, Cleveland Metroparks has good news for steelhead anglers and bad news for ice fishers. There is a growing amount of open water on the Rocky River this week, and the water has a good green stain and flow. Ice conditions, on the other hand, have deteriorated to the point of being very thin and unsafe.
Weekend steelhead opportunities will be contingent upon how much rain we receive, so anglers are advised to check the flow gauge data before embarking on a trip. The Chagrin River, Cuyahoga River, and several smaller tributaries are also offering increased open water this week. Brightly colored spawn sacks, jigs tipped with grubs, live or salted minnows, rubber baits, and slow wobbling plugs can all entice lethargic winter steelhead into biting.
The thaw over the past week has chased ice fishers from Cleveland Metroparks’ smaller inland lakes. Ice is not safe to walk on at this time! Anglers can fish areas along the lake margins where the water drops off quickly from shore, such as docks. There are increasing spots of open water where there are stormwater inputs into our lakes, as well. Trout were stocked at Wallace (1,400 pounds) and Ranger (100 pounds) lakes, and Metroparks planned to stock Shadow, Ledge, and Judge’s lakes on Jan. 31. Back in December, 3,000 pounds of trout were distributed among these same lakes. Winter trout bite well on jigging spoons, small jigs tipped with a few maggots/waxworms, PowerBait, live minnows, and small spawn sacks. 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 & Erie Canal.
Cleveland Metroparks, www.clevelandmetroparks.com