Lake Erie Region Fishing Report – February 26th, 2016
• The bag limit for walleye in Ohio waters of Lake Erie is six fish per angler, but changes to four on March 1. 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.
Where: On Valentine’s Day weekend, walleyes were caught west of Catawba Island near “F” can of the Camp Perry firing range, and south of Green Island and South Bass Island.
How: Most walleyes were caught by trolling with crankbaits or by jigging.
In winter, highlight species targeted by anglers in Cleveland Metroparks include steelhead and stocked trout. Area streams fished very well for steelhead recently, but they are icing up rapidly and only look to get worse given the very cold forecast. After being completely open, Cleveland Metropark lakes are forming a crust of ice again, as well.
Steelhead anglers did quite well on the Rocky and Chagrin rivers recently as the water began to clear, with dime to nickel size spawn sacks in bright colors taking the bulk of the fish. A good run of fish is well distributed all the way to at least Cedar Point Road bridge on the Rocky. Area rivers formed significant slush and ice, and only look to get worse given single-digit low temperatures into the weekend. A tip for fishing in icy conditions is to bulk most of the split shot close to the bait, jig, or fly to punch it down through the surface slush quickly and keep it down where to fish are. To the brave who head out in the coming days, dressing warm in layers and using an ice-off paste or Chapstick on your guides can minimize frustrating ice build-up.
The Cuyahoga River is among the last of the streams to freeze in winter, with the lowhead dam under the Route 82 bridge being a hot spot. To get there, park in the lot at the end of Station Road in Brecksville Reservation and walk north (downstream) to the dam on the Metroparks (west) or National Park (east) sides of the river.
Trout were stocked at Wallace (1,400 pounds), Shadow (750 pounds), Ledge (600 pounds), Judge’s (150 pounds), and Ranger (100 pounds) lakes over the past two weeks. The lakes were all offering open water this week, but that will disappear rapidly with the coming Arctic blast. In areas with thin ice, anglers can fish areas along the lake margins where the water drops off quickly from shore, such as docks. Trout have been biting on a variety of baits, with small jigging spoons and jigs tipped with maggots or waxworms being among the top producers. Please note the current seasonal trout regulations: Lake Erie and all streams two per day, minimum size 12 inches (this includes steelhead), three per day, no size limit, at Wallace, Ledge, Judge’s and Ranger lakes, and five per day, no size limit, at Shadow Lake and Ohio and Erie Canal.
Cleveland Metroparks, www.clevelandmetroparks.com