Lake Erie Region Fishing Report – April 22nd, 2016
• The daily bag limit for walleyes in Ohio waters of Lake Erie is four fish per angler through April 30. 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.
• The black bass (largemouth and smallmouth bass) daily bag limit is five fish per angler with a 14-inch minimum size limit.
• 2016 Ohio fishing licenses were required as of March 1, 2016.
Where: When conditions have allowed, walleyes have been caught by trolling along the east buoys of the Camp Perry firing range. Anglers jigging have caught fish on and around the reefs of the Camp Perry firing range, nearshore west of the firing range, and in Maumee Bay.
How: Anglers trolling have been using deep diving crankbaits or shallow diving crankbaits with snap weights to catch walleyes in the top half of the water column. Anglers jigging have been using hair jigs and emerald shiners.
In early spring, highlight species targeted by anglers in Cleveland Metroparks include steelhead, stocked trout, largemouth bass, and panfish. Steelhead fishing in all local streams has been very good this past week, with the larger streams all sustaining a good flow. The river elevated and muddied with recent rain, but prospects should be good if further rain holds off. The good flows earlier this week had drawn a bunch of fresh steelhead into the streams, with a healthy proportion of larger fish. In the streams are a mix of fresh, spawning, and post-spawn (“dropback” or “spent”) steelhead. Spawning steelhead (and suckers) can be found in shallower riffle and tailout (ends of pools) areas, while pre- and post-spawn fish can be found in holes and runs, especially just downstream of spawning fish. Fly-fishers, bait anglers, and hardware chuckers have all been taking a share of the fish, although it’s tough to beat a brightly colored dime- to nickel-size spawn bag in stained water conditions. Steelhead are distributed all the way up into both branches of the river at this time, as well as everywhere in between, with reports this week of a few of the big trout all the way up to Valley City on the West Branch. In a typical year, steelhead numbers peak in late March through mid April, so this is prime time.
Cleveland Metroparks recently stocked 650 pounds of rainbow trout in the East Branch Rocky River, which were released at four locations between Route 82 (Royalton Road) and Bonnie Park. These complement the 850 pounds of trout stocked in the river since mid-March. Additionally, the DNR Division of Wildlife stocked 2,500 trout in Hinckley Lake and 500 trout in Shadow Lake. The rainbow trout from DNR average 10-14 inches, which is a great size for kids, and slightly smaller than the ones Cleveland Metroparks stocks. Also note that trout were stocked throughout the winter at Wallace, Shadow, Ledge, Judge’s, and Ranger lakes, and a good number of these fish remain.
Some offerings to consider for trout include Powerbait in a variety of colors, small jigs tipped with maggots or waxworms, salmon eggs, worms, waxworms, minnows, and small lures (such as RoosterTail spinners). 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.
Spring is a good time of year to pursue pre-spawn panfish and largemouth bass at Cleveland Metroparks’ inland lakes and ponds, as well as at protected areas along the Lake Erie shoreline of Cleveland, like Edgewater boat ramps area and Gordon Park. Northern pike may also be found prowling weedy nearshore areas of the big lake. A white spinnerbait or Husky Jerk are good offerings for spring bass and pike, while a few waxworms suspended under a small bobber work well for sunfish. Crappie bite well on live minnows or small jigs. The boat ramp docks are in at Gordon Park, and will be installed at Edgewater within the next week or so if all goes as planned. Spring boaters have been making good catches of yellow perch around the E. 72nd lighthouse and anglers at E. 55th breakwall have even been catching a few jumbo perch from shore using emerald shiners on crappie rigs. Anglers are reporting a successful night bite for walleyes around Lorain, and that should follow here in Cleveland soon.
Nearly 1,400 bluegill and largemouth bass were stocked in Oxbow Lagoon in Rocky River Reservation (the majority) and Wallace Lake over the past week and a half, as well.
Cleveland Metroparks, www.clevelandmetroparks.com