Lake Erie Region Fishing Report – May 20th, 2016
Lake Erie Region
• The daily bag limit for walleye 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 2 fish per angler. The minimum size limit is 12 inches.
• Possession of black bass (largemouth and smallmouth bass) is prohibited through June 24.
Where: Over the past week northeast winds have limited walleye fishing success. Walleyes have been caught by anglers trolling northeast of Maumee Bay, along the northern and eastern buoys of the Camp Perry firing range, west of the Bass Islands, near Mouse Island, and north of Kelleys Island. Anglers jigging are still catching fish in Maumee Bay, nearshore west of the Camp Perry firing range, and on the reefs of the Camp Perry firing range.
How: Anglers trolling were using deep diving crankbaits or worm harnesses. Jigging with hair jigs and emerald shiners has produced the most fish for anglers jigging.
In late spring, highlight species targeted by anglers in Cleveland Metroparks include steelhead, stocked trout, largemouth/smallmouth bass, and panfish. The Rocky River has been elevated and stained much of this week and is slowly on the rise again. River conditions for the weekend will depend on how much additional rain we receive so anglers should consult the flow data prior to heading to the water. Steelhead numbers dropped off notably this past week, although lake-run smallmouth bass numbers in the river have been impressive. Trout are available in the East Branch Rocky River, as conditions permit, and Cleveland Metropark local ponds and lakes are also offering good opportunities for largemouth bass, and panfish. Walleye fishing has been good around the Cleveland shoreline after dark.
Cleveland Metroparks biologist Mike Durkalec expects a few straggler steelhead to hang out over the next few weeks, but most anglers are hanging up the steelhead gear for the season and switching focus to other species.
Nosing steelhead out of the spotlight lately are increasing numbers of fat and sassy lake-run smallmouth bass. These fish are present in deeper, rocky holes throughout the main branch of the river. Anglers fishing a jig, wooly bugger, live shiner, or other lures/flies that mimic a baitfish have a shot at hooking “the silver and bronze” (a smallmouth or steelhead) in the same day for the next few weeks. For targeting smallmouth specifically an olive or dark brown three- to four-inch tube jig is a great choice. Please consider releasing larger bass, which are on their spawning run. Unlike our steelhead, this excellent fishery is completely self-perpetuating and we want to keep it strong.
Throughout spring, a total of 3,000 pounds of rainbow trout were stocked in the East Branch Rocky River between Route 82 (Royalton Road) and the ford crossing just south of Wallace Lake. Although Cleveland Metroparks’ spring stocking program has concluded, plenty of these trout remain when river conditions are amenable to angling. Additionally, Wallace Lake was stocked with trout throughout the winter and spring seasons, and the DNR Division of Wildlife stocked 2,500 trout in Hinckley Lake and 500 trout in Shadow Lake in April. Wallace Lake and the Ohio & Erie Canal fishing area will be stocked with trout the third week of May for a kid’s fishing event. Largemouth bass have been biting well at Wallace Lake this week, as well.
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 five/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 the 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 works well for sunfish. Crappie bite well on live minnows or small jigs. E. 55th Marina and Emerald Necklace Marina are now open from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. to supply your bait, refreshment, and general boating needs. The walleye night bite around Cleveland was good this week, and shore anglers with long-handled landing nets have been catching walleye on Husky Jerk and Perfect 10 crankbaits.
Cleveland Metroparks, www.clevelandmetroparks.com