Cast a line: Ohio Lake Erie fishing report July 10-16

Steve Farley caught two quality northern pike at East 55th Marina on Lake Erie. (Andy Young, for Cleveland Metroparks)

It’s one heck of a fishing season, folks. Here’s where to fish for what, according to the Ohio Department of Natural Resource.

Western Basin

Walleye 
Where: Fishing slowed with the mayfly hatch and recent weather, but catches were still above average with a lot of 17 to 18-inch fish being caught. Fishing was best north and northeast of West Sister Island in 25 to 35 feet of water, near the War buoy, and around Gull Island Shoal in 30 feet of water.

How: Trolling worm harnesses or drifting with bottom bouncers seemed to catch the most fish. Anglers drifting are also picking up fish casting harnesses and weight forward spinners. The best colors have been purple and gold. Anglers are also having success trolling spoons behind divers and trolling deep diving crankbaits unassisted 30 to 50 feet back.

Yellow Perch  
Where: Fishing for yellow perch has been fair-to-good, with best reports coming from Little Cedar Point, West Sister Island, and the Toledo Water Intake in 20 to 30 feet of water.

How: Perch spreaders with shiners fished near the bottom produce the most fish.

Largemouth and Smallmouth Bass  

Where: Anglers fishing for largemouth have been doing exceptionally well in the Portage River mouth, East and West Harbors, and Sandusky Bay, as well as picking up the occasional fish around Catawba. Anglers targeting smallmouth have been having a tougher time but are still finding fish near the islands and reef complexes.

How: Texas rigged soft plastic and wacky worms usually produce well for largemouth bass. For anglers targeting smallmouth, tubes and drop-shot rigs work well, though plenty of fish are being caught trolling crankbaits.

Catfish  

Where: Anglers targeting catfish are doing extremely well in Sandusky and Maumee bays. Shoreline fishing opportunities are available from the Jackson Street Pier, Shoreline Park, Battery Park, or Meigs Street Pier in Sandusky, and the Sandusky Bay Bridge access.

How: Shrimp is a popular bait in Sandusky and Maumee bays; although, fish are also taken on shiners, nightcrawlers, and stink bait. Most anglers fish a Carolina rig; although, fish can be taken below a bobber suspended just off the bottom.

Central Basin

Walleye 
Where: Excellent fishing continues with many limits reported in 30 to 45 feet of water north-northwest of Edgewater Park, in 30 to 45 feet of water north-northeast of Gordon Park, in 15 to 55 feet of water northwest to northeast of Fairport Harbor, in 20 to 60 feet of water northwest to northeast of Geneva, and in 25 to 54 feet of water northwest to northeast of Ashtabula.

How: Walleye have been caught by trolling crankbaits, spoons, worm harnesses behind planer boards and divers or flatline trolling, and by casting weight forward spinners. Good colors to try are purple, green and white, orange, pink and purple, and chartreuse. Anglers fishing from shore are having the best luck in the evenings catching fish using spinners and stick baits.

Smallmouth Bass  

Where: Fishing has been excellent in 10 to 20 feet of water around harbor areas in Cleveland, Fairport Harbor, Ashtabula, and Conneaut.

How: Anglers are trolling crankbaits, tube jigs and small spoons, and are using jigs tipped with maggots and golden shiners.

Catfish  

Where: Fishing for channel catfish has been good on the Grand River, Fairport piers, at the Route 535 bridge, and the Grand River landing.

How: Anglers are using live baits such as night crawlers, leeches and shrimp.

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