Steelhead caught at East 55th Street Marina breakwall this week. (Bill Mantle, via Cleveland Metroparks)

Nearshore Lake Erie anglers are targeting walleye, steelhead, bass (largemouth and smallmouth), and yellow perch, Cleveland Metroparks aquatic biologist Mike Durkalec writes in his weekly fish report.  It’s walleye season, and steelhead are good.

Steelhead fishing perked up this week with many steelhead (and walleye after dark) caught off the breakwalls at Edgewater Park, East 55th and East 72nd street marinas, Wildwood Park, and by the Rocky River boat ramps, Durkalec writes. “The hot lakefront steelhead bait this week has been a whole nightcrawler on a plain hook dangled between 4-6 feet under a bobber. Casting a spoon (ie Little Cleo or KO Wobbler) or spinner (ie Vibrax or RoosterTail), or suspending a minnow on a jig under a bobber, at these locations are also good bets for connecting with steelhead trout.”

The Lake Erie water temperature is 52 off Toledo and 58 off Cleveland, according to the nearshore marine forecast.

See the full Ohio Department of Natural Resources fish report.

Lake Erie

Western Basin

Where: Fishing has been fair with the best reports coming from Huron and Lorain in 30 to 50 feet of water. Anglers are reporting limits of 17 to 22-inch fish, but some larger fish are occasional being caught. Boats are trolling after dark near shore using shallow diving crankbaits with moderate success. Anglers fishing from shore and piers are starting to do well on break walls, with a few limits reported, as walleye are following baitfish closer to shore.

How: Anglers trolling small spoons behind divers have been doing the best, but anglers trolling and casting deep diving stick baits and crankbaits are starting to see fishing pick up.

Yellow Perch 
Where: Fishing for yellow perch has been good. The best fishing has been south of Green Island in 30 feet of water, and “L” can of the Camp Perry Firing Range in 19 to 20 feet of water. A few good reports came from the “Sputnik” buoy near Toledo in 28 to 30 feet of water.

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

Black Bass  
Where: Fishing for largemouth bass continues to be good for anglers in the Portage River mouth, East and West harbors, and Sandusky Bay. According to a small number of reports, smallmouth fishing has been good near Toussaint Reef, Niagara Reef, and near the islands.

How: Texas rigged soft plastics and spinnerbaits have been producing well for largemouth bass on the outside of weed edges. Target smallmouth near the reefs and islands in approximately 15 feet of water using tubes, Ned rigs, and weighted worms.

Where: Fishing is starting to wind down, but a fair amount of fish are still being caught 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: Fishing with shiners and night crawlers on the bottom have been best. Most anglers fish a Carolina rig or three-way rig fished on the bottom.

Central Basin

Where: Prior to the rough lake conditions good fishing was reported in 53 feet of water northwest of Gordon Park, in 68 to 72 feet of water northwest of Fairport Harbor, in 70 to 75 feet of water north-northwest of Ashtabula, and in 70 to 75 feet of water northwest of Conneaut. Fish are suspended and anglers are targeting fishing depths of 50 to 60 feet while trolling.

How: Walleye have been caught by trolling crankbaits, spoons, and worm harnesses with divers. Good colors to try are purple, green, orange, watermelon, black and white, and copper. Anglers fishing from shore are having the best luck in the evenings catching fish using spinners and stick baits.

Yellow Perch  
Where: No new reports due to rough lake conditions. The following are reports from the previous week. Good reports have come from the Vermillion area in 26 to 31 feet of water. Prior to the recent rough lake conditions, fish were being caught in 51 to 54 feet of water northwest of Fairport Harbor, and in 50 to 60 feet of water north of Conneaut.

How: Anglers are fishing from the bottom up to 5 cranks off the bottom. Try different depths near the bottom until you locate the fish. Use minnows on spreaders. Fish have also been taken on maggots. The best reports have been from the late afternoon and into the evening.

Steelhead Trout  
Where: Good fishing reported from anglers trolling inside the Fairport Harbor break wall and inside the Conneaut break wall. Anglers fishing from shore are catching fish off the Fairport Harbor break wall and the Painesville Township Pier.

How: The best baits have been trolling small spoons and crank baits for anglers fishing from boats, and jigs tipped with maggots fished under a bobber and small spoons for anglers fishing from shore.