Celebrate fall with the Cleveland Metroparks Fall Family Fishing Fest on Saturday. The free event takes place 9 a.m.-1 p.m. at the Ohio & Erie Canal Reservation, where the Metroparks will provide bait and loan a limited number of fishing poles. The parks stocked the area with 600 pounds of channel catfish and 1,000 pounds of rainbow trout. Anglers of any age may participate, but prizes in several categories are reserved for kids 15 years old and younger.
On the Lake Erie shoreline, a number of steelhead turned up off the breakwalls at Edgewater Park, East 55th Street Marina, East 72nd Street Marina and Wildwood Park, and in the northernmost river sections. Casting a spoon (Little Cleo or KO Wobbler) or spinner (Vibrax or RoosterTail) are a good bet, Metroparks aquatic biologist Mike Durkalec writes in his weekly fishing report.
Anglers are also pursuing a mixed bag of warmwater species in the streams, Durkalec said. Smallmouth bass are typically found in the deeper, rocky pools of the river. Anglers have caught a surprising number of keeper-size walleye by the Rocky River marina.
Don’t forget to sign up for the the Fall Brawl walleye derby in Lake Erie!
See the full Fish Ohio report from the Ohio Department of Natural Resources.
Where: Fishing has been fair with the best reports coming from Huron and Lorain in 35 to 50 feet of water. Anglers are reporting limits of 17 to 22-inch fish. Fish are being caught east of Kellys Island in less than 15 feet of water as well. Fish are sporadically being caught off piers and break walls as the walleye are following baitfish closer to shore.
How: Anglers trolling small spoons behind divers have been doing the best from 45 to 80 feet back, depending on where the fish are. Anglers trolling deep diving stick baits are starting to have better success as the fish start moving nearshore during the fall chasing gizzard shad.
Where: Fishing for yellow perch has been fair with the inconsistent weather patterns. The best fishing has been near Green Island in 30 feet of water, and “G” can of the Camp Perry Firing Range in 20 to 23 feet of water. A few good reports came from the “Sputnik” buoy near Toledo in 21 to 25 feet of water, and near West Sister Island in 26 to 30 feet of water as well.
How: Perch spreaders with shiners fished near the bottom produce the most fish.
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: Anglers targeting catfish are doing 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, though fish have also taken on shiners, nightcrawlers, and stink bait. Most anglers fish a Carolina rig or three-way rig. Fish can also be taken below a bobber suspended just off the bottom.
Where: Good fishing with some limits were reported in 65 feet of water north of Edgewater Park, in 72 feet of water northeast of Wildwood Park, in 68 to 72 feet of water northwest of Fairport Harbor, in 74 to 75 feet of water north-northwest of Ashtabula, and in 73 to 75 feet of water northwest of Conneaut. Fish are suspended, and anglers are targeting fishing depths of 50 to 65 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.
Where: Prior to the recent rough lake conditions, fish were being caught in 51 to 54 feet of water northwest of Fairport Harbor, and in 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.
Where: Anglers are catching fish trolling inside the Fairport Harbor break wall and in the Grand River. Anglers fishing from shore are catching fish off the Fairport Harbor break wall and the Painesville Township Pier.
How: The best baits have been small spoons and jigs, tipped with maggots, fished under a bobber.