Steelhead turning up: Lake Erie fish report Oct. 5-7

Dominic Charlot shows off his catch from East 55th Street Marina. (Mike Durkalec, Cleveland Metroparks)

The Rocky River is currently low in level and fairly clear, but rain in the weekend forecast change that, reports Cleveland Metroparks aquatic biologist Mike Durkalec.

A modest number of steelhead turned up this week off the breakwall at Edgewater, East 55th Street Marina, East 72nd Street Marina, Wildwood Park, and in the northernmost river sections by Lake Erie, Durkalec writes in his weekly fishing report.  Casting a spoon (ie Little Cleo or KO Wobbler) or spinner (ie Vibrax or RoosterTail) are a good bet for early steelhead. Steelhead fishing heats up in October.

Largemouth bass, smallmouth bass, freshwater drum, walleye, and panfish species can also be found along the Cleveland shoreline and can be caught on tube jigs, dropshot rigs, crankbaits, and live bait.  Some 15-20-inch walleye have been found in water 16- to 24-feet deep by Cleveland boaters, although more consistent catches are still being made in 68-70 feet of water.  Yellow perch fishing off Cleveland has been slowly heating up off Wildwood Park in 32-38 feet of water. 

Here’s the Ohio Department of Natural Resources fish report.

Walleye 
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.

Yellow Perch 
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 as well.

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.

Catfish  
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.

Central Basin

Walleye 
Where: Good fishing with some limits reported in 72 feet of water northeast of Edgewater Park, in 73 to 74 feet of water northwest to northeast of Fairport Harbor, in 70 to 75 feet of water north of Ashtabula, and in 72 to 74 feet of water north-northwest of Conneaut. Fish are suspended, and anglers are targeting fishing depths of 50 to 65 feet while trolling.

Yellow Perch  
Where: Fish are being caught in 47 to 51 feet of water northwest of Fairport Harbor, and in 69 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: Anglers 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.

 

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