Ohio Lake Erie Labor Day weekend fish report

Fishing from the East 55th Street Marina. (Cleveland Metroparks)

It’s the unofficial last weekend of summer, which means fall fishing is just heating up.

The Lake Erie water temperature is 74 off Toledo and 74 off Cleveland, according to the nearshore marine forecast. And the lake is full of walleye, perch and smallmouth bass.

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

Western Basin

Walleye  
Where: The best bite has been 3 to 6 miles east of Kelleys Island, out of Huron and Vermilion in 28 to 32 feet of water, or Lorain in 45 to 55 feet of water. 
How: Most anglers are trolling spoons behind dipsy or jet divers, as well as crankbaits at speeds of 2.5 to 3.0 mph.

Yellow Perch  
Where: The best reports are coming from A, B, and D cans of the Camp Perry firing range in 24 to 30 feet of water. Decent reports also coming from between South Bass and Kelleys islands in 25 to 30 feet of water with many of fish being over 9 inches in length. 
How: Vertical crappie rigs seems to be producing well where baits can be presented at different depths up to 3 feet off the bottom. 

Largemouth Bass  
Where: Largemouth bass fishing has been excellent in various marinas and harbors in the Western Basin, as well as Sandusky Bay in recent weeks as water temperatures have been increasing. 
How: Anglers have been doing well casting crankbaits, jigs, and various soft plastic riggings including tubes, Texas rigged worms, creature baits, and Ned rigs at shoreline structure. 

Smallmouth Bass  
Where: A few good reports of fish being caught around the island areas in 10 to 14 feet of water, especially around Middle Bass, Rattlesnake, and Kelleys islands. 
How: Tubes and dropshots in rocky areas continue to produce, but anglers have also been throwing spinnerbaits and swimbaits around weed edges with some success. 

Catfish  
Where: The bite in Sandusky Bay continues to be good, with many fish weighing over ten pounds. Shoreline access to the bay is available at the old Route 2 bridge in Bay View and Port Clinton, the Dempsey Fishing Access, and various locations in downtown Sandusky. 
How: Anglers have been fishing the bottom with shrimp, night crawlers, and cut bait. 

Central Basin

Walleye 
Where: Rough lake conditions last week limited fishing opportunities. Excellent fishing continues in 55 to 70 feet of water north of Gordon Park, in 50 to 70 feet of water north of Wildwood Park, in 70 to 75 feet of water north of Lakeshore Park, and in 70 to 75 feet of water north of Conneaut. Fish are suspended and anglers are targeting fishing depths of 40 to 55 feet down in the water column above the thermocline. 
How: Walleye have been caught trolling using crankbaits or spoons with planer boards, dipsy and jet divers. Try using bright colors including yellow, red, and purple. Anglers fishing from shore are catching some fish off the piers in Cleveland and Fairport Harbor using spinners and stick baits. 

Smallmouth Bass  
Where: Good fishing reported around harbor areas and rock piles in Cleveland, Fairport Harbor, Geneva, Ashtabula, and Conneaut. 
How: Anglers are using crank baits, tube jigs, drop shot rigs tipped with night crawlers, golden shiners, leeches, and crayfish. 

Catfish  
Where: Anglers are catching fish off the Cleveland and Fairport Harbor piers.
How: Most anglers fish the bottom or drift with baits on the bottom. Common baits include nightcrawlers, cut bait, and frozen shrimp. 

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