Steelhead heat up with cooler weather: Ohio Lake Erie fish report Oct. 23

Daryl George caught a fine steelhead from his kayak Sunday fishing where the Rocky River meets Lake Erie. (Daryl George, via Cleveland Metroparks)

With the cooler weather, steelhead are being caught off the rocks at Edgewater Park, East 55th Street Marina, Whiskey Island, Wildwood Park, and in the northernmost river sections by the lake.  The Rocky River Emerald Necklace Marina and the Lake Erie shoreline at Edgewater Park have been particular hot this week, says Cleveland Metroparks aquatic biologist Mike Durkalec. 

Steelhead fishing in the rivers will continue to improve later into fall, especially following significant rain that raises water levels, Durkalec writes in his weekly fish report.

When the lake hasn’t been too rough, walleye are biting after dark along the Cleveland shoreline, Durkalec writes. Yellow perch fishing off Cleveland continues to be slow. 

See the full Ohio Department of Natural Resources Lake Erie fish report.

Western Basin

Walleye 
Where: Walleye are starting to show up in their traditional fall feeding grounds as they follow shad nearshore. The best bite during the day remains offshore in 30 to 45 feet of water off Huron and Vermillion, and 45 to 55 feet of water off Lorain.
How: Anglers trolling spoons are still catching fish; however, many anglers are switching over to trolling crankbaits this time of year. Anglers fishing from shore are starting to picking up walleye near and after dark casting crankbaits and lipless crankbaits that imitate shad.

Yellow Perch 
Where: Yellow perch fishing has been consistent with the best bite west of the Catawba Peninsula in 20 feet of water, and around “A”,”D”, and “L” cans of the Camp Perry firing range. Anglers are catching mostly 7 to 9-inch fish, with some larger fish.
How: Vertical crappie rigs seems to be producing better where baits can be presented at different depths. Anglers are reporting that small lifts and long pauses between lifts have been triggering the most bites.

Smallmouth Bass 
Where: Fish are being caught around the reefs and islands areas in 10 to 14 feet of water, especially around Middle Bass, Rattlesnake, and South Bass islands.
How: Tubes and dropshots in rocky areas continue to produce the best.

Central Basin

Walleye 
Where: Excellent fishing was reported in 55 to 75 feet of water north of Edgewater Park and in 55 to 75 feet of water north of Wildwood Park. Good fishing reported in 60 to 65 feet of water northwest of Fairport Harbor and in 60 to 65 feet of water north-northwest of Lakeshore Park in Ashtabula. In the Cleveland area, anglers are targeting fishing depths of 15 to 25 feet down in the water column, and from Fairport to Lakeshore Park anglers are targeting 40 to 50 feet down.
How: Walleye have been caught trolling using crankbaits, worm harnesses or spoons with planer boards, dipsy and jet divers. Try using bright colors including blue, silver and chrome.

Yellow Perch  
Where: 
There were a few reports of yellow perch being caught off the East 72 Sreet lighthouse in Cleveland in 30 to 35 feet of water. There were also reports of fish being caught off Lakeshore Park in Ashtabula in 47 feet of water.
How: Try minnows on spreaders and crappie rigs near the bottom.

Smallmouth Bass  
Where: The best spots have been the harbor areas and rock piles in Cleveland, Fairport Harbor, Geneva, Ashtabula and Conneaut.
How: Anglers are using crankbaits, tube jigs, drop shot rigs tipped with night crawlers, golden shiners, leeches, and crayfish.



The Lake Erie water temperature is 56 off Toledo and 61 off Cleveland according to the nearshore marine forecast.

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