Lake Erie anglers are targeting walleye, yellow perch, smallmouth bass, and panfish, and inland lake/pond anglers are primarily pursuing largemouth bass, channel catfish and panfish, according to the weekly Cleveland Metroparks fish report by aquatic biologist Mike Durkalec.
Early steelhead first show up around off the rocks at Edgewater Park and East 55th Street Marina, Wildwood Park, and in the northernmost river sections by the lake, Durkalec reports. A few anglers reported hooking a steelhead off the shore at Edgewater and within a mile of the Cleveland shoreline this week.
Writes Durkalec: “Casting a spoon (ie Little Cleo or KO Wobbler) or spinner (ie Vibrax or RoosterTail) at these locations are as good a bet as any for connecting with an early steelhead trout. As the river level dropped and cleared this week several anglers reported catching 16-20-inch skipper steelhead in the northernmost mile of the Rocky River this week. One seasoned angler I know well caught 15 this week, and another reliable source reported catching six in one morning by the marina. Things traditionally start to heat up with the steelhead fishing into October.”
Rock bass, largemouth bass, smallmouth bass, crappie, freshwater drum and sunfish species can all be caught off the shore. Walleye 15-20 inches long have been found in water as shallow as 16 feet deep from boats. Yellow perch fishing off Cleveland has been heating up off Wildwood Park in 32 to 38 feet of water.
Two fun fishing events on Saturday, Sept. 22:
Steelhead Expo, Rocky River Nature Center: A collaboration between the Ohio Central Basin Steelheaders and Cleveland Metroparks offers expert speakers and seminars, vendors, and other related information to kick off the fall steelhead season. The event is free, but you’re encouraged to enter the raffle fundraiser. More information on the Steelheaders web site.
Rocky River Watershed Council Fundraiser, Slim & Chubby’s: The Rocky River Watershed Council is having a fundraiser at Slim & Cubby’s in Strongsville (12494 Prospect Road) from 5 to 8 p.m. The $35 charge includes unlimited appetizers and drinks, plus a silent auction and raffle all to benefit watershed protection efforts! RSVP at www.myrockyriver.org. Walk-ins are welcome.
Want more fish info? Here’s the full Ohio Department of Natural Resources fish report.
Where: Fishing has been fair with the best reports coming from Huron and Vermilion in 35 to 50 feet of water. Anglers are reporting limits of 17 to 22-inch fish. Fish are being caught less than 1 mile offshore east of Kelleys Island as well.
How: Anglers trolling small spoons behind divers have been doing the best, from 45 to 80 feet back depending on where the fish are in the water column. Orange and purple have been working well. Fish have been caught trolling crankbaits and stick baits with increasing success. Anglers have also reported doing well on worm harnesses behind bottom bouncers or divers.
Where: Fishing for yellow perch has been fair due to the inconsistent weather patterns. Some anglers have been reporting success near the “D” and “G” cans of the Camp Perry Firing Range in 22 ft of water.
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. Although only a small number of reports were received, smallmouth fishing has reportedly been excellent.
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 extremely 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: Excellent fishing was reported with some limits caught in 60 to 70 feet of water north-northeast of Gordon Park, in 70 feet of water north-northeast of Wildwood Park, in 68 to 72 feet of water northwest of Fairport Harbor, in 69 to 72 feet of water northwest to northeast of Ashtabula, and in 69 to 72 feet of water northeast of Conneaut. Fish are suspended and anglers are targeting fishing depths of 40 to 65 feet while trolling.
How: Walleye have been caught by trolling crankbaits, spoons, and worm harnesses with divers. Good colors to try are silver, green, orange, watermelon, white and silver, and copper. Anglers fishing from shore are having the best luck in the evenings catching fish using spinners and stick baits.
Where: Fishing has been good 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: Fishing has been good in 15 to 22 feet of water around harbor areas in Cleveland, Fairport Harbor, Ashtabula, and Conneaut.
How: Anglers are using drop shot rigs with crayfish and leeches, small spoons, and night crawlers.
Where: Anglers are picking up steelhead while trolling for walleye off Geneva and Ashtabula in 68 to 72 feet of water.
How: Try setting your lures down a bit deeper than for walleye.