Captain George Uhl of Playin’ Hooky Sportfishing reports that his clients are catching lots of steelhead right off Cleveland. (George Uhl, via Cleveland Metroparks)

Fishing Lake Erie from the shore?

Fishing was good this week, with lots of steelhead caught, plus walleye after dark, writes Cleveland Metroparks aquatic biologist Mike Durkalec

What to use as bait from the breakwalls at Edgewater Marina, East 55th and East 72nd street marinas and Wildwood Park?

For steelhead: a whole nightcrawler on a plain hook dangled between 4-6 feet under a bobber is hot.  Casting a spoon (ie Little Cleo or KO Wobbler) or spinner (ie Vibrax or RoosterTail), or suspending a minnow on a jig under a bobber at these locations are also good bets.

For walleye: Husky Jerk or Perfect 10 stickbaits

The Rocky River and other area streams are high and muddy after so much recent rain. Anglers should check the flow gage links above before planning a trip, Durkalec writes.  As water recedes and clears, steelhead opportunities will be very good.  

See the full Ohio Department of Natural Resources fish report

Western Basin

Where: Fishing has been good with the best reports coming from Huron and Lorain in 30 to 40 feet of water. Anglers are reporting limits of 17 to 22-inch fish, but some larger fish are occasional being caught. Anglers are trolling after dark near shore using shallow diving crankbaits with moderate success. 

How: Anglers trolling deep diving stick baits, flatlining or using 1 or 2 oz. weights to get down deeper, have been having the most success. Fish are still being picked up on spoons behind divers, though success rates have dropped. Dark, natural colors have been doing the best. 

Yellow Perch  
Where: Fishing for yellow perch has been good. The best fishing has been south of Green Island in 30 feet of water, and “L” can of the Camp Perry Firing Range in 19 to 20 feet of water. A few good reports came from the “Sputnik” buoy near Toledo in 28 to 30 feet of water. 

How: Perch spreaders with shiners fished near the bottom produce the most fish. 

Where: Fishing is starting to wind down, but a fair amount of fish are still being caught 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: Fishing with shiners and night crawlers on the bottom have been best. Most anglers fish a Carolina rig or three-way rig fished on the bottom. 

Central Basin

Where: Fish have been caught in 50 feet of water northwest of Edgewater Park, in 47 to 55 feet of water northwest of Fairport Harbor, and in 60 to 70 feet of water northwest of Conneaut. Fish are suspended and anglers are targeting fishing depths of 30 to 50 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. 

Yellow Perch  
Where: Good reports have come from the Vermillion area in 26 feet of water. Good fishing was also reported in 40 feet of water northwest of Edgewater Park and in 48 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. 

Steelhead Trout  
Where: Good fishing reported from anglers trolling inside the Fairport Harbor break wall and inside the Conneaut break wall. Anglers fishing from shore are catching fish off the Edgewater, Gordon Park, Fairport Harbor, and Painesville Township piers, and Fairport harbor break wall. 

How: The best baits have been trolling small spoons and crank baits for anglers fishing from boats, and jigs tipped with maggots fished under a bobber and small spoons for anglers fishing from shore.

The Lake Erie water temperature is 49 off Toledo and 57 off Cleveland, according to the nearshore marine forecast.