Jason Huntington caught this quality walleye trolling a purple Bandit crankbait at 1.7 mph and 60 feet back in 46 feet of water at the west end of the CLE breakwall. (Jason Huntington, via Cleveland Metroparks)

It’s the last weekend of the Fall Brawl! So get your boat on Lake Erie and try to catch a giant walleye!

Here’s what’s biting on the lake this week, according to Cleveland Metroparks aquatic biologist Mike Durkalec:

“Fishing along the Cleveland lakefront has perked up a bit this week, although a great abundance of gizzard shad in nearshore waters has made things challenging lately.  Decent catches of walleye are being reported day and night from the E55th/E72nd breakwall areas.  Lakefront steelhead will bite on a whole nightcrawler on a plain hook or small jig tipped with minnow suspended between 4-6 feet under a bobber, as well as for anglers casting a spoon (ie Little Cleo or KO Wobbler) or spinner (ie Vibrax or RoosterTail).”

For steelhead fishing on the rivers, many anglers have reported catching more skipper size (15-20″) steelhead versus larger adult fish, and steelhead over 25 inches and 7 pounds have not been very common this year so far, Durkalec writes in his weekly fish report.  “Fly anglers who enjoy swinging flies appreciate the stronger flows we’ve had, too.  More steelhead will continue to migrate up area streams into the late fall and early winter seasons as the lake temperature continues to cool.”

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

Where: Fishing has been good. Most anglers are focusing their efforts from Huron to Cleveland targeting 30 to 45 feet of water and moving nearshore around dusk and after dark. Anglers have also reported doing well off Kelleys Island in similar depths. Anglers fishing from shore are having limited success fishing from break walls and piers from Catawba to Ashtabula. 

How: From Huron to Lorain, anglers have been trolling deep diving crankbaits 40 to 80 feet back at speeds of 1.2 -1.7 mph. Moving farther east, anglers are trolling deep diving crankbaits at speeds 1.4 to 1.8 mph, 90 to 130 feet back unassisted. Anglers fishing from shore have been throwing large crankbaits, shallow or deep diving, with a slow retrieve. Alternatively, large paddle-tail swimbaits have been taking a few fish from shore.

Yellow Perch  
Where: Fishing for yellow perch has been good. Fish have been caught in 20 to 30 feet of water off Huron and Vermillion, with good size fish (9 to 11 inches) being caught, but bites have been sporadic. Fish are being caught occasionally by the islands, south of Green Island, and east of Kelleys Island. Good fishing was reported in 40 feet of water northwest of Edgewater Park and in 48 feet of water north of Conneaut. 

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

Steelhead Trout  
Where: Good fishing was 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 small spoons and crankbaits for anglers trolling fishing from boats, and jigs tipped with maggots fished under a bobber or small spoons for anglers fishing from shore. 

The Lake Erie water temperature is 39 off Toledo and 44 off Cleveland, according to the nearshore marine forecast.