Lake Erie is thawing, and anglers are heading out. (Mike Durkalec, Cleveland Metroparks)

Lake Erie’s ice is melting, and anglers are heading out on open water.

The breakwall at East 55th Street Marina and the rocks at Edgewater Park offer a chance at steelhead and yellow perch now.  The Edgewater boat launch ramp is useable, says Cleveland Metroparks aquatic biologist Mike Durkalec. “As these harbor areas open up further anglers have a chance at pre-spawn northern pike are largemouth bass. A white spinnerbait with silver blades worked slowly is a good early season choice for both species,” Durkalec writes in his weekly fishing report.

Steelhead fishing is good in the Rocky River, though rain may change that. Durkalec said. Steelhead are well dispersed throughout the river systems, with the freshest fish in the northern river close to Lake Erie. Steelhead will bite on smaller dime size spawn bags, 1/32-1/64-ounce marabou jigs under floats (black, pink, and white are top colors), beads that mimic salmon eggs, and flies (egg patterns and baitfish streamers). 

Steelhead numbers can be expected to peak into late March-April so the best fishing of the year is coming soon.