LAKE ERIE'S MIXED BAG OF FISHING OPPORTUNITIES INCLUDE:|
YELLOW PERCH -- Perch seekers find success in Sandusky Bay, the island areas and the reef complex in the Western Basin. Central basin anglers fare very well in nearshore waters one to four miles offshore. However, anglers should keep in mind that schools of yellow perch can be found anywhere in the lake.
Fall also provides excellent perch fishing opportunities for shore-bound anglers. Some of the best shore fishing locations include public fishing piers at Metzger Marsh, Catawba Island State Park, the Mazurik and Dempsey fishing accesses and breakwalls at Port Clinton, Sandusky, Huron, Lorain, Cleveland, Fairport Harbor and Mentor Headlands State Park.
Perch spreaders or crappie rigs tipped with shiners or minnows are the tried and true methods for this popular table fare fish. Most catches are in the 7 to 13-inch range with central basin perch slightly larger.
STEELHEAD TROUT -- More central basin anglers are targeting steelhead trout, especially when the walleye fishing is challenging. By late October, these fish move into central basin tributaries to begin spawning runs, providing wading stream anglers a quality trout fishery during the cold-weather months. The ODNR Division of Wildlife stocks a total of 400,000 steelhead annually into the Rocky, Chagrin and Grand rivers, and Conneaut Creek. Steelhead catches typically measure 19 to 28 inches. In the early fall, anglers should pursue steelhead from piers, beaches and lower parts of the rivers (near river mouths). With a spinning rod, use spoons, spinners, or hair jigs tipped with maggots under a bobber. With a fly rod, use a larger weighted fly pattern such as nymphs and streamers.
After cooler weather and fall rains, anglers should follow steelhead upstream and fish with spawn bags (trout or salmon eggs tied together in a mesh bag). As the season progresses, spin-casters also use jig and maggot combinations and minnows. Fly rod anglers use yarn flies, egg patterns, nymphs and streamers. The daily bag limit for steelhead is two fish from September 1 through April 30, with a minimum size limit of 12 inches