Lake Erie Fishing Report: April 18, 2002|
Lake Erie water temperature is 51* F off Toledo and 41* F off Cleveland.
Fishing continues to be fabulous on Western Basin Lake Erie with summer
temperatures greeting anglers. A cold front is forecasted to move into the
region over the coming weekend. Most fish are in the 16- to 18-inch range
with some larger fish and some limit catches reported. Some anglers are
vertical jigging using leadhead jigs and minnows or blade baits while others
are using trolling methods. The prime locations have been Maumee Bay,
Sandusky Bay, off Davis Besse, and the Western Basin Reef Complex,
especially the Cone Reef area. However, pro anglers fishing in the PWT
tournament in Port Clinton Wednesday noted female walleyes are spawning and
moving away from reefs.
Pro and amateur teams at the PWT 's first-day weigh-in on Wednesday did
excellent. Most teams brought in their five-fish tournament limit and the
fish were huge. A new one-day PWT record was set with 52.85 pounds for a
five-fish bag weight. The former record of 48.48 pounds taken two years
ago, also on Lake Erie. The tournament record for the most walleyes over 10
pounds was easily broken as well. The past record, 35 walleyes in excess of
10 pounds, was set in 2000, but was for the entire three-day Lake Erie
tournament. On Wednesday, 133 walleyes weighing more than 10 pounds hit the
scales. The legal bag limit for walleyes for Lake Erie and its tributaries
is four per angler per day during March and April.
The spring perch action is also underway. The hot spots are off the
Marblehead Peninsula, especially off the Marblehead Lighthouse, with
nice-size catches in the 9- to 11-inch range. The yellow perch bag limit
remains at 30 perch per angler per day. Smallmouth bass anglers are also
doing well in the islands areas. A local bait store reported a 7-pound,
22.5-inch smallie weighed-in in the past week.
Western Basin Walleye Streams:
The Sandusky River is 60* F and high and muddy. Only a few walleyes are
being taken. The outlook is unknown at this time because of rain expected
in the forecast.
The Maumee River is 57* F and the water level is high and muddy. Anglers
are taking fair numbers of male walleye in the 16- to 22-inch range, and an
occasional female. A few limits are being taken. Anglers are also seeing
fair numbers of white bass. The best locations are Orleans Park and Fort
Meigs. Anglers are using 1/8- to 1/4-ounce floating jig heads with
florescent orange and chartreuse jigs. The outlook should be fair. For
more updates on Maumee River fishing, anglers can call Side Cut Metro Park's
walleye fishing hotline at (419) 893-9740
Further updates on both Maumee and Sandusky rivers walleye fishing can also
be obtained by visiting the Division of Wildlife website at
www.dnr.state.oh.us/wildlife/fishing and click on Fishing Reports.
Central Basin Steelhead Streams:
Streams have very high flows from recent rains. Streams like Mill, Arcola,
and Paine creeks will clear first, (probably by mid-week if rains hold off),
while most of the main rivers are receding from near flood stage. Some
fresh fish were noted in good numbers before streams rose, expect them to be
well distributed as conditions improve. Peak runs are winding down, but
some big fish (10-15 lbs.) continue to be caught. River anglers have
experienced some fine catches throughout stream reaches using spawn bags,
jigs & maggots, minnows, or flies such as woolly buggers, weighted nymphs,
egg patterns and streamers that imitate shiners. Don't forget the bag limit
change to two steelhead trout and salmon in the aggregate on March 1st, that
will become valid from September 1st through May 15. Anglers should note
that landowner permission is required to fish on private property.
Try fishing the following areas:
Rocky River: Fish from the Emerald Necklace Marina up through the Cedar
Chagrin River: Fish from the soccer fields up to Daniels Park Dam and the
North Chagrin Reservation.
Grand River: Fish from the Mentor Headlands breakwall or Fairport short pier
up to Harpersfield Dam; Big Creek, Paine
Creek, and Mill Creek will start holding fish looking to spawn.
Arcola Creek: Fish the beach and in the estuary pond and stream.
Ashtabula River: Fish the Metropark area from Rt.11 downstream to the
Conneaut Creek: Fish from the river boat ramp in Conneaut, up to the state
Vermilion River: Fish from the river mouth up through the Metropark up to