Lake Erie Fishing Report: May 16, 2002|
Western Basin: Lake Erie water temperature is 52* F off Toledo. Mother
Nature is still refusing to cooperate with Lake Erie anglers. Wind and rain
events have muddied waters and made it challenging for boat anglers to get
out. During any windows of angling opportunity, walleye anglers have been
most successful northwest of Kelleys Island, off Davis Besse, the reef
complex, and the Toledo Harbor Light, and farther out into the Toledo
Shipping Channel. Anglers are drifting weight-forward spinners, mayfly
rigs, and bottom bouncers with crawler harnesses tipped with nightcrawlers,
as well as trolling deep diving lures. Walleye catches are in the 16- to
18-inch range and larger. The legal bag limit for walleyes for Lake Erie and
its tributaries is six fish from May through February.
Perch fishing remains excellent when wind and weather conditions are
stable. The top hot spots have been around Kelleys Island. Perch anglers
are catching many limits of nice-sized perch in the 9- to 13-inch range
using perch spreaders or crappie rigs tipped with minnows. The yellow perch
bag limit is 30 perch per angler per day.
Smallmouth bass fishing is good around the islands. Anglers should also try
fishing the western basin reef complex, Sandusky Bay, and Ruggles Reef when
conditions are favorable. The legal limit for smallmouth bass is five fish
per angler with a minimum length requirement of 14 inches.
Central Basin: Water temperature is 50* off Cleveland. Perch fishing has
been good off Cleveland and Fairport Harbor.
May is the peak month for smallmouth bass fishing in the Central. Once the
weather improves, smallmouth bass angling should be excellent at Ruggles
Reef, the artificial reefs in the Lorain/Cleveland area and harbor
breakwalls from Cleveland to Conneaut. Most catches will measure 14 to 18
Steelhead trout have now left inland streams, except for an occasional
straggler. Streams are very high.