Walleye fishing effort is still low, with few fish being taken. Anglers are picking a few up off of Kelley’s Island Shoal. Elsewhere, most harvested fish are coming as incidental catch while perch fishing. Look for fishing to improve as the water cools, as fish from the 2003 year class surpass 15”, and when the migratory walleye return from the east.
Perch fishing is good, with limit catches coming from many different locations. The best areas include the turnaround buoy of the Toledo shipping channel, the gravel pit W of West Sister Island, the Toledo Harbor Light, the northern cans of the Camp Perry firing range, and the area between Green and Rattlesnake Island. Most fish are still running on the small side, but larger fish (10-12”) are starting to appear in the catch. A perch spreader tipped with shiners is the most popular set-up.
The best smallmouth bass fishing has been on the Camp Perry firing range reef complex and around South Bass Island.
Walleye fishing has been good in Ohio waters of the central basin. The best areas were E of the sandbar off Lorain and 6 to 12 miles N of Ashtabula and Conneaut in 60 to 72’ of water. Trolling 30 to 50 feet down with spoons, crawler harnesses or stickbaits, using planer boards, dipsy divers, or jet divers have produced the best catches. Fish have ranged from 15-24 inches.
Yellow perch fishing has been good from Huron to Lorain in 30 to 40’ of water. Further east, excellent perch fishing can be found 2 to 3 miles NE of E 72nd Street of Cleveland in 42’ of water, 3 to 6 miles N of Ashtabula to Conneaut in 45 to 62’ of water, and 2 to 6 miles N between Eastlake and Fairport Harbor in 40 to 60’ of water. A perch spreader tipped with shiners is the most popular set-up. Fish have ranged from 7-13 inches.
Steelhead were caught by walleye anglers in the same areas mentioned in the walleye report. Fish have ranged from 16 to 28”.
Lake Erie surface temperatures are around 70 degrees.