Article Posted: September 26, 2001

Brought to you by

[ Return to Lake Erie Articles and News ]


Lake Erie anglers are having another fall fishing bonanza, as declining water temperatures stimulate fish to begin feeding, according the Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR).

Yellow perch fishing is going strong across the lake with some limit catches of up to 13-inch perch being taken across the lake. Good perch fishing should continue as long as the weather permits anglers to get out on the lake.

True to tradition for September, bass anglers are reeling in many lunker smallmouth bass, especially in the islands area and off the reefs.

Meanwhile, anglers wait in anticipation for walleye and steelhead trout to take off in normal fall fashion.

"As water temperatures cool in the fall, fish form schools and feed more=> heartily to store reserves for the approaching winter months," said Doug Johnson, fisheries biologist with the ODNR's Lake Erie Research Unit in Sandusky. "Several factors make fall an excellent time to fish Lake Erie: Anglers often see some of the best action of the entire year, there is
less boat traffic and booking accommodations is easier because it's the off-season for many Lake Erie visitors."

Don't own a boat? Shoreline anglers can get in on the fall action by fishing for yellow perch and smallmouth bass from piers and breakwalls.

Steelhead trout can be found along central basin breakwalls, especially at Headlands Beach State Park, Fairport Harbor and Conneaut Harbor. These fish will later enter the lake's central basin tributary streams and provide even more action for wading anglers. In late fall and early winter, along the western basin, walleyes move in close to shore in late night feeding frenzies. Huron is usually the number one hot spot for this unique fishery.

Central basin anglers are also enjoying great fall fishing.

"Traditional fall perch fishing is well underway and smallmouth bass action is picking up along the Fairport, Geneva, Ashtabula and Conneaut breakwalls," said Kevin Kayle, supervisor of ODNR's Lake Erie Research Unit at Fairport Harbor.
"We're also expecting another fantastic fall steelhead season. Earlier this summer, steelhead were biting with a vengeance on the open lake,and which traditionally indicates excellent fall stream fishing."

Anglers should expect to see steelhead entering into the rivers within the next several weeks as cool rains begin moving into the region. During the early portion of the spawning run, the lower stretches of Lake Erie's tributaries hold a majority of the fish. As the season progresses and the region gets more rain, the steelhead move further upstream,and increasing action in the tributaries of the main channels. Fishing will remain good throughout the entire winter as long anglers can find an open pool in the ice.

Weather conditions are always a big factor for Lake Erie fishing and fall is no exception. Strong winds and heavy wave action can keep anglers off the lake for several days at a time. Colder water temperatures and rough lake conditions can spell disaster for unwary and unprepared small boat operators and their passengers. Anglers should get a Lake Erie marine forecast before traveling to the region and again before venturing out on the water.

Depending on individual angler preferences, there's a mixed bag of quality opportunities in store for fall anglers. To access the ODNR Division of Wildlife's recorded Lake Erie fishing report, call toll-free 1-888-HOOK FISH (1-888-466-5347). In the local Sandusky exchange area call 625-3187.

Source: ODNR is a Trademark of Great Lakes Angler Online All rights reserved
Copyrights © 2000 Great Lakes Angler Online  All rights reserved