2007 LAKE ERIE FISHING OUTLOOK IS GREAT|
Strong contributions from the 2003 hatches of walleye and yellow perch should provide excellent fishing opportunities
COLUMBUS, OH - Lake Erie anglers should enjoy another year of exceptional fishing during 2007, according to biologists with the Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR) Division of Wildlife.
“Lake Erie remains one of the greatest natural resources in our country,” said Roger Knight, Lake Erie fisheries program manager at ODNR. “Where else but Lake Erie can an angler find such a diversity of fish species and sizes? We anticipate excellent fishing opportunities once again this year for walleye and yellow perch, as well as strong fisheries for other species like smallmouth bass, white bass and steelhead.”
Knight noted that anglers should have access to good fishing in the Western and Central basins due to the numerous public boat ramps, private marinas and shoreline areas. The large number of charter boats on the Ohio shore is also a fishing asset.
“The walleye fishery in 2006 was the best we have had in many years, with superb fishing across all of Ohio’s Lake Erie waters,” said Knight. “Weather permitting, we expect to have another year of excellent walleye fishing, dominated by that strong 2003 hatch.”
The daily bag limit remains four fish per person during March and April, and six fish from May through February 2008. The 15-inch minimum size limit is in effect during the entire season.
“We expect to see better perch fishing than a year ago, with catches dominated by the 2003 hatch,” said Knight. The daily bag limit remains at 40 fish per angler during the 2007 season, with no minimum size limit.
A closed season remains in effect from May 1 through June 29, during which all black bass (smallmouth and largemouth) must be immediately released. Beginning June 30, the daily bag limit will remain at five fish, with a 14-inch minimum length limit.
Most Lake Erie anglers trolling for steelhead in deep waters use spoons with dipsy divers or downriggers. The daily bag limit remains at five fish per person from May 16 to August 31 and two fish between September 1 and May 15, with a 12-inch minimum size limit throughout the year.
Anglers are also advised of numerous fishing opportunities in the bays and harbors on the Ohio shoreline. These inlets offer excellent fishing for panfish, including crappie and bluegill, as well as largemouth bass. In early spring, anglers may also catch an occasional northern pike or muskellunge in vegetated areas.
Anglers are reminded that fishing conditions on Lake Erie can change hourly and adjustments are often necessary to improve success. Anglers should take into account such factors as water temperature, cloud cover, water clarity, boat traffic, wave action, structure and the amount of baitfish in the area. Anglers are also reminded to carefully monitor Lake Erie weather and to seek safe harbor before storms approach.
During the season, ODNR provides an updated Lake Erie fishing report online at ohiodnr.com/wildlife and by calling 1-888-HOOKFISH. Division of Wildlife staff members are available from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. weekdays at Fairport Harbor (440-352-4199) for Central Basin information and at Sandusky (419-625-8062) for Western Basin information. For additional information on lodging, charter boat services and local launch ramps, contact one of the following lakeshore visitor’s bureaus:
Ashtabula County Convention & Visitors Bureau 800-337-6746
Information on the Division of Wildlife’s Lake Erie research and management programs, fisheries resources, open lake and steelhead fishing reports, as well as maps and links to other Lake Erie web resources is available on the Internet at ohiodnr.com/wildlife/fishing/fairport/index.htm .