It has been a rough week on Lake Erie, with wind and waves limiting fishing activity from the holiday weekend through yesterday. The wind storms riled up shallow waters and likely scattered some fish. Much of the following Lake Erie fishing information will reflect the fishing success before the rough weather moved through the area.
The yellow perch bite was hot just before the storm with many limit catches reported. The most productive zone for coolers full of perch had been between Cattaraugus Creek and Sturgeon Point in 62-70 feet of water (fow). Anglers did very well off Fox’s Point (Lotus Point), Evangola State Park, Point Breeze and Sturgeon Point.
Canadian anglers were doing well in the same depth water off of Point Abino. The preferred bait (emerald shiners) has been unavailable, however the bite was so good that small golden shiners, salted minnows and even worms had produced. As lake temperatures continue to drop, perch will likely move closer to shore. Perch anglers may want to test the bite in 50-55 fow on their next trip out. Anglers out of Barcelona had also reported a good perch bite west of the harbor in 74-80 fow.
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The smallmouth bass bite had been fantastic in 25-45 fow near structure such as reefs, rock piles and drop-offs. The top locations include Waverly Shoals, Seneca Shoals, Myers Reef and in front of Sturgeon Point. A good number of bass were also being caught by the Round House and at the north and south gaps of the Buffalo Harbor. The first boat returning to Small Boat Harbor today reported a good bite on crayfish at Seneca Shoal in 19-32 fow. Soft shell crayfish combined with a drop-shot rig has worked best lately, however shiners or goby imitation plastics also work well on the drop. The morning bite has been best.
The walleye bite had tapered off prior to the winds, with anglers working hard for a few fish. It is hard to pinpoint where the most productive areas may be. Typically at this time of year anglers concentrate efforts outside 80 fow. Worm harnesses, stickbaits and spoons run near the thermocline, between 60-75 feet down is a good bet.
Now that the Lake Erie surface temperatures have dipped below 70 degrees, look for steelhead to start cruising the shoreline near major tributary streams. A good bet is to cast spoons and spinners off creek mouths in the morning for steelhead that are moving along the lakeshore. There have been no reports of steelhead moving up into the tributaries yet.
If you need more fishing information, you can call or e-mail Mike Todd (716-851-7010; firstname.lastname@example.org) or Jim Markham (716-366-0228; email@example.com). Good Luck Fishing!
The fishing hotline can also be heard at (716) 679-ERIE or (716) 855-FISH.