Lake Erie Fishing Outlook 2006
Anglers can expect this year’s Lake Erie walleye fishery to be dominated by hatches from 1999, 2001 and 2003. Fish from the 1999-year class will range from 21 to 25 inches; fish from 2001 will range from 19 to 21 inches; and those from 2003 will be 17 to 20 inches over the course of the fishing season. Some large walleye from the strong hatches of the 1980s and mid 1990s still persist in the population, providing “Fish Ohio” trophy (more than 28 inches) opportunities. The daily bag limit increases to four fish during March and April for the 2006 fishing season and will remain at six fish May through February. The 15-inch minimum size limit is in effect during the entire season. Most of the fish from the exceptionally abundant 2003 hatch will be of legal size during the 2006 fishing season.
West Sister Island, Northwest of North Bass Island, East of Kelleys Island, Toledo Shipping Channel, Ruggles Reef, Lorain, Cleveland, Euclid, Eastlake, Fairport, Geneva, Ashtabula, Conneaut, Inshore early, Offshore late
Perch anglers fishing the Ohio waters of Lake Erie should also be pleased with this year’s catches. Fish from a good 2001 hatch will range from 9-12 inches. Anglers should expect to catch large numbers of perch from an exceptionally strong hatch in 2003. Some “Fish Ohio” perch (more than 13 inches) will be available. Schools of these “jumbos” are not abundant, but often can be in found in relatively shallow rocky areas feeding on gobies and other prey fish. Ohio 's daily bag limit for yellow perch increases to 40 fish per angler for the 2006 season.
Central Basin fish are expected to run larger than those in the Western Basin. Peak fishing will occur from August through October, but early summer fishing should also be rewarding, especially in the Central Basin.
Lake Erie anglers should anticipate good smallmouth bass fishing this year. Fishing pressure tends to be highest around the islands and nearshore areas of the western half of Ohio waters. Smallmouth bass anglers can expect to land "smallies" from 1993, 1994, 1998, 1999, and 2001-year classes, now ranging in size from 14 to 19 inches and weighing 1.5 to 4 pounds. A closed season remains in effect from May 1 through June 23, during which all black bass (smallmouth and largemouth) must be immediately released. The daily bag limit after June 23 will remain at five fish with a 14-inch minimum length limit.
Traditional "hot spots" such as the Lake Erie islands, the Western Basin reef complex, Sandusky Bay , Ruggles Reef, and harbor breakwalls from Lorain to Conneaut, all traditionally produce good numbers of smallmouth bass and the potential to catch a trophy (more than 5 pounds
walleye fishing lake erie
About The Author: Captain Frank Drudi
Company: Chelsea Charters
Area Reporting: Lake Erie
Bio: Charter a Lake Erie fishing trip with Chelsea Charters. Fishing doesn't get any better than this! Here in Ohio's Western Basin of Lake Erie we have the best walleye fishing in the world. It is estimated that millions of walleye are caught in our area each year. If it's smallmouth bass action you're after you'll find the bite is great, and don't forget those fun to catch, great to eat yellow perch! Lake Erie is truly a sport fisherman's dream. If it's that trophy walleye you're looking to hang on the wall, we know when, where and how to hook that hawg! This is the exciting fishing trip you will forever remember. Come earn your braggin' rights with me - Charter Captain Frank Drudi.