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Fall 2004 Issue

Scorpion Stinger Spoons

Lake Erie Fishing Maps

The Official
Lake Erie Walleye
Fishing Hat


Enjoy Ohio's Lake Erie Yellow Perch Fishing
Reprinted, courtesy, Ohio Division of Wildlife

The cooler days of fall herald the prime time of yellow perch fishing on Lake Erie. Light southerly or southwesterly breezes can bring out fleets of anglers young and old in search of yellow perch. The yellow perch's eagerness to bite and the simplicity of fishing techniques make this a sport revered by rookies and old-timers. All it really takes to catch some perch is a decent-working rod and reel with a crappie rig of 2 or 3 (size 6 or size 8) hooks and a sinker weighing 3/8 of an ounce or more. You can also use a perch spreader; a rig made of thin wire with a sinker in the middle and attachments for a snelled hook (a hook with a short segment of fishing line) at either side. Lake shiners are the best bait, but minnows, chubs or worms are fine. Fish at the bottom or just a few cranks up off the bottom. Sometimes, if the water is murky, anglers have attached flicker spinners and beads to their rigs for flash and attention-getting action.

Popular areas to catch Lake Erie yellow perch can be found outside any major harbor. Good locations to begin looking for perch are in 24-39 feet in the western basin and 39-52 feet in the central basin. Or just look for the nearest pack of anchored boats! As fall progresses, you may see yellow perch schools moving in closer to the shoreline, so some might be available to anglers out on piers and in the bays. Most of the fish this year are running from just under 8 to around 10 inches, but if you are lucky you can run into a school of jumbos that average 11-12 inches. Their light, mild flavor has made them a Midwest favorite as a dinner or a sandwich. Check out some of our favorite fish recipes.

Yellow perch populations have rebounded from low levels seen in the mid-1990s, thanks to some good hatches and wise, cooperative interagency management. Recent high- quality hatches seen in 1998, 2001, and now 2003, will help keep the perchin' great for years to come. The current sport fishing regulations for yellow perch in Ohio's waters of Lake Erie include only a daily bag limit of 30 fish per angler. There is commercial fishing (trap netting) for yellow perch in Ohio waters of the lake. The commercial fishery is regulated by individual quota in the western and central basins of the lake. Sport fishers are reminded to be on the look out for and avoid commercial nets when fishing this fall.