The 2001 Lake Erie Fishing Outlook
Melissa Hathaway
Ohio Department of Natural Resources
Division of Wildlife

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Lake Erie’s mixed bag of fish entertained anglers through out 2000 whenever weather and lake conditions cooperated. Fisheries biologists expect this trend to continue this year, according to the Ohio Department of Natural Resources, Division of Wildlife. As was the case last year, fishing for yellow perch, walleye, smallmouth bass, and steelhead trout is expected to be good to excellent, depending on the time of year, weather, and anumber of other factors that affect Erie fishing.

"Anglers can expect good fishing this year when weather and lake conditions are favorable, said Roger Knight, supervisor for the Division’s Sandusky Research Unit. "Across the Western Basin, yellow perch was definitely the

‘catch of the day’ last year with many limit catches taken from spring through the fall. Smallmouth bass fishing remained good at many of the traditional haunts especially in the spring. Walleye fishing had both high and low periods throughout the summer, then turned on with a vengeance north of the Huron area in September."

Yellow perch and steelhead trout fishing were the highlights on the lake’s Central Basin, according to Kevin Kayle, supervisor for the Division’s Fairport Harbor Research Unit. "Walleye anglers did pretty well trolling offshore during mid-summer, but certainly the highlight was the fantastic yellow perch fishing action close to shore throughout the summer and fall.

Central Basin anglers also locked in on some great steelhead action in July. Then the steelhead provided stream anglers even more fantastic fishing once the fish moved into tributaries in early fall."

Perch fishing was a popular past time for many anglers all across the lake from spring through fall during 2000. Anglers began perch fishing off Marblehead/Catawba area and downtown Cleveland breakwalls as early as April. Limit catches were not only plentiful, but many of these excellent table-fare fish were in the 8- to 10-inch range. Schools of perch stayed fairly close to shore in many areas. The top perch jerking locales included areas in both basins too numerous to mention. If anglers weren’t doing well, all they had to do was move to another location. Perch fishing remained excellent through October as long as weather conditions allowed anglers to get out on the lake.

The excellent perch fishing anglers have experienced the past four years should continue through 2001 and beyond. Conservative regulations for sport and commercial fishers and improved spawns in the mid- to late-1990s have helped Lake Erie’s yellow perch stocks to gradually recover after low levels in the early 1990s.

For this year, anglers can expect .......

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