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Lake Erie

fishing lake erie

    Lake Erie is the smallest of the Great Lakes in volume (116 cubic miles). The basin is intensively farmed and is the most densely populated of the five Great lakes. Consequently it is exposed to the greatest effects from urbanization and agriculture. It measures about 241 miles across and 57 miles from north to south, with a surface area of just under 10,000 square miles. The average depth of Lake Erie is only about 62 feet (210 feet, maximum). It therefore warms rapidly in the spring and summer, and frequently freezes over in winter. The drainage basin covers parts of Indiana, Michigan, Ohio, Pennsylvania, New York and Ontario. Because of its fertile soils, Lake Erie is the most productive of the great lakes. The lake's main fish species include walleye, yellow perch, smallmouth bass, chinook salmon, coho salmon, rainbow trout, brown trout, northern pike, largemouth bass and carp.

    Lake Erie is the warmest and most biologically productive of the Great Lakes, and the walleye fishery is widely considered the best in the world. Every year tons of walleye are harvested from the lake, both from recreational angling and commercial fishing. The average walleye is a whopping 5-6lb with 10-12lb fish caught regularly. The walleye are caught trolling along drop offs and mid lake humps. Most productive lure is the famous erie deary, usually tipped with a whole worm or minnow. Deep diving crankbaits trolled in the same areas also produce well. For more information visit

     Maybe the tastiest table fair around, Lake Erie is full of perch. Tons are taken annually in commercial fishing nets. Anglers also fill their quotas as well, especially in the spring, when perch come inshore to spawn. Public docks are shoulder-to-shoulder this time of year, with jumbo perch hitting almost anything, although a simple bobber and worm or live/salted minnow is the most popular method of catching them. Boat anglers, usually fish near bottom with egg sinkers and 2-3 hooks baited with minnows and worms. It's not uncommon to land 2 or even 3 fish at once, when the perch schools are thick.

     With the introduction of invasive species like zebra mussels and gobies, the Lake Erie smallmouth bass population has thrived. The clearing water due to the actions of zebra mussels has increased both light penetration and visibility creating a perfect habitat for smallmouth bass. The gobies have further enhanced this fishery, since smallmouth bass forage heavily on gobies, which like to inhabit rock piles and boulder flats, the same areas where Lake Erie smallmouth bass feed. Lures which imitate the gobies can be very productive. Most anglers drift tube jigs in smoke, green and purple hues. Live bait fished near the bottom, usually minnows or crayfish can also be deadly.

     The most common trout in Lake Erie is the rainbow trout or steelhead. Caught using the same methods as for salmon, many charter captains target this majestic fish. A powerful fighter and excellent eating, makes this a popular gamefish on Lake Erie. In spring, when steelhead migrate up rivers to spawn, shore anglers enjoy a bonanza of fishing opportunities, since the lake's basin is rich with rivers and creeks. Float fishing or bottom fishing with roe can be very productive this time of year, especially along river mouths. Fishing is usually best at dawn.

Statistics & Figures:
LENGTH: 241 miles / 388 km
BREADTH: 57 miles / 92 km
AVERAGE DEPTH: 62 ft. / 19 m.
MAXIMUM DEPTH: 210 ft. / 64 m.
VOLUME: 116 cubic miles / 484 cubic km.
WATER SURFACE AREA: 9,910 sq. miles / 25,700 sq. km.
DRAINAGE BASIN AREA: 30,140 sq. miles / 78,000 sq. km.
(including islands):
871 miles / 1,402 km.
ELEVATION: 569 ft. / 173 m.
OUTLET: Niagara River and Welland Canal
RETENTION/REPLACEMENT TIME: 2.6 years (shortest of the Great Lakes)

Fishing Lake Erie NEWS!

Ohio's Country Journal and Ohio Ag Net

Perch fishing Lake Erie's Western Basin
Ohio's Country Journal and Ohio Ag Net
One of the best places in Ohio to enjoy all that fishing has to offer is Lake Erie, the tenth largest fresh water lake in the world. Veteran Erie fisherman and retired large animal veterinarian, Fred Scott, of Lancaster, has fished the Lake for over 40 ...
Rod, Gun and Game: Buffalo fishing in spotlightHamburg Sun
Spotty catches don't dim mood during Governor's fishing dayColumbus Dispatch
District Fishing Report: 7.11.14Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
Battle Creek Enquirer
all 6 news articles »

It's the beginning of Lake Erie Perch season
Farm and Dairy
Opening day for Lake Erie Perch is today, regardless of when today is because every day is the best day to go “perching.” While fall is the best time to get a box full of really big fish, any other time is good enough.
Time to fishSandusky Register
Stormy weather moves out, good fishing should return: D'Arcy Egan's Fishing ...The Plain Dealer

all 4 news articles »

Hamburg Sun

Rod, Gun and Game: Purple Heart Veterans find Lake Erie Walleye
Hamburg Sun
There were behind the scene combat-related stories to share and secret fishing moments to discover for 14 U.S. military veterans that registered for the 5th Annual “Fishing with War Heroes” event hosted by Lake Erie fishing charter captain, Fred ...

The Spokesman Review

Fishing warming up again after chilly spell: D'Arcy Egan's Fishing Report
The Plain Dealer
A few days of big winds and chilly temperatures slowed the fishing all around the area, especially on Lake Erie, but warmer temperatures are forecast for the weekend. CLEVELAND AREA. Fishermen will have to do a lot of scouting right now, trying to find ...
Fishing remains outstanding in the Western Basin of Lake ErieThe Beacon
FishOn! Northwestern Pennsylvania fishing report, July
Fishing Line for July 16Buffalo News
Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
all 93 news articles »

Toledo Blade

Kasich signs pact to create team effort in battle against Lake Erie invasive ...
The Plain Dealer
Fishing guides Paul Pacholski (right) and Dave Spangler dotted the i's for Gov. John Kasich as he signed a mutual aid pact on Wednesday to encourage eight states and two Canadian provinces to team up to battle invasive species in Lake Erie and the ...
Lake Erie tourism promotedFremont News Messenger
Kasich wants to showcase lakeToledo Blade
Significant Algae Bloom Predicted For Lake ErieCBS Local
Akron Beacon Journal -WKYC-TV
all 142 news articles »

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