Someone flipped the switch, Lake Erie perch are biting

Jul 26, 2023 | Ottawa Outdoors | 0 comments

BY MARK CAHLIK

Dunking a perch spreader rig baited with emerald shiner minnows is the traditional way to put a platter of tasty perch fillets on the table.

Well, perch fishing is alive and well.

This past weekend, it’s like someone has flipped a fishing switch. Anglers are getting limits of Lake Erie gold right now. There are so many places where the perch are bitting right now, and to name a few are Green Island  and near Rattlesnake Island. You can find just about find the chunky panfish anywhere right now.

Traditional perch spreaders are still being used, but more popular lately has been vertical rigs like crappie rigs baited with emerald shiner minnows. They are catching quick 30-fish limits. Bays Edge Fish Cleaning has been hopping due to this increase in the perch bite.

Walleye limits still coming in, and with a nice grade of fish, too. There has been a strong bite 12 miles east of Kelleys Island to the weather bouy on the Canadian border, with good fishing on both sides of the line. Tru-Trip diving planers and two-hook worm harnesses with a big Colorado blade  seem to be the trick right now for trolling. Speeds have been 1.9 to 2.4 mph, while running lures 80 to 100 feet back. Don’t be afraid to adjust your speed to find the trigger.

The casting bite is still strong, as well. Fishermen are still using single hook harnesses with a 1- to 1 1/2-ounce weight. The walleye have been suspending at about 15 to 30 count right now.

The catfish fishing has slowed a bit from shore this week, but they are still catching with what has become a night bite from shore. The bait of choice is still shrimp, and they are using shad, as well. The catfish charters are still putting a lot of catfish in the coolers. Smallmouth bass are bitting in 18 to 20 feet of water.

Maybe with the walleye moving off of the reefs, it has given the perch a chance to move in. It is good to see the numbers of perch people are catching right now.

It was a great week for fishing this week, and I hope the perch stick around for a while. It is great for the area.

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