Walleye, bass and catfish are hot, yellow perch are not

Sep 11, 2019 | Ottawa Outdoors | 0 comments

There are fewer pleasure boats on Lake Erie, now that Labor Day has arrived, but fishing boats are on the increase as the late day — and after dark — near-shore fishing for walleye improves at this time of year.

By Mark Cahlik

I really cannot explain what is going on with the yellow perch so far this year, although there are plenty of theories out there. The perch fishing has been rough, with very few catches being seen. Some fisherman aren’t sure what to make if this situation. I guess we are going to have to wait to see what happens in the coming weeks.

Some positive news, though, is that the walleye bite continues to stay strong. The catches that we have been seeing coming in have mostly been from those choosing to troll. The dumping grounds by Cedar Point remains the best spot to fish. You can choose to either use Tru-Trip diving planers set at 60 to a 100 feet back or you can tie on Bandit crankbaits. The best speeds to use are between 1.8 and 2.2 miles per hour.

Casting for walleye has been very sporadic, but if you go to the rock piles in eight to 15 feet of water you should be able to catch a few. As the water temperatures begin to cool more, casting should improve, especially east of Kelleys Island.

One of the bonus fish that we catch around this time of year is smallmouth bass. For years fisherman didn’t fish for them because the gobie fish put a dent in the bass population. Now the numbers are up and the last week and a half to two weeks have been amazing for bass fishing. Most of the bass being caught are 17 to 18 inches in length and above.

There are a few different ways you can fish for the bass. You can either anchor at the shallowest spots, or you can anchor off the edge of the drop-offs in 12 to 18 feet of water. If you decide to anchor at the shallowest part of a reef or hump, make sure that your bait is at least two to three feet off the bottom so that the gobies do not steal your bait. Softcraws are the best bait to use right now. Bass love crayfish.

Catfish have remained one of the steadiest fish to catch this year. Fishing for this catfish has been outstanding in the Sandusky Bay. They seem to favor the raw uncooked shrimp over anything else. The range for this species is as far west as the Portage River and as far east as the Railroad Bridge in Bayview.

I hope by next week I have better news for you about the perch fishing. So for now, as always, stay safe out there and always be mindful of those you are sharing the lake with.

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