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Lake Erie Fishing Fishing forecast: 2017

Strong Walleye Numbers Excellent Fishing 2017


2014 walleye hatch was well above average. Followed in 2015 with a walleye hatch that is right there with 2003 which was the biggest walleye hatch on record for Lake Erie. Yellow Perch hatch also very good.

Walleye numbers are now confirmed as the division of wildlife has released up to date info this fall. All indications are a super hatch 2015. These young of the year are growing at an incredible rate some yearlings measuring 10 inches in Sept.

 Fantastic news for Lake Erie's walleye stock and walleye fisherman!

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Fishing forecast: 2017

PORT CLINTON — Although there are fewer walleye in Lake Erie than in the fishing heyday of the 1980s. Lake Erie is still one of the best walleye fisheries in the world, a wildlife official said.

There are healthy numbers of the fish out there, and that means 2014 could be another good year for fishing on Lake Erie, said Chris Vandergoot, fisheries biologist supervisor at the Ohio Department of Natural Resources’ Sandusky Fish Research Station.

“Just because the population has declined doesn’t mean the catch rates aren’t good,” Vandergoot said earlier this month at Ohio Sea Grant’s annual charter captains conference in Huron. “They continue to consistently be above catch rates for North America.”

The catch rate for Lake Erie walleye is 0.53 fish per hour for private anglers and 0.59 fish per hour for anglers on charter boats, he said.

That’s more than twice the catch rate for what would be considered a good North American walleye fishery.

“It’s a great fishery,” Vandergoot said.

“Catch rates here continue to be and have historically been very good.”

The best walleye hatch on record was in 2003, and fish from that year class will continue to be caught this year. They range in size, he said.

The catch will be dominated, however, by walleye ages 3-7, he said.

“We’ve had a series of mediocre hatches,” he said. “That may sound bad to you, but it’s actually good for our fishery.”

Those hatches provide steady fish numbers that are big enough to be harvested and eaten, he said.

“We have had consistent (hatches), so it’s kind of been a constant trickle of young-of-year walleye coming into the population,” Vandergoot said. “So that’s actually a good thing.”

Yellow perch

The catch rate for yellow perch on Lake Erie is about three per hour, Vandergoot said.

The fishable population will remain strong and be dominated by perch ages 4-7, he said. Those fish are about 6 to 12 inches long.

In the past, the Western Basin had the strongest yellow perch fishery. But in recent years, the Central Basin’s perch have come to dominate the population, he said.

Largemouth bass

The rise of near-shore largemouth bass fishing on Lake Erie continues, Vandergoot said. The fish’s population in the lake is increasing, and it has good numbers on the Sandusky Bay and in East Harbor.

Higher water temperatures could help explain the largemouth’s increasing numbers because it is a warmer-water fish.

In recent years, ODNR has seen more anglers targeting largemouth bass instead of smallmouth on Lake Erie.

“Historically smallmouth bass were king on Lake Erie,” he said. “There are quite a few largemouth bass out there, and when guys fish for them, they’re pretty successful.

“These are some pretty nice fish.”

Smallmouth bass

In recent years, ODNR had seen anglers spend less time trying to catch smallmouth bass, Vandergoot said. But in 2013, the number of hours they spent targeting these fish actually increased.

The Lake Erie smallmouth population appears to be rebuilding, he said. ODNR does not have a good means of determining a smallmouth year class’ strength, making it difficult to determine a smallmouth hatch year class’ strength.

The fishable smallmouth population is moderate and improving, he said. Fish ages 6-9 will dominate the catch this year

Charter a fishing trip in the WALLEYE Capital of the World Lake Erie and Port Clinton Ohio is in the heart of The Walleye fishing action on Lake Erie. Coe Vanna Charters is located in the western basin of Lake Erie where walleye fishing reins supreme!  Walleye are caught by the millions every year drift- fishing and trolling the waters off- shore of Port Clinton, Ohio. If it is smallmouth bass action you want look no further South, Middle, and North Bass Islands are named after these sport -fish and the western basin reef complex is right next to our marina is teaming with them!  which is why departing from our marina makes for amazing combo fishing trips for smallmouth and walleye. Bring a premium ten-pound line for these acrobatic beauties. On average our small mouth bass fishing trips turn 50 to 90 bass per day. Don't forget Lake Erie has plenty of those tasty Yellow Perch. Daily limits of these prized table fare. Thirty per person per day. Lake Erie perch jerkin means catching them two and three at a time. 
April through October we catch fish!

Fish in the 2 to 4-pound class are common, trophies 5 to 8 pounds are no surprise. They not only offers a challenge to the beginner or pro - it's some of the finest table -fare anywhere. The season begins in April and runs through October with June and July being prime. In late August we move the boat to the central basin following the large fish. The last few years the fall and late summer (September-October) has been spectacular! This is also a great time for Smallmouth Bass. If you want to try for big fall fish, or maybe a combo trip, give us a call.

 Drift and cast is our preferred method, however, we are fully equipped for trolling.


To be awarded the "Fish Ohio Award", The length must be 28 inches.
Thousands are awarded yearly.



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