Sea Grant Week 2022: Lake Erie Sport Fishing | Ohio Sea Grant

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Sea Grant Week 2022: Lake Erie Sport Fishing

12:00 pm, Tue October 19, 2021 – Opportunities for Lake Erie fishing at Sea Grant Week 2022

fishing rod in front of a blue lake and sky

Lake Erie is the shallowest and southernmost Great Lake, which help it support an incredibly productive fishery.

Often called the “Walleye Capital of the World”, anglers from across the globe visit Ohio’s Lake Erie shores to catch this popular game fish known for its mild flavor and relatively large size. Current projections show around 80 million age 2 and older Walleye in Lake Erie, with many more on the way! Other species often targeted in Lake Erie include Yellow Perch, Smallmouth Bass, Largemouth Bass, and stocked Steelhead.

Unfortunately for this conference, late summer (including early September) is often one of the slowest times of year in the Cleveland area. That said, if you are interested there are certainly opportunities to seek fish.

Cleveland is on the shores of the Central Basin in Lake Erie. This time of year, charter guides will likely be trolling for Walleye in deeper, cooler waters. There may be some nearshore opportunities for bass. If the weather happens to be cool, there could be small numbers of Steelhead staging around river mouths and breakwalls in the area. At dusk and dark, Walleye occasionally chase bait nearshore within casting range of breakwalls as well.

Spinning rods/reels with 8-12 pound test, casting spoons and crankbaits are your best bet. If casting from a breakwall, you could also hook in to some less celebrated but still fun species such as Channel Catfish and Freshwater Drum.

The Western Basin of Lake Erie is very different habitat. Some (usually smaller) Walleye will stick around all year, and Smallmouth and Largemouth Bass, as well as Yellow Perch, are always around. It is much shallower than the Central Basin and dotted with islands and rocky reefs. It is a little over an hour to drive from Cleveland to Port Clinton, where many charter guides are located.

If you need help locating a charter guide, or just want to talk about Lake Erie angling opportunities, reach out to Tory Gabriel at

Additional resources

Rocky River Fishing Report – maintained by Mike Durkalec, Cleveland Metroparks Aquatic Biologist. This is a link to one entry from last September, but there are many other entries available on that website that may be helpful to see what people are catching this time of year.

The Ohio Department of Natural Resources Division of Wildlife

ARTICLE TITLE: Sea Grant Week 2022: Lake Erie Sport Fishing PUBLISHED: 12:00 pm, Tue October 19, 2021 | MODIFIED: 3:43 pm, Thu June 23, 2022
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Tory Gabriel
Extension Specialist, Program Manager, Ohio Sea Grant College Program

As Extension Program Leader for Ohio Sea Grant, Tory oversees a team of educators and also serves as Fisheries Educator. His programming focuses on sustainable Lake Erie fisheries including the charter boat industry, sport fishing, and aquatic invasive species prevention.