Go Fish (1)
Every type of fish found in Ohio can be found in Lorain County’s lakes and tributaries: walleye, perch, catfish, steelhead trout, bass and crappie, just to name a few. While some anglers fish for some of these varieties for sport, all are edible. “There’s nothing you can’t eat in Lake Erie,” says Randy White, Lorain County wildlife officer with the Ohio Department of Natural Resources Division of Wildlife.
Walleye is considered the most lucrative fishing on Lake Erie. And in Lorain County the deeper waters of the lake offer plenty of walleye in the summer. “Walleye are cooler fish and prefer temperatures in the 50s,” says captain Dan Haude of Erie Adventures Sportfishing, based out of Spitzer Marina in Lorain. “Most walleye make the migration through Lorain, Cleveland, all the way to Erie, Pa., and New York.”
The best walleye fishing is earlier in the summer. “The biggest concentration of fish tends to arrive the last week of May through the end of July,” says Haude.
Yellow perch is a popular local catch in the spring and fall. “Perch is excellent in the end of April through June, then heats up again from September through November,” explains captain Marc Bottone of My Bonnie Fishing Charters.
Steelhead trout, which are stocked by the Ohio Department of Wildlife, spawn in rivers in the spring then migrate into the lake. “Steelhead is actually giant rainbow trout,” explains White. “The difference is rainbow trout stays in the river, while steelhead get bigger because they go out into the lake and then come back to the rivers.”
Where to Fish
White says Wellington Reservation and Oberlin Reservoir are excellent locations for crappie and bass fishing. “There’s a lot of very large bass in there,” says White. “We caught several that were five to six pounds.”
One of Bottone’s favorite fishing spots, other than on his boat, is the Lorain Sandbar, about seven miles northwest of Lorain Avenue.
Vermilion River, Beaver Creek and other small tributaries are good for steelhead before they head out to the lake. “The Vermilion River is an excellent choice for steelhead in the fall, winter and spring,” says Bottone. “Smallmouth bass is usually found along the rocky shoreline.”
White suggests heading to Findlay Lake State Park for catfish.
The Right Bait
For steelhead bait November through February, Haude prefers salmon and trout eggs and jigs tipped with maggots. Larry Woods of Bad Boy Bait, Tackle and More in Vermilion likes natural earthworms, plastic bait and metal spoons, which shine and make noise to attract the fish.