December Fishing Report | 2017

Lake Erie Ice Fishing
Lake Erie Ice Fishing

Don’t we all just love these transition periods? Below is your December fishing report. For the most recent reports check out our Lake Erie Fishing Reports page.

December Fishing Report | Harbors and Lake

With the recent cold weather, the lake and harbors have started to freeze. That sure gets your blood pumping if you are a die-hard ice fisherman. Patience is going to be the key here as we still have some weather swings in the forecast. Despite the warmup on the way, some anglers have made it out already, but not on the main lake of course. Some of the harbors have close to 3″ and have allowed some pan fishermen to get on the ice successfully.

Some are even drilling holes off of the end of docks to avoid walking on the ice. Both ways have been producing some nice perch, bluegill, and crappie. Most of the crappie have been coming from the docks in Sandusky Bay. The key is to find deep water around the structure, which we call those wintering holes. Some more popular spots such as East Harbor are not ready yet. There is still some open water in sight. The main lake water was still mid-40s earlier this week as some fishermen and duck hunters made it out of Mazuricks. That will take some time to drop before we start building ice fast. Below is a picture of the current ice coverage and thickness. Looks to be just skim ice.

Changing Lake Erie Weather

Now, next week looks like ice fishing will be on the back burner and the boat is coming out of the garage. We have some rain and warm weather moving in that looks like it will stick around most of the week. This weekend’s rain should be enough to get rid of the launch ice and get some boats out on the main lake. Some are even talking about trying Sunday as the temps look pretty mild. Right now judging from last year’s numbers the walleye should be stacked around the East side of Kelley’s, Cedar Point, Inside the Bay to the first Buoy, Mouse Island, and up to F can.

They like to sit in heavy current areas between the islands. If you have ice fishing waypoints, those are the places to try right now. Bandits and perfect 10s should do the trick. Green clown or anything shiny that is silver/gold trolled very slowly down to .8. The lake temps have dropped significantly in the past 2 weeks. If you are after perch there was a nice school of good-sized perch hanging in 32 FOW off of the Marblehead Lighthouse.

Steelhead December Fishing Report

Well, the rivers are partially locked up, but open water and steelhead can still be found. Look for dams or warm water discharges that empty into the stocked rivers. The Grand and Rocky Rivers have a couple of these areas that will stay open most of the year. Egg sacs fished in the deep tail outs. If you don’t hook up right away move to the next tail out. After this weekend will be a little rough, it’s hard to tell what the snow melt and rain will do to the main rivers. They are pretty low right now, but I would look for a nice spike in the graph and then a steep drop. As the graph drops next week you will want to be in the river as there should be a nice run of chrome coming from Lake Erie.