Lake Erie Fishing | Late December 2023

best lures for walleye
best lures for walleye

Walleye

Lake Erie fishing is at it’s peak and has been nothing short of outstanding this winter. Mild weather this December has allowed for open water fishing. Cleveland to Catawba has all been good fishing. Also, don’t rule out Michigan waters; Jigging the Detroit River and trolling in Sterling Park have both been excellent as well.

As the water cooled down, so did the boat speed. We have been trolling about 1.1-1.4 mph. and fishing around 40 FOW targeting offshore fish. The fish are moving around a lot, changing their depth day by day. Some days the fish have been in the top 10 feet, other days they are stuck to the bottom. Use your electronics to make that call. If you don’t like trolling we have been getting jig fish in the same areas mentioned below. There has been a great jig bite on the tip of ruggles reef (where the sand meets the reef).

Catawba: F Can, Clinton Reef, and just South of Green Island has been excellent fishing

Huron: 35-42 FOW. There are a lot of small schools roaming around. On Christmas Eve we had to keep circling on a school to catch fish. Casting with Live Sonar and trolling crankbaits has produced the most fish.

Lorain: 36-40 FOW has been great. Good grade of fish in this area.

Cleveland: 40 FOW. Same story as Lorain. Look for this bite to change in the next month as the fish move West to do the dance.

Perch

Perch fishing has been great this early winter season with the mild weather. All central Lake Erie fishing areas have been excellent: Huron, Vermilion, Lorain, Sheffield, and Cleveland all have nice perch hanging around. It’s known that perch fishing picks up in the early winter, but this year has been great. Lots of boats and shore anglers catching some nice fish. You don’t have to venture very far, there are fish in close to the rivers. We noticed all the bait shops have shiners in stock lately. Try Vermilion in 28 FOW, the green can in Huron, and just outside the breakwall in Lorain.

Steelhead

There are good numbers of steelhead in the creeks and around the mouths. You will find most of the steelhead in the tailouts of runs and deep slow pools. In the colder months, steelhead are lethargic so presenting your bait properly is a must. The bait should be ticking the bottom as it drifts. Most anglers use a float and noodle rod to control the drift. Egg sacs, single beads, and jigs tipped with maggots have all been producing fish lately. Flies such as nymphs, streamers, and egg patterns have been working as well. Keep an eye on the river flows before you head out.