Fall steelhead run is on!
Cooler air temperature and recent showers are making it feel more like steelhead season. So far, everyone agrees the fish are there, but conditions have been less than ideal. Where fish are found, fishing pressure is intense. Until we get sustained high water levels, anglers will pressure trapped fish. Lower Elk Creek remains "dammed" with little drift and plenty of silt.
The good news - most anglers are getting their share of steelhead catching opportunities.
Initial reports indicate a decent run of fresh steelhead are in Walnut Creek and Elk Creek. Trout Run surf fishing, when the lake is flat, is good too. The low flow has slowed steelhead access to the smaller tributaries.
In 2015 Lake Erie was stocked with 1.7 million steelhead smolts. It is those fish that will make up the bulk of the fall run. The survival rate for stocked steelhead that reach the lake, mature and return after 2-years to their planting site remains at 5%. Based on the facts, approximately 85,000 fish will make up the 2017-18 “run” for all Lake Erie tributaries and Presque Isle Bay.
Catching Lake Erie steelhead is easy. Finding the nomadic fish is not. They move when water flow and temperature encourages them to migrate upstream. You need to fish where they are and employ a few standard trout catching tactics.
Available public fishing areas are many. The best baits [ jigs - egg sacs - single eggs - skein] and times to fish vary. Experienced anglers know that each season – fall, winter, spring – have specialized presentations. Don’t worry, you will figure it out.
Steelhead are instinctively drawn from Lake Erie to some upstream location that only the fish knows. Your challenge is to intercept the migrating pods of steelhead or discover their destination.
As you navigate through this Website, you will have access to many other tips and articles.
I recommend The Green Roof Inn for your lodging needs. The motel is close to good fishing locations. It has large, comfortable rooms, fish cleaning facilities, plenty of ice, and a pleasant staff. TGRI is perfect for “early to bed and early to rise” anglers.
Like to eat steelhead? – keep one! Like to catch steelhead? – release all.