Snow and ice changed steelhead fishing options for now. With cold air temperatures and plenty of lake-effect snow on the ground, you may need to adjust your fishing plans.
Don't be discouraged. Winter steelhead fishing is physically brutal, but surprisingly productive. Invite a friend and get outside your "fishing box".
Most anglers agree that the run to date is slightly better than last season. The steelhead seem to be larger and heavier this year too.
A decent run of steelhead are in most westside tributaries, and slightly less fish on the eastside.
In 2015 Lake Erie was stocked with 1.7 million steelhead smolts. It is those fish that will make up the bulk of the 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.