Tuesday, Sep 25, 2018
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Matt Markey

Blade Fishing Report: Storms not hurting perch fishing on Lake Erie

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SPT-PERCHTACKLE6-1

Most perch fishing rigs, such as these spreaders, include a lot of color and flash, which is intended to draw fish to the baits.

The Blade/Lori King
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Lake Erie/Ohio: The wind and storms are only temporary nuisances as the late summer fishery continues to produce. The staff at Netcraft relays news of recent strong yellow perch fishing around the “G” and “B” cans, with anglers also cleaning up on the perch about 1.5 miles north out of Portage, and in 23-26 feet of water south of Kelleys Island. The proven approach for Lake Erie yellow perch is using weighted spreaders fished on the bottom and tipped with shiner minnows or golden shiners. On the walleye end of the spectrum, anglers using Tru-Trip 40s with spoons fished 55-65 feet back have had some success off Cranberry Creek in 23-30 feet of water. There have also been walleye taken north of Point Retreat with the same tackle setup, fished 75-85 feet back.

Lake Erie/Michigan: Anglers in the Michigan corner of the lake have dodged the storms and high winds and when they could get out on the lake they’ve taken nice catchers of perch in 22-24 feet of water near the E-Buoy and the Dumping Grounds. Perch were found in 14-15 feet of water in Brest Bay, and in 25-26 feet depths between Stony Point and the Fermi plant. Most anglers used perch rigs dressed with green, orange, or chartreuse spinners.

Boat ramps closed: The ramps at Catawba Island State Park, which normally see a lot of use by perch fishermen, will be closed through the end of the year for construction. Complicating matters, the ODNR has just announced that the Mazurik boat access area on the north side of the Marblehead Peninsula will also be closed starting Sept. 10 for sealcoating work on the parking lot. That project is expected to be completed late on Sept. 13. In the interim, boaters will have the option to use the Dempsey boat access area on the south side of the Marblehead Peninsula as an alternative.

Maumee River: The recent rains put a charge of new water into the river, which should improve the fishing from the dam at Grand Rapids down through the Maumee-Perrysburg corridor. The catfish anglers continue to do well working night crawlers, crayfish, or shrimp on the bottom near the deeper holes, with the Rossford Marina and Orleans Park sections of the river seeing the most pressure and providing the most fish. In the faster water above the I-475 bridge, several anglers have reported good evening catches of smallmouth bass, taken on small spinners and imitation minnow lures.

College tournament: The YETI FLW College Fishing on Lake Erie event takes place Sept. 8, hosted by the city of Sandusky. The Berkley sponsored event is the third and final regular-season tournament for college anglers competing in the Northern Conference. They will compete for a top prize of a $2,000 scholarship and an invitation to the 2019 College Fishing National Championship. The competitors are expected to target Lake Erie’s robust population of smallmouth bass, working the rock piles with tubes, drop-shot rigs, and ned rigs. Competitors will take off from Shelby Street Public Boat Launch in Sandusky at 7 a.m., with the weigh-in scheduled for 3 p.m. at the boat launch. The takeoff and weigh-in are free and open to the public.

North Branch Boys: The club kicks off its 2018-19 season with a gathering Sept. 12 at a new location, the Toledo Zoo’s Administration Building (formerly Frank Unkle’s Restaurant), located at 2605 Broadway St. The program for this meeting includes an in-depth report on the reintroduction of lake sturgeon into the Maumee River. The zoo has partnered with several government entities and nonprofits, including the North Branch Boys Fly Fishing Club, in the effort to return sturgeon to their historical range in the Maumee. The social hour starts at 6 p.m. with a brief business meeting at 7 p.m., with the sturgeon program to follow.

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