**May 1 begins the no-possession season for smallmouth bass on Lake|
Erie. Anglers can legally target smallmouth bass, but they must be
immediately returned to the water. The 2005 smallmouth bass harvest
season will open on Saturday, June 25.**
Gale force winds combined with a snow storm during the weekend of
4/23-4/24 shut down fishing on Lake Erie. The winds left the western
basin extremely muddy. As conditions stabilize and the water starts to
clear up exceptional walleye and yellow perch fishing will return.
Although some of the walleye are still spawning on the main lake reefs
and in the western basin tributaries the spawning season is wrapping up.
Walleye can be caught as they migrate out of their spawning grounds and
begin to feed. The best areas to fish this time of year include Maumee
Bay to West Sister Island (including the Toledo shipping channel), the
flats around the Camp Perry firing range, the Bass Islands area, Kelleys
Island, and from Sandusky to Vermilion as post-spawn females begin to
migrate east. Popular techniques include drifting with mayfly spinner
rigs or trolling crankbaits, crawler harnesses or spoons. Yellow perch
fishing should be good off of Marblehead, east of Kelleys Island, around
the Sandusky Bay foghorn, and within 1 to 2 miles of the ports from
Vermilion east to Conneaut. Spring is a great time to catch trophy
yellow perch over 12 inches.
Lake Erie surface temperatures are generally in the mid 40's.
Walleye can still be caught in the Maumee River, but the walleye run
will be over shortly. White bass fishing in both the Sandusky and
Maumee Rivers is improving and will peak in early May.