Walleye and Perch
Ice fisherman continue to pound Lake Erie in the western basin. Just this week the East side harbor fisherman joined the action with good ice being reported on many of the rivers.
In the western basin most fisherman leave the mainland from Catawba Island and are heading west/north west to the fishing grounds. On a clear day you can see fisherman as far out as Green Island. Fisherman have warned many others that there is shifting ice so be careful in the western basin. Walleye fisherman are reporting success using swedish pimples tipped with minnows or night crawlers. Some fisherman are also using jigging rapalas to catch walleye. TIP: If you are having trouble keeping walleye on, try using a stinger hook off the bottom of your swedish pimple or jigging rapala. Perch fisherman on the western side are reporting very good fishing off of south bass island in 30-40 FOW. Minnows on spreaders or single hooks are producing most of the catches.
On the east end of lake Erie that action is heating up in the bays and harbors. Good catches of smelt have been reported as well as the occasional steelhead through the ice. Presque isle bay is now completely frozen over and anglers are reporting good catches of perch in about 20 FOW out in the middle.
Please be aware that no ice is safe ice and you should take your own precautions when venturing out on frozen water. You will need a survival suit, a buddy to tag along, and a spud bar to check the ice that is in front of you. Many people get hurt every year because they see one person on the ice and assume the whole place is good. Anglers are again reminded that you must have registration for your ATV or Snowmobile if you are going to venture out on state waters.