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Top Fishing Charters in Lake Erie

Fishing in Lake Erie

Fishing Lake Erie style is not just about chasing the fish. With its unmatched trophy potential, Lake Erie has the most biologically productive waters of all the Great Lakes combined. But not only do the fishing opportunities abound in the world's largest freshwater fishery. The local sunsets are some of the best in the world. And anyone who has experienced the rage of 15-foot waves slamming the shore at least once in their lives will respect the true force of Lake Erie.

Known For

There is a good reason Lake Erie is called the “Walleye capital of the world”. It definitely has all the ingredients to keep the name. Walleye fishing in Lake Erie leaves tens of thousands of anglers bragging about their trophies. You can fill your bag with Walleye quite quickly even if it’s your first time trolling or drift fishing.

Lake Erie fishing charters is all about superstar catches. The lake is organized into three basins: the deep Eastern Basin, the flat-bottom Central Basin, and the generally shallow Western Basin. The lake’s northern shore is bounded by the Canadian province of Ontario. The southern and easternmost shores are in Ohio, Pennsylvania, and New York, and on the west, there is the Lower Peninsula of Michigan.

Lake Erie is not all about the Walleye. When it comes to fighting strength to size ratio, it doesn't get much better than Smallmouth Bass. These tasty and feisty fish bite best in the Western basin. The hottest spots are along the rocky bottoms, drop-offs, and ledges. There are hundreds of Lake Erie Smallmouth Bass charters to put you on the fish.

Perch fishing on Lake Erie is done for jumbos that are prized for their taste. You would normally choose a dedicated charter to fill a truck-sized cooler. Which is not a tough thing to do: the local captains are pros at filling bag limits.

When it comes to the weather, you’ve just got to hope it cooperates. The lake can rapidly change from stormy to calm and it fogs in fairly quickly. But even when the conditions are gloomy offshore, there are still nice catches to be held.

Pike, Trout, acrobatic Salmon and delicious Steelhead are also targeted when fishing Lake Erie. Rainbow Trout and Brown Trout are stocked to keep the lake healthy. Good news for anglers: this means your Lake Erie charter is unlikely to leave you empty-handed!

Rules & Regulations

A valid Lake Erie or Combination Trout/Salmon/Lake Erie permit is required, except for the East and West Basin ponds. It is unlawful to fish, spearfish, wade, or posses fishing equipment in or along Nursery Waters. 

Types of Fishing

Fishing charters on Lake Erie are usually done by trolling or drift fishing. There are dozens of options for anglers of different ages and expertise. Slowly troll with planer boards at depths below 10 feet during the summer months. Walleye might be light sensitive so they bite best around dusk or dawn. Local captains use flatlining and divers, as well as downriggers for the best trolling action. When the season ends and the winter comes, the most hard-core anglers go ice-fishing. But be careful: Lake Erie is known for being a bit tempestuous. Anglers explore the frozen lake for Walleyes with minnows on jigging lures or blade baits. If Walleye are nowhere to be found, you can try Yellow Perch with a Spreader or target Crappie.

Lake Erie
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Lake Erie Fishing Seasons

Even if the weather is cold, ice-fishing is hot. Deep waters near shallows, rivers, and reefs are good for die-hard Walleye enthusiasts.

The weather is pleasant, just like Steelhead fishing for those who are up to a bit of a challenge. Fresh jack of Steelhead appear on the creeks on the west side. Streams are low and clear, so head to those locations where Steelhead can be visible. 

Late March brings some hot Walleye fishing. Head to the reefs or go two miles out of Port Clinton to fill the ice-chest. 

The mid-spring weather might be changeable. April is great for jig fishermen. Head to the Western Basin for Walleye, casting over reefs and trolling in deep water. It is not common to reel in trophies of 9-12 lbs. 

Hungry post spawn trophy Walleye can be caught by trolling or vertical jigging. Later in May go to the North East Marina for Rock Bass.

Walleye and Bass fishing is excellent. The Golden Walleye Tournament hits the north shore. 

The weather is warm, ideal to drift for Walleye on a calm July evening. Walleye and Perch fishing is at its finest.  

Yellow Perch fishing heats up and is at its best! Use planner boards to find Walleye all the way to the bottom. The water temprature plays a big role on how active the bite will be.

The fall comes and Smallmouth Bass and Perch fishing is excellent, especially on the Canadian waters. Trophy Walleye are waiting for their anglers in deep water. Salmon and Trout begin to school. 

Walleye fishing picks up again. Perch fishing is just on fire! Head to the tributaries for Steelhead.

The waters chill down and you can go for a late fall fishing spree. Find one more trophy Walleye for the season.

When winter comes, Walleye start staging in the Western basin. Late night fishing can be exciting and productive if you don't let the winter winds bite you.

Lake Erie Fishing Calendar

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What People Are Saying About Lake Erie

" Lake perch fishing with Captain Paul "

Doug C. fished with Fishin Mission Charters on August 17, 2019

The weather is unpredictable. Our day of perch fishing was great. But we had a second trip for walleye booked that got canceled because of thunderstorms.

"Fishing with Keith"

Delbert H. fished with Dutch Fork Fishing Charters on August 17, 2019

Just watch for pop up stroms never know when weather going to change

"Wonderful experience"

Michael E. fished with Crazyeyes Charter on August 11, 2019

Pay a little money to get the experience you want. Cheaper definitely doesn’t mean better in this case.

"Half day"

Stephen S. fished with Midtown Fishing Charters on August 2, 2019

Dont expect fish on the hook every minute but be ready because they will bite

Top Fishing Techniques in Lake Erie

  1. Ice Fishing

Top Targeted Species in Lake Erie

Walleye

Walleye

Perch (Yellow)

Perch (Yellow)

Rainbow Trout (Steelhead)

Rainbow Trout (Steelhead)

Bass (Smallmouth)

Bass (Smallmouth)

Top Lake Erie Destinations

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