by LCVB staff member Elizabeth Connor

Steelhead fishing after Thanksgiving still strong

A novice fisherman gets ready to move up to steelhead fishingNow that the turkey leftovers are gone and you are looking for a something a bit different on your dinner plate, how about trying some of Lake Erie’s famed fishing?

The Ohio Department of Natural Resources stated on Tuesday that over the Thanksgiving holiday fishing was excellent and that many fish over 10 pounds were caught.  They expect that trend to continue for the next couple weeks.  Walleye, fall yellow perch, and steelhead have been the big draws for anglers and fly fishers.

Lake Erie is the Walleye Capital of the World, but Ohio’s Lake Erie Steelhead Fishing is also some of the best in the country.  Stream and pier anglers have an excellent opportunity to catch quality-sized steelhead trout from September through May, and cities like Painesville even give anglers added incentive to visit our renowned rivers, streams, and shores with Steelhead Competitions.  In the Painesville competition, first place for adults is set at $500 and for children is $100.  The competition is open until the end of March.

According to the Ohio Department of Natural Resources, The Division of Wildlife annually stocks five Lake Erie tributary streams with 6-8″ yearling Little Manistee River (Michigan) strain of steelhead. These fish migrate out into Lake Erie and spend the summer in the cooler part of the lake before returning to streams during the fall through the spring. Steelhead trout caught by anglers in the streams typically average 25″ long and weigh 5-6 pounds.

Lake County’s Grand River and Chagrin River are two of Ohio’s primary steelhead streams.  These two rivers along with the Rocky River are scheduled to receive 90,000 stocked steelhead this year.  The total targeted annual stocking number from Ohio hatcheries is 400,000 steelhead for the state.  That’s a lot of casting!

If you are interested in going out to catch “The Big One”, here are a couple tips -

Use eggs, jigs tipped with maggots, minnows, and small spinners for the best results.

If you are fly fishing, use streamers, egg patterns such as sucker spawn, woolly buggers, and other nymphs.

If you are heading to the Grand River, fish from the Fairport breakwall up to the Harpersfield Dam.

If you are fishing the Chagrin River, head to the soccer fields up through the North Chagrin Reservation Metropark.

Good luck and make sure to share your fish stories with us!

About Elizabeth Connor

Elizabeth Connor is our Community Engagement Manager. She has been with the Bureau since 2012 and manages our visitor experiences, event collaborations, e-newsletters, blog, and social networking.

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