Fishing on Lake Erie

There is world class fishing of bass, perch, walleye, and many other species. Lake Erie is said to have over half the fish in all of the Great Lakes and most of those fish are in western Lake Erie. The spring thaw has walleye spawning in the Maumee and Sandusky Rivers with shoulder to shoulder fishing in waders. As the fish move east, the spring and summer walleye season brings anglers from all over the world. By mid-summer, the yellow perch catch begins. Fishing in Lake Erie is a truly memorable experience.

For more information on the most recent status of fishing on Lake Erie click on the Fish Ohio Report which is published by ODNR’s Division of Wildlife.  Additional information can be found on the Lake Erie Charter Boat Association website at

Lake Erie is the shallowest of the Great Lakes and the smallest by volume. The lake makes most of the northern boundary of Ohio and includes the City of Cleveland. The lake is 241 miles long and also touches Michigan, Pennsylvania, and New York, as well as Ontario, Canada. Lake Erie has an average depth of just 62 feet.

Fishing on Lake Erie is a popular pastime throughout the year. Hardy souls even ice-fish on the lake during the middle of winter.

Largemouth Bass

The largemouth bass, also called a black bass, grows to be around 12″ to 15″ long. The largemouth bass is typically around 1 to 3 lbs.

White Bass

The White Bass, also called the Silver Bass, is distinguished by its silver color and white belly. This fish is typically around 10″ to 14″ long and prefers open waters of no more than 30-foot depth. In addition to Lake Erie, White Bass is commonly found in the streams and rivers flowing into Lake Erie.

Lake Erie Bluegill

Bluegill, also known as Bream, are typically around 6″-10″ long, and although colors vary, all Bluegill have a black spot on their ear flap.

Lake Erie Catfish

Lake Erie Catfish, also known as Channel Catfish and Spotted Catfish, are tolerant species that thrive in all kinds of conditions, but prefers deep, still waters. Lake Erie Catfish average 12″ to 14″ in length and can reach 10 lbs.

 Black Crappie

Black Crappie, native to western Lake Erie, prefer clear water with little vegetation. They are identifiable by the seven to eight spines on their dorsal fin.

 White Perch

Though not native to Ohio waters, white perch have become established in Lake Erie and the rest of the lower Great Lakes. These small fish average 7″ to 12″ in length and weigh around 1/4 to 1 lb.

 Northern Pike

The Northern Pike is a long, slender fish, native to Ohio. It is found primarily in the Lake Erie waters surrounding Sandusky and Maumee Bays. These fish prefer marshes and bays and average around 20″ to 32″ in length and weigh around 2 to 10 lbs.

 Lake Erie Walleye

Walleye, a medium-sized freshwater fish, is plentiful in the Great Lakes and the rivers and streams that flow from and into the Lakes. In Ohio, the fish is a springtime fishing favorite, particularly in the Maumee River near Toledo and in the Canadian waters of Lake Erie. Also called a Pickerel, this fish averages 14″ to 22″ in length and weighs an average of 2 to 4 lbs.