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Tackle for Lake Erie’s Most Popular Gamefish

Walleye

It’s truly amazing that we have a lake filled with the tastiest freshwater fish to swim right at our fingertips! Lake Erie is the walleye capital of the world, and for excellent reason. With a projected 95 million walleyes in our Great Lake, there is plenty for the taking, and they are hungry! 

What may be just as exciting as eating beautiful golden walleye nuggets is going out on the lake and filling the cooler with friends and family. Whether you’re a seasoned veteran or just a beginner, Lake Erie gives you a chance to fill your freezer. A very simple and incredibly effective way to target walleyes is to run a “dipsy”. 

Steelhead

Steelhead fishing around our Great Lakes is about as good as it gets. Every fall, our local Great Lake Tributaries get filled with Steelhead. Steelhead are lake-run Rainbow Trout that spend the majority of their lives in the lake, but make their way up the streams connecting to the lake to spawn. Steelhead are arguably the greatest sportfish of Lake Erie. They’re well known for being hard fighting, acrobatic, and absolutely beautiful. People from all over the world come to our streams for a hand at steelhead. 

on your leader, under your float, and make as natural a drift as possible. Steelhead run from late September to late April and even into May. This allows a lot of time to be on the stream targeting these hard-fighting beasts! 

Largemouth Bass

The largemouth bass is undoubtedly the most popular gamefish on the planet. They have a wide distribution, bite a variety of lures with aggression, and fight hard. On Lake Erie though, they’re often overshadowed by the many other incredible species we have inhabiting our Great Lake. This has led to Lake Erie being one of the most underrated largemouth bass fisheries in the country in my opinion. Especially in Ohio waters, where they are plentiful in all marinas, bays, and other protected areas along the coast and easily accessible from the shore.

You’re not going to catch a behemoth 7+lb largemouth in Lake Erie simply because they don’t get that big, but the possibility to catch dozens of fish in the 1-5lb range in a day is very likely. Largemouth love to set up on the many rocky points and jetties at the mouths of rivers, bays, or marinas. The key is they can ambush prey on these points when the wind and current allow them to set up properly, but still have easy access to protected water when things get ugly on the big water.

Smallmouth Bass

You can’t have a discussion about the best smallmouth fisheries in the world and not mention Lake Erie. Our Great Lake is booming with giant smallmouth; and pound for pound, this beautiful bass might be the strongest fish out there. Smallmouth can be quite an angling adversary as well, constantly moving from place to place without warning, leaving anglers puzzled about their whereabouts. When you do come across them though, they may readily and aggressively bite a variety of lures.

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