Lake Erie Fish Species

Walleye

Walleye Illustration

Mid June - Sept


 Lake Erie is known as the “Walleye Capital of the World.”  Walleye are the most popular Lake Erie fish species to fish for. The average size of a Lake Erie walleye caught in PA is between 4-6 lbs, but we often catch walleye over 8 lbs. Walleye is often considered one of the best tasting of any freshwater fish. Lake Erie walleye fishing usually picks up in early Summer in PA. We start fishing for walleye in Mid June with July and August usually being the best time. We have many different tactics for catching walleye depending on the time of year and the depth that these fish are at. Early Summer months we troll using stickbaits on planer boards. As the Summer progresses and the walleye move to deeper water, we switch up tactics and troll with downriggers, Slide Divers, Dipsys and planer boards using stickbaits, worm harnesses, and spoons. We normally troll using 10-14 rods. 



Perch

Perch Illustration

 August - Oct 


Perch fishing in PA normally begins in June and keeps getting better as the Summer goes on. Perch fishing is extremely fun and action packed when the bite is on. The way we target Lake Erie perch is by finding a good school to set up on and anchor. Each person gets a rod equipped with their choice of either a single rig hook, double perch spreader, or a 3 hook Sabiki rig. The tactic we use  for catching Lake Erie perch is by using emerald or golden shiners for bait and dropping your bait down below the boat until you hit the bottom. Jig a couple of times and get ready to set the hook. It’s  not uncommon to bring up 2 to 3 perch at a time using spreaders or Sabiki's. Perch are often considered to be one of the best tasting of any freshwater fish. 

Lake Trout

Lake Trout Illustration

 April - Early June 


Lake trout fishing usually starts late April, early May. To catch these beautiful fish we troll using spoons.  Downriggers are the  best tactic to catch lake trout, but they can also be caught using  planer boards, Slide Divers and Dipsys as well. Lake trout can reach sizes of over 20 lbs.  

Steelhead

Steelhead Illustration

 June - October 


Steelhead fishing on Lake Erie is best during the fall months. When  the lake starts to cool down, steelhead start to school together,  called “staging”, around the mouths of creeks for their annual run. To  catch these fish we troll using downriggers and Slide Divers equipped  with spoons and small crankbaits. Steelhead can also be caught during the summer months while fishing for walleye.  

Smallmouth Bass

Smallmouth Bass Illustration

May - Early June


 Lake Erie is one of the best smallmouth bass fisheries in the United States and PA has some of the best rocky structure known to hold smallmouth bass. We start fishing for Lake Erie smallmouth in May, right after their annual spawn. Post spawn fishing is normally the best time because these fish are hungry and very aggressive. We use several tactics for  catching Lake Erie smallmouth. We fish for smallmouth by trolling using planer boards with crankbaits. We have had several charters where we have caught over 50 Lake Erie smallmouth while trolling. These fish average in size around 2-4 lb but 4-6 lb isn’t unlikely. This is normally a catch and release charter. The Rough House Charters smallmouth Record  is 8 lb. 2 oz and just shy of 24 inches.