The Ohio Division of Wildlife’s Lake Erie steelhead trout fishery is maintained by stocking approximately 400,000 6- to 9-inch Little Manistee River strain steelhead trout in five tributaries (west to east): Vermilion River, Rocky River, Chagrin River, Grand River and Conneaut Creek. This strain of steelhead trout average 25” and 7 pounds after two summers of growth in Lake Erie. This world-class fishery provides terrific opportunities for shore or wading anglers to catch large lake-run fish relatively inexpensively.
Fish close to the bottom in creeks and rivers.
Always use a fluorocarbon leader of 5- to 7-pound strength.
Use an 8- to 10-pound mainline.
Sharpen your hooks.
Check your line frequently for abrasion, kinks, etc.
Wear a ball cap and use polarized sunglasses for stream fishing.
When handling fish:
Always wet your hands.
Gently unhook and release fish
Cut the line of deeply-hooked fish off at the mouth prior to release.
A variety of rods and reels can be used effectively. Depending upon conditions, try an 8- to 12-feet limber spinning rod (noodle rod), 6-8 weight fly rod, or 12- to 13-feet long center pin rod.
Where to Fish:
Northern Ohio tributaries of Lake Erie between the Vermilion River and the Ohio/Pennsylvania state line. Fish in harbors and lower rivers early and late in the October-May season and everywhere during the middle of the season. Move to small streams when the main rivers are high and muddy or frozen.
Good to excellent when streams have 8” to 12” of visibility.
Jig with maggots, minnows, spawn bags, or flies fished underneath bobber, as well as spinners and spoons; Various flies such as emerald shiner, yarn flies, egg-sucking leech, sucker spawn;
Any of the baits, lures, or flies listed and fished under a center pin type bobber.