Lake Erie Bass Fly Fishing

lake erie large mouth bass

Bass fishing… yep.. ole billy bucketmouth… They love bugs and the Lake Erie watershed is one of the best places in the world to find them. Don’t believe me?

The Lake Erie & Lake St. Clair took two of the top five spots in Bassmaster’s 2013 lake ranking…

Freaking Bassmasters…Alabama based… song of the south Bassmasters!

Ok… so now that?

lake erie bass fly fishing

Get your fly rods out and start exploring…

Lake Erie is a warm-water fly fishing Paradise. For many anglers when they think of fly fishing the Great Lakes the tendency is to think about opportunities for steelhead and salmon. Fantastic opportunities for these fish are abundant and there are many to be caught, but that is only part of the story. Musky, Bass (White, Smallmouth, Rock, and Largemouth), Panfish, and numerous other warm water species fill the near shore reaches of Lake Erie and are available to fly anglers from boat and on foot.

lake erie fly fishing with nate stansberry

Fly fishing begins on Lake Erie once water temps reach 50 degrees typically at the end of April with consistent fishing continuing through October. The Islands of Lake Erie’s western basin as well as many of the harbors and marinas across Erie’s southern shore will hold huge populations of Black Bass throughout spring, summer, and fall and are easily accessible to the fly rodder. So how many fish are we talking about? Forty fish days on fly gear isn’t uncommon and if you want a 6 pound plus smallmouth you will get your shot. But what about largemouth? Same… in fact while they are a little smaller than their southern counterparts fishing for largemouth bass in Lake Erie is fantastic!

lake erie water fowl

So what do you need to get the job done? In most situations on Lake Erie fly rods between 6-8weight and 9 feet in length (or shorter) will be the preferred size. If I had to pick one size rod to have on Lake Erie it would be a 7wt. 9ft. fast action multi-piece fly rod from a reputable manufacture (a few of my favorites include Winston, Orvis, Echo, and Sage). Ironically this is the same set up many anglers already have to tackle steelhead on our local river systems. Heavily tapered lines are the rule and either floating or intermediate (slow) sinking and should suffice in a majority of fishing situations on Lake Erie. Tapered leaders between 6-9feet are normal and as a rule larger flies require shorter leaders, while a longer leader lender to a stealthier presentation for smaller flies in shallower water. Leaders should match the size and conditions anglers are faced with, but 12-6 breaking strength should handle most situations.

lake erie bass fly

Bottom line!

If you like fly fishing warmwater Lake Erie is for you!

lake erie fishing with stansberry sportfishing

Headed to the mid-west?
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