Answer: Lake Erie, hands down!
Walleye fishing charters in the Western Basin of Lake Erie where we are located. We begin each year in late March / early April and continue through mid-August. On Lake Erie in Ohio and Canadian waters there is a 15-inch minimum size limit for Walleye. The daily bag limit is 4 walleyes per person per day from March 1, through April 30, 2016 and 6 walleyes per person per day beginning May 1, 2016 through February 28, 2017.
Those seeking trophy class walleye should consider booking there fishing charters beginning April 1, through May. Often the best methods are trolling tactics in the deeper waters off the edge of the many reefs that are located in the western basin of Lake Erie, this often produces larger walleyes; 9 to 12 lb. fish are not uncommon during this time of the year.
Those seeking numbers of quality eating-size walleye (17 to 23 inches and often larger should plan there fishing charter day(s) from mid-May through mid-August, fishing tactics are trolling or drift casting. Best all around time to fish for walleyes is mid-May through July.
Yellow Perch fishing charters, we begin each year in early April and continue through October. Yellow Perch are most active during the daylight hours. There is no minimum size limit on Lake Erie for Yellow Perch both in Ohio or Canadian waters. The daily bag limit is 30 fish per person per day year around.
Although Yellow Perch may be caught throughout the season the best time to fish are the months of April / May and August through October these periods produce predicatively larger fish year-after-year. Yellow Perch are prized by anglers of all ages; from the novice to the seasoned angler, young or old everyone can enjoy this charter, its agreed by all that fishing for Yellow Perch on Lake Erie is a very enjoyable & memorable charter experience for all. No experience necessary!
The best time to fish for Smallmouth Bass in the Western Basin of Lake Erie including the Canadian waters around Pelee Island is mid-August through October, 3 to 5 lb. fish is very common.
Spring fishing opportunities (April / May) are available and can be very productive but are not encouraged due to the disturbance of nesting fish.
Each year around the middle of May when water temperatures reach the low 50’s the smallmouth bass begin to spawn. This varies a bit from year-to-year depending on water temperatures which will depend greatly on the winter that Western Lake Erie has had prior, (ice off the lake ect). At this time the bass fishing opportunities for Lake Erie anglers begins to heat up around the islands and the many reef and rocky shoreline areas in the western basin of Lake Erie. This is a catch and release only time of year, May 1, 2016 through June 27, 2016 for smallmouth bass, largemouth bass and spotted bass. Note: Canada does not permit fishing for smallmouth bass or (black bass) during the spring months.
The Ohio and Canadian season for smallmouth bass permitting anglers to keep the fish they’ve caught including largemouth bass and spotted bass, opens June 28, 2016. There is a 14-inch minimum size limit, and the daily bag limit for both species is 5 fish per person per day. Canadian regulations are the same. Best fishing methods are casting live bait (soft craws).
For those thinking about a Steelhead trip in 2016, I would suggest a Steelhead / Walleye combination package during July through mid- August period. Steelhead is commonly found in the deeper, cooler water of the central and eastern basins of Lake Erie. (Getting there requires some travel, but the distance is not prohibitive.) Walleye normally also inhabit this same area. Thus, a combination charter targeting both species usually makes for a more productive outing.
Steelhead size ranging 20 to 31 inches is common. Daily bag limit May 16, 2016 through August 31 is 5 fish singly or in combination with a minimum size limit of 12 inches. September 1, 2016 through May 15, 2017 the daily bag limit is 2 fish singly or in combination. Minimum size limit is 12 inches. Best time to fish is latter July through August.