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Cooler weather means hot fishing this Labor Day weekend on Lake Erie

The walleye and perch bite is picking up as summer transitions to fall.

CLEVELAND — Beautiful sunrises will welcome anglers to Lake Erie this weekend. Many pleasure boaters will be putting their boats away for the fall and winter, but anglers know better. 

Around Labor Day weekend, a change begins in the fertile waters of Lake Erie. The already great fishing gets even better. 

"As the temperatures cool, those fish know it's coming into winter time, and they start putting on the feedbag," says Captain Andrew Durda of Monkey Sea Fishing Charters. He has been fishing the eastern part of Lake Erie's Ohio waters, launching out of Geneva and heading towards the border of of Canada. 

Lately, Captain Andy has noticed the fish have begun to move. 

"The last couple of trips out, we stopped in a little bit closer and found the fish in much closer than they were before," says Durda. The size of the fish his clients caught was better too. Captain Andy knows his clients went home happy. "Most of the fish were between 23 and 25 inches and we had one Fish Ohio." That's a walleye that measures over 28 inches. They also added some quality steelhead trout while trolling spoons.

Heading west around the Lake Erie Islands, there's another hot bite going: Yellow perch. 

"It's getting to be that time of year, it's starting to get a little cold in the mornings," says Michael Breay. His "Church of the Perch" Facebook page has all the details on the Western Basin bite. It's a social media page that gives daily fishing, weather, and bait reports for those looking for Lake Erie gold. 

Breay knows where the perch are. "Over by the islands, anywhere you can get south of Green Island, F-can, G-can, Clinton Reef, that whole area, Catawba Green Can have been holding some pretty nice perch."

What's harder to come by are shiners. If you're heading west for Labor Day, this tip could save your trip. "If you're coming from Cleveland, stop in Huron, stop in Vermillion, get them anywhere you can get them because they're pretty scarce," Breay adds.

Things are heating up on inland lakes too! But wherever you go, east, west or central Lake Erie, remember safety first. Happy Labor Day everyone! 

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