I want to try to catch a Lake Erie steelhead trolling from my own boat, and was told Avon was the best place to go out of, and September the best month. Does anyone have any thoughts, comments or advice on that?
Steelhead need cold water to survive - 55 degrees or colder. They will come into warmer water for short periods to feed. By Sept the central basin is warm top to bottom so the fish have likely moved to the east end of the lake where there is still cold water on the bottom. The easiest is fishing the harbors in the spring. Then offshore Avon to the Pennsylvania border early to mid summer. They can easily swim dozens of miles overnight to find better conditions, here today gone tomorrow. Watch for the reports on this site is best.
Basically in the summer months they are scattered in the Central Basin, but if I wanted to home in on them, I would probably start with trying to find smelt schools and locating the thermocline. When it comes down to it they are eating machines, and will always be hunting down bait.
We get them while walleye trolling out deep, but it is hard to isolate them in the summer months.
But in the fall we go out specifically for them in NE Ohio. Specifically out of Conneaut Creek & the harbour. This is because both PA and OH stock Conneaut Creek, and PA stocks a different strain (London) than Ohio (Manistee). The PA strain makes their spawning run earlier than the OH strain, so often can get them near shore and in the river in the October/November timeframe. Where the Ohio strain is more of a late winter/spring run fish. http://www.steelheadschool.com/new_page_11.htm