Lake Erie Perch Fishing Safety
When I’m planning a trip to go perch fishing on Lake Erie, I take the time to prepare and take a lot of things into account. Lake Erie can get rough very quickly. I have been fishing the lake for about 18 years now, and I have learned (the hard way in some cases) when it is safe to go out and when it’s not. I’ve learned to respect the potentially harsh conditions that can get you in trouble.
Predicting Weather and Wave Conditions on Lake Erie
It is a relatively shallow lake and predominant winds are from the southwest. So If you are fishing along the northern side of the lake, winds will build waves in your direction. Therefore if winds have been blowing all night with a velocity of 15 km/hr or more from the southwest, chances are the waves at the north side are too large for my boat (17 feet long).
One important source of information that I use are weather buoys. Up to date wind and wave conditions on the great lakes are available online from the National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration and Environment Canada. For example there is a weather buoy about 10 miles out of Port Colborne on Lake Erie. Information from this buoy can be found at the following links:
Weather Buoy 45142
Weather Station Buffalo Lighthouse
This information is valuable because it gives you hourly weather conditions in the middle of the lake. If you’re going perch fishing on Lake Erie anywhere near the buoy, it’s a good idea to check the buoy before you go.
The Weather Network
This is also a good source of information. I always check the weather for the city or town that is close to where I’m perch fishing, so I can get wind forecasts and estimated current wind conditions in the area I intend to fish. I use this information in addition to the weather buoy information to help determine what actual wind conditions will be like.
However, there is one thing you need to be aware of when using the weather network. Not all cities and towns have weather stations, so if you put in the name of a small town where you want to go perch fishing, it is likely that weather conditions that are reported have been taken from the nearest weather station which could be many miles away from your intended fishing spot. For example if you put in Dunnville, Ontario you will get weather conditions for Welland-Pelham. This is noted in the line called “Current Weather”.
The Weather Network
I use this website as a guide for wind predictions. I find it is pretty good at predicting winds for a given day, however, wind is very difficult to predict accurately, therefore wind should be verified on the day your fishing.
Here is the link for Windfinder for the Buffalo Lighthouse. You can use the map feature in Windfinder to find other weather buoys and weather stations all over the world!
Other Preparations for My Perch Fishing on Lake Erie
There are numerous other safety precautions I take when going out on Lake Erie when I want to go perch fishing. I make sure that:
Here’s to great times, and tight lines!
Maddalena Environmental Inc.