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North West Ohio Fishing Reports

Northwest Ohio Fishing Report - April 22nd, 2016

Indian Lake (5040 acres; Logan County) – Water clarity is not the best on this Logan County lake, but anglers are still catching fish. The popular areas to try right now are Longview and Paradise Island. Anglers are catching both saugeyes and crappies on a variety of baits, including jigs and blade baits. Fish the pads for crappies in areas where they are accessible. Crappies will be hanging out near downed timber right now, so focus your efforts on those spots. Crappies are running large, according to reports, with most of the fish in the nine- to 11-inch range.

Nettle Lake (Williams County) – Nettle Lake is 115 acres in size with 3.8 miles of shoreline. Most of the shoreline is privately owned, which limits public access. A public boat ramp is available off County Road 4.75 at the southwest corner of the lake. Anglers should have good luck this time of year fishing for crappies. Try fishing under the privately owned boat docks from a boat. Anglers should also try for crappies using minnows along the edges in the emerging lily pads. Nettle Lake has some unique boating regulations that anglers need to be aware of. There is no horsepower limit; however, between 6 p.m. and 10 a.m., boats must operate at an idle speed. Between 10 a.m. and 6 p.m. there are no speed restrictions.

Maumee River (Lucas County) – As of April 12, wading to Bluegrass Island was not possible, according to Maumee Bait and Tackle. With warmer temperatures and rain affecting the river, the walleye bite is on, according to the bait shop. Popular spots have been the Jerome Road access, Fort Meigs, and the Towpath. Successful anglers are using jigs with orange heads and firetiger tails, green heads with firetiger tails, and green heads with pink sparkle tails. The bait shop recommends going with a 5⁄8- to 3⁄4-ounce weight.

Maumee Bait and Tackle, www.maumeetackle.net

Upper Sandusky Reservoir #2 (118 acres; Wyandot County) – For crappies, as water temperatures increase, try fishing around standing timber and brush. Live minnows fished under a bobber usually produce the best; however, some anglers cast 1⁄8-ounce jigs with a twister tail tipped with a waxworm. A boat ramp and dock available, but boats are restricted to electric motors only. This reservoir closes at 10 p.m. \

Delta Reservoir #2 (50 acres; Fulton County) – The reservoir was recently stocked with rainbow trout by the Division of Wildlife. Anglers have been having good success using Powerbait and small spinners.

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North East Ohio Fishing Reports

Northeast Ohio Fishing Report - April 22nd, 2016

 Mosquito Lake (Trumbull County) – Anglers are catching walleyes this spring on this large Trumbull County lake, according to Vienna-area angler Mike Mainhart. A few walleyes have topped 16 inches and are being caught on soft plastics in orange. A few crappies are also being caught on Gulp minnows in chartreuse patterns.

Pymatuning Lake (Ashtabula County) – Anglers are catching a good number of yellow perch and crappies on this lake that spans the eastern border between Ohio and Pennsylvania. Crappies are coming in from 15 to 25 feet of water by anglers using minnows under a bobber or waxworms. Yellow perch are biting on the same baits, though they’re tending to be in shallower water.

 Charles Mill Lake (Richland, Ashland counties) – Anglers fishing in 10 to 15 feet of water on this lake have been picking up the occasional saugeye. According to angler reports, the ‘eyes are suspended about halfway up the water column. Try jigging blade baits for the best bite. Crappies too are being caught on small minnows and waxworms fished in the wood.

Nimisila Lake (Summit County) – Anglers are using plastic swimbaits to entice the panfish bite from bluegills and crappies at this Portage Lake. Fish in from five to 10 feet of water for the best bite. Minnows are taking fish, too, anglers report. Waxworms under a bobber would also be a good bet. There’re enough bluegills in this lake to keep a kid (or an adult!) busy for hours.

West Branch Reservoir (2,300-acres; Portage County) – This lake is just east of Ravenna and offers more than 40 miles of shoreline fishing, as well as two boat ramps, which are both accessible from Cable Line Road. Anglers are reporting that the walleye bite is tough right now, but you might try a blade bait to entice the bite. Muskie anglers are having some success, primarily using big inline bucktail spinnerbaits in the wood.

Atwood Lake (1,529 acres; Carroll and Tuscarawas counties) – Atwood Lake is at the western edge of Dellroy in western Carroll County along State Route 542. The dam is in Tuscarawas County on State Route 212. Shore and boat fishing are allowed. Three boat-launch ramps are situated around this lake. Atwood Lake is restricted to boats with motors of 25-horsepower or less. For crappies, use minnows on #6 or smaller hooks or small jigs with or without minnows, fished around structure. For saugeyes, use jig and minnow or jig and nightcrawler combinations, fished around mid-lake points and drop-offs. For largemouth bass, try spinnerbaits, surface lures, and plastic worms. For sunfish, use waxworms, maggots, or small worms, with small hooks (# 10 or smaller).

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Central Ohio Fishing Reports

Central Ohio Fishing Report - April 22nd, 2016

Black bass

Knox Lake (Knox County, outside Fredericktown) – Knox Lake has a high abundance of largemouth bass that consists of many large fish (61 percent of fish are 15 inches or longer).

It’s recommended to fish structures along the shoreline below the Old Mansfield Road access. The section of lake above the Old Mansfield Road boat ramp is a stump field and can be difficult to navigate; caution is advised in this area.

Shore anglers can access the lake at the marina, dam, the Old Mansfield Road boat ramp on the north side of the lake, and a pull off on Old Mansfield Road located on the south side of the lake.

Boats with motors larger than 9.9 horsepower are restricted to idle only speeds.

Crappie

Delaware Reservoir (Delaware County) – Delaware is one of the most recognized crappie fisheries in Central Ohio, with a good population of both white and black crappies.

In the spring, the best areas to focus on will be larger coves with brush and wood in the water. Delaware Lake is surrounded by a wildlife area and state park so anglers are able to access the lake in many areas.

Fishing maps provided by DNR Division of Wildlife will show the most popular fishing access. There are three boat ramps on the lake and a marina that has fuel and boat slips.

Delaware is subject to substantial water level fluctuations following rainfall that can affect access and fishing. Be sure to check the Army Corps Of Engineers website after recent rains.

Sunfish

Indian Lake (Logan County) – Year in and year out Indian Lake has been one of the best bluegill fisheries in Central Ohio with large fish and high catch rates in comparison to other lakes.

Focusing on the northeast section of the lake known as the game preserve can be beneficial. There are miles of backwater channels and bays that offer great habitat for sunfish.

Shore anglers should start fishing around the Moundwood area.

During late spring and summer try fishing the lily pads for large bluegill.

A map of Indian Lake can be found on the DNR- DOW website showing anglers where boat ramps and shore access exist.

Channel catfish

Hoover Reservoir (Franklin County) – Hoover has a large abundance of channel catfish. Flathead catfish are not extremely common here, but there are some present.

Recently the Division of Wildlife has started stocking blue catfish in this lake to create a trophy fishery. While these fish are not trophy size yet they are doing very well and are being caught by anglers.

The reservoir has many access points, but generally the northern portion of the lake is where the best catfishing takes place. The oxbow boat ramp is a popular access for shore fishing in the northern pool of the lake.

Hoover has a 10 horsepower boat restriction. There are five boat ramps on Hoover, but only two of them (Walnut Street and Maxtown) are usable when water level decreases.

Note: Hoover Reservoir provides water for the City of Columbus, causing water levels to decrease tremendously during the summer months.

Saugeyes

Indian Lake (Logan County) – Indian Lake has a large population of saugeyes. Anglers seeking saugeyes at Indian Lake need to look for areas that are wind swept with current. Saugeyes will typically be in areas that have riprap or rocky substrate. When the wind and waves are hitting these areas the fishing can be even better. When the wind is blowing, fishing water between islands where a current is forming can be a good place and time to use blade baits.

Central Region

Buckeye Lake (Fairfield, Licking, Perry counties) – Anglers are catching largemouth bass in places on Buckeye that are accessible. Crappies are being caught in the Fairfield channel. One shore fishermen who won’t give up his location recently caught a bucketful of crappies and bluegills on straight minnows. The smallest bluegill was eight inches and the crappies were all 11 to 13 inches. Saugeye anglers are fishing the northwest point of Lieb’s Island with some success. 

Alum Creek Lake (3,269 acres; Delaware County) – Anglers are reportedly catching crappies in 10-15 feet of water in various spots on this central Ohio lake. The popular presentation has been chartreuse jigs in 1⁄4 to 1⁄8-ounce. Crappies are staging in deep water close to spawning sites. Crappie must be nine inches or longer to harvest. For saugeyes, try minnow imitating crankbaits fished off of points. Some anglers are fishing below the spillway this early spring and catching some fish, including muskies.

Hoover Reservoir (Franklin, Delaware counties) – With spring temperatures on the rise, a fair number of anglers are fishing the reservoir for crappies, bass, and catfish. For crappies, you can’t go wrong with a jig and minnow combination or just a minnow under a bobber. Some large catfish have been caught on Hoover already this spring by anglers otherwise fishing for crappies. Try the same tactics – jig and minnow combos or jigs and plastics.

Delaware Lake (1,017 acres; Delaware County) – For crappies, fish the old river channel and deep water with woody cover using a jig tipped with a minnow. Use slip bobbers to place the bait over the fish. As water warms this spring, crappies will move to shallower water to spawn. There is a nine-inch minimum length limit on crappies. For channel catfish, target the north end of the lake using cut bait or chicken livers. In late April to mid-May white bass will begin moving up streams to spawn; use spinners and jigs.

Antrim Lake (42 acres; Franklin County) – Antrim Lake, on the north side of Columbus, was stocked with 10- to 13-inch rainbow trout recently. There will be an area for youth fishing only (15 years old and younger). A variety of baits prove successful for these hatchery-raised fish. Try corn, cheese, marshmallows, or prepared baits such as Power Bait. The bag limit is five trout and anglers 16 and older must have a fishing license. No boats are permitted at Antrim Lake.

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South East Ohio Fishing Reports

Southeast Ohio Fishing Report - April 22nd, 2016

Dillon Lake (Muskingum County) – Fluctuating water levels below the spillway are making this Muskingum County reservoir tough to fish. Not many folks are even attempting to fish the reservoir. Still, some are catching bluegills, crappies, and saugeyes on blade baits and jig and minnow combinations.

Salt Fork Lake (Guernsey County) – Anglers who are hitting the back bays on this Southeast Ohio lake near Cambridge are catching some largemouth bass. Try inline spinnerbaits or crankbaits in perch patterns for the best bite. Anglers are also catching the occasional catfish and white bass in some of these same spots on the same offerings. 

Lake Hope (120 acres; Vinton County) – Try using a variety of artificial baits, including shallow running crankbaits for largemouth bass. For crappies and bluegills, fish live bait, including waxworms and nightcrawlers under a bobber. A decent rainfall event will create some great conditions for channel cats. Try fishing the bottom using cut bait in the evenings or early mornings, especially as temperatures begin to climb.

Burr Oak Lake (632 acres; Athens and Morgan counties) – For crappies, try fishing over structure locations using minnows or twisters tipped with a minnow with very light tackle. Fishing the shoreline, where fallen trees have been secured, should produce results. For largemouth bass, try throwing jig-n-pig combos, spinnerbaits, or crankbaits. Fish management staff has regularly placed structure throughout the lake; contact the Division of Wildlife’s District 4 office to obtain a structure map.

Muskingum River (Morgan, Muskingum, Washington counties) – Both the pools and tailwaters offer good early crappie fishing. Try fishing heavy cover with small jigs or minnows. For spotted bass, as temperatures increase, try casting rubber worms, crankbaits, and spinners over submerged structure, docks, weed beds, and deep holes. Anglers have reported limited success in the past. Flathead catfish prefer live bait such as gizzard shad. Try using shad eight inches or larger. Success for these fish will continue to increase as temperatures warm throughout the spring and summer.

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South West Ohio Fishing Reports

Southwest Ohio Fishing Report - April 22nd, 2016

Kiser Lake (Champaign County) – The catch is a mixed bag of fish right now on this Champaign County lake. Anglers are catching bluegills, crappies, largemouth bass, and hybrid striped bass. Crappies are reportedly of some good size – fish up to 13 inches are being caught. Use minnows under a slip bobber for the best bite.

 C.J. Brown Reservoir (1,970 acres, 14 miles of shoreline; Clark County) – Try early morning boat fishing for walleyes using jigs tipped with a nightcrawler over the mid-lake humps and in the north end of the lake. Remember there is a 15-inch minimum size limit and daily bag of six on walleyes. Bluegills can be caught around the rocky shorelines of the dam and the marina. Also, try fishing the wooden piling structures near the boat ramp and campground. Use waxworms or redworms fished under a bobber for bluegill. 

 Caesar Creek Lake (Warren, Clinton, and Greene counties) – Anglers fishing this large impoundment in early spring are targeting spotted bass and largemouth bass with some success. Try using a jerkbait fished slowly for the best bite. Fish have ranged in size from 15 to 20 inches.

East Fork Lake (Clermont County) – For crappies, try using live minnows, or jigs with plastic bodies. Anglers should concentrate on fishing in the shallow areas near stickups and brush piles. Anglers can also try following the wood lines back into the tributary creeks. For spotted and largemouth bass, try spinnerbaits and plastic jigs colored black and blue. Hybrid striped bass are being caught off the beach parking lot by fishing chicken liver just off of the bottom. For channel catfish, try using nightcrawlers as bait.

 Grant Lake (Brown County) – Crappies should be turning on as water temperatures rise. Anglers should try fishing the boat ramp south to the dam and along brushy shoreline areas. Try minnows with floats at about two to three feet down. Jigheads with small tubes or curly tails are also recommended.

 Grand Lake St. Marys (12,680 acres, 56 miles of shoreline; Auglaize, Mercer counties) – Crappies are biting well along docks and brush. Try using chartreuse, pink, or white colored jigs approximately 1.5 to 2 feet deep.

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South West Ohio Fishing Reports

Lake Erie Region Fishing Report - April 22nd, 2016

• The daily bag limit for walleyes in Ohio waters of Lake Erie is four fish per angler through April 30. The minimum size limit for walleye is 15 inches.

• The daily bag limit for yellow perch is 30 fish per angler in all Ohio waters of Lake Erie.

• The trout and salmon daily bag limit is two fish per angler. The minimum size limit is 12 inches.

• The black bass (largemouth and smallmouth bass) daily bag limit is five fish per angler with a 14-inch minimum size limit.

• 2016 Ohio fishing licenses were required as of March 1, 2016.

Walleyes 

Where: When conditions have allowed, walleyes have been caught by trolling along the east buoys of the Camp Perry firing range. Anglers jigging have caught fish on and around the reefs of the Camp Perry firing range, nearshore west of the firing range, and in Maumee Bay.

How: Anglers trolling have been using deep diving crankbaits or shallow diving crankbaits with snap weights to catch walleyes in the top half of the water column. Anglers jigging have been using hair jigs and emerald shiners.

In early spring, highlight species targeted by anglers in Cleveland Metroparks include steelhead, stocked trout, largemouth bass, and panfish. Steelhead fishing in all local streams has been very good this past week, with the larger streams all sustaining a good flow. The river elevated and muddied with recent rain, but prospects should be good if further rain holds off. The good flows earlier this week had drawn a bunch of fresh steelhead into the streams, with a healthy proportion of larger fish. In the streams are a mix of fresh, spawning, and post-spawn (“dropback” or “spent”) steelhead. Spawning steelhead (and suckers) can be found in shallower riffle and tailout (ends of pools) areas, while pre- and post-spawn fish can be found in holes and runs, especially just downstream of spawning fish. Fly-fishers, bait anglers, and hardware chuckers have all been taking a share of the fish, although it’s tough to beat a brightly colored dime- to nickel-size spawn bag in stained water conditions. Steelhead are distributed all the way up into both branches of the river at this time, as well as everywhere in between, with reports this week of a few of the big trout all the way up to Valley City on the West Branch. In a typical year, steelhead numbers peak in late March through mid April, so this is prime time.

Cleveland Metroparks recently stocked 650 pounds of rainbow trout in the East Branch Rocky River, which were released at four locations between Route 82 (Royalton Road) and Bonnie Park. These complement the 850 pounds of trout stocked in the river since mid-March. Additionally, the DNR Division of Wildlife stocked 2,500 trout in Hinckley Lake and 500 trout in Shadow Lake. The rainbow trout from DNR average 10-14 inches, which is a great size for kids, and slightly smaller than the ones Cleveland Metroparks stocks. Also note that trout were stocked throughout the winter at Wallace, Shadow, Ledge, Judge’s, and Ranger lakes, and a good number of these fish remain. 

Some offerings to consider for trout include Powerbait in a variety of colors, small jigs tipped with maggots or waxworms, salmon eggs, worms, waxworms, minnows, and small lures (such as RoosterTail spinners). Please note the current seasonal trout regulations: Lake Erie and all streams, two/day, minimum size 12 inches (this includes steelhead), three/day, no size limit at Wallace, Ledge, Judge’s and Ranger lakes, and five/day no size limit at Shadow Lake and Ohio & Erie Canal.

Spring is a good time of year to pursue pre-spawn panfish and largemouth bass at Cleveland Metroparks’ inland lakes and ponds, as well as at protected areas along the Lake Erie shoreline of Cleveland, like Edgewater boat ramps area and Gordon Park. Northern pike may also be found prowling weedy nearshore areas of the big lake. A white spinnerbait or Husky Jerk are good offerings for spring bass and pike, while a few waxworms suspended under a small bobber work well for sunfish. Crappie bite well on live minnows or small jigs. The boat ramp docks are in at Gordon Park, and will be installed at Edgewater within the next week or so if all goes as planned. Spring boaters have been making good catches of yellow perch around the E. 72nd lighthouse and anglers at E. 55th breakwall have even been catching a few jumbo perch from shore using emerald shiners on crappie rigs. Anglers are reporting a successful night bite for walleyes around Lorain, and that should follow here in Cleveland soon.

Nearly 1,400 bluegill and largemouth bass were stocked in Oxbow Lagoon in Rocky River Reservation (the majority) and Wallace Lake over the past week and a half, as well.

Cleveland Metroparks, www.clevelandmetroparks.com 

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Pre-planning your winter fishing rigs for ice walleyes

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